Avoid Overwhelm from Big Goals

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” - Lao Tzu

Ever have that moment where you look at the road ahead of you and think, “How on earth am I ever going to get this done?”

As actors, we dream big. We have to! If we didn’t have a strong vision of seeing ourselves on stage at the Oscars winning the golden statue, we might not have the fortitude to continue getting up early every day to brew coffee for cranky nine-to-fivers. It’s all in service to our grand vision.

The vision is fantastic – but sometimes when a dose of reality hits (say, you don’t get a part you want or auditions are slow), it can be really overwhelming.

If you’ve ever had thoughts like, “I can’t believe how much hard work this will take,” or even “This feels impossible,” then this blog post is for you!

My friend, here is the advice of a lifetime: Take it one step at a time.

Should I Plan My Future Out Way in Advance?

Recently I taught at an performing arts seminar for teens in Phoenix. During a panel one girl asked about whether she should go to grad school right away (yes, you read that right – she was about 16 and already thinking about grad school), I loved the response from Ray Hesselink.

He told her (and I’m paraphrasing here), “Take it one step at a time. Four years after your first college degree, you may not want to go to grad school. Honestly, you’ll be a completely different person than you are now. Different connections, different experiences, and different wants, so take it one step at a time and you can’t go wrong.”

Should I Keep Moving Forward?

That same week, my husband and I hiked Camelback Mountain near Phoenix. I’m pretty fit, but this was a tough hike and coming down the mountain was pretty hard on my joints.

When he saw the look on my face as I peered down the particularly steep mountain face, he said, “Don’t look all the way down. Just take this one step at a time, and before you know it, you’ll be curled up with a nice glass of wine in the hotel!” 

He was right (thank goodness).

Should I Return to My Comfort Zone?

Right after the hiking event, I had a chance to catch up with my good friends by reading their blog. They recently decided to give up their jobs and travel around the world for an entire year – which is totally awesome (check out their fascinating blog HERE).

Even though traveling the world is a lot of fun, there are still difficulties. In one blog, Jess talked about how daunting the idea of an entire year of sleeping in hostels was starting to look. She felt concerns coming up about not having a job for an entire year, as well. Can you guess how her husband, Nate, advised her to move forward?

Yep! He told her to take it one day at a time. That’s it! “Just think of it as a one-week vacation,” he told her, “and we’ll go from there.”

The truth is, life is completely unpredictable. The moment we think we know how things are going to go seems to be the moment when everything changes.

Don’t hesitate to go after your dreams, and yes, let them be big ones! Everyone has to start somewhere... and wherever you are right now is a darn good place to begin. The more you can focus on the action steps you can take right away – even if they feel micro – the more easily you will be able to step into that wonderful vision you’ve created for yourself and for your career.

If you'd like to achieve some BIG goals this year, check out My BIG Year, a mentoring program with actors and artist just like you! We're working together to be happier, more fulfilled, WORKING artists! 

So, how do you chunk down your big vision? What actions are you taking daily to move in the direction of your dreams? Leave a comment in the area below to chime in!