Sometimes I feel like I have all my shit together and then anxiety just hits me in the face! Can anyone else relate? I didn’t sleep well last night and not because of the baby because of my brain. Sometimes I wish I could just turn it off. Like, yes, thank you for my fight or flight response and protecting the human race from savage beasts, but me showing up late to something is NOT THE SAME THING. Why does my brain think it is???
Do you struggle with feeling like you’re letting people down? Like you’re letting yourself down? I know I do sometimes.
Last week I was in a tailspin cause I was really late for the NGP strike meetup, which I helped organize. On the drive there my husband is telling me, “it’s OK! They don’t NEED you to be there to start anything. We have a baby at home. People get it!” But for some reason, my brain doesn’t get it all the time. I think I should still be able to do all the things I could once do. Like show up on time. My anxiety was taking hold. “I don’t want to let people down,” I told him. But was I??? No.
Last night I was agonizing over how the heck I’m going to figure out the parking situation for my mom’s Celebration of Life party this summer. Why is this keeping me up at night?! It’s PARKING. I will figure it out. I just don’t want to let people down. I want it to be incredibly meaningful and have it run smoothly and be a truly beautiful tribute to my amazing mom, which my logical brain KNOWS it will be, but my anxiety brain says, “Nope! You are failing. You are going to let everyone down.” Ugh!
Who can relate??? I think this comes up for actors a lot.
Right now, you might be feeling like you have too much free time without auditions. Cue panic!
When will things be back to “normal”? When will this strike be over?? When will I make it??? Now I’m so much farther behind than I was already. I don’t want to let myself down. I don’t want to let my family down. They’ve been so supportive of me.
….or maybe it’s more like….
I need to prove to my family I can do this. I wish they were more supportive of me. I can’t let myself down.
I don’t want to let anyone down. I can’t fail now! Why is this happening???
Does this resonate with anyone? I get this idea of not wanting to let yourself down… you’ve put in so many hours training, likely yearssssss pounding the pavement. And of course you LOVE what you do.
But what is failure anyway? What is success?? Are you only successful when you win an Emmy? Oscar? Or Tony? (who watched)??? When you pay all of your bills acting? Or are you successful when you join SAG-AFTRA? When you have a breakthrough in your acting class? When you truly move someone with your performance – even in class? For me, I think it’s closer to the latter. It’s the journey. But I don’t know your answer. Only you do cause it’s your life and your version of success might look different than mine. (Full disclosure: mine has definitely changed over the years!)
But I know I’m not alone in this idea of sometimes feeling like I’m letting others and myself down. How do we find compassion for ourselves during these times of stress?
If you figure it out, let me know.
I know for me if I’m spinning at night… getting up, getting a glass of water, reading a chapter of my book, sometimes even moving to the couch really helps.
I’m also a huge advocate of therapy! I love my therapist. He’s changed my life. Truly.
And don’t worry about me. I am OK, friend. I promise. Most nights I sleep just fine (minus the baby waking me up at random hours, but ya know), but even though for those most part I’m someone who typically is pretty measured, I do have these moments where my anxiety takes hold so if you have these moments too know that you are NOT alone. We are all just little tiny humans running around this earth trying to figure it out. We have good days and bad days and hopefully when you string them all together there’s way more good and glorious than stressful and anxiety ridden.
Know I’m here rooting for ya through the good days and bad. I hope this week if full of lots of good ones. And if it’s not, take a deep breath, talk to your people and remember, we’re all in this together (this strike, this career, this life).
get more resources
Subscribe to the Actors Rise Newsletter
Get the newsletter thousands of actors love to get. Straight to your inbox. Every Sunday.
As featured in