Ever been behind the mic, trying your best to create 2 or 3 different takes for an audition, and you get this overwhelming sense of, “Why do I even bother? I’m no good at this and never should’ve gotten into voiceover. If I submit this audition, everyone will know what a hack I am”. And then the crippling anxiety of inadequacy rolls over you. Maybe you curl up in the corner of your booth and rethink your life’s decisions. Ever been there??
Uhhhhhh.. Yeah. crawls out of booth*Me either.
Well, if you’ve ever struggled with that mindset, keep reading. If you haven’t, email me, I need your tips!
That overwhelming anxiety we feel when we start to doubt our abilities or the thought that someone will find us out for the fraud we are - that mindset has a name. In fact, this whole phenomenon has been a very popular topic of conversation over the last year or so. It’s called Imposter Syndrome - And despite training, education, repeat gigs, and awards earned, we can still feel like we don’t add up to a hill of beans. Imposter Syndrome can be incredibly crippling to our work and our well being.
Here’s the deal though, we bring this anxiety on ourselves! And if we can bring it on ourselves, then that means we have the power to take it away. Am I saying that we have control over this??? With some practice and a shift of mindset, YES.
You may be asking, how am I causing Imposter Syndrome in my life?
How many times have we sat down to look at Instagram, or another social media platform, and gotten down on ourselves because we see our peers landing jobs, making awesome collabs, or securing representation? And we’re over here auditioning and auditioning only to hear nothing! Yeah, it stings. But we don’t know the full journey our peers are taking to get to the point we get to see. We have no idea how many rejections, bad auditions, or amounts of practice those folks are putting into their career. And here we are, daring to compare our whole grisly battle to their highlight reel. That is totally unfair to ourselves.
maybe we’re comparing ourselves to those that have been in the industry for YEARS longer than we have been. That’s another unfair comparison, thinking our chapter 1 should look like their chapter 20.
Most commonly, the only differences between you now and those you compare yourself to is time, experience, and opportunity. you WILL get there! But no one said it would be easy or that there wouldn’t be rejection along the way.
Now, we’ve ALL put some kind of ridiculous expectations or deadlines on ourselves. Maybe for the timing of our first demo, our first national campaign, or the sheer amount of auditions we try to complete on a daily basis. And God forbid, we fall short of that expectation or deadline. Then we’re feeling like a total and complete failure.
But here’s the question - WHO decided that those expectations or deadlines were appropriate for us? More often than not, we did!
did we consider that there are...
Outside factors we can’t control
We didn’t know enough at the time in order to set proper expectations
Life will ALWAYS throw curve balls trying to derail us
Expectations and deadlines that push us and challenge us to be better are great! But they become negative when they are unrealistic or so rigid that there’s no room for adjustment based on what life is bringing us at the time. And then enters that crippling anxiety, simply because we weren’t able to flow and adjust to current needs.
I personally think that flexibility within a planned/deadline is more important than the goal itself. Goals are great, but it is completely okay to adjust the path or timeline to the goal based on need - especially if we’re bringing the expectation or deadline upon ourselves.
Perspective of Failure
A perspective of failure is us choosing to focus on the things we don’t have or didn’t get. For example, if you happen to keep tabs on your auditions, you’ll notice that you failed to land a large number of them - which is totally NORMAL, btw - But if our focus remains on what we didn’t get vs. the awesome jobs we did, we’re setting ourselves up for feeling like a failure.
We have to learn to “let that sh!t GO”. Turning our focus to wins and opportunities for growth is far more likely to build our confidence and boost our mood vs only focusing on the things we didn’t get.
So now we are aware of some of the possible ways that we can negatively impact not only our career, but our mental health. I have to ask, What are we doing to ourselves? Why are we so desperately trying to sabotage ourselves?
If you’re like me, sabotaging yourself wasn’t necessarily one of your life’s priorities. It wasn’t on the agenda, but, ahhhh. there it is. We may not have even realized that's what we were doing. But, now that we know, let’s treat ourselves better. Like I said earlier, if we have the ability to bring on this anxiety, we have the power to stop it.
How can we fix it?
Keep an attitude of learning
Our whole voiceover journey is about learning. Let’s put our focus on continuing to improve our skills, grow our network, and expand our knowledge base.
Give up the need for control
There are SO MANY THINGS that we have no control over. Other people’s opinions, for example. Casting, for another. We need to take a deep breath, do what we can do, and then release our need for control of the situation. Our job is to be the best version of whatever brand we’re reading for, and then let it go.
Use your awesome quirks to your benefit
No one is quite like you, so use that superpower to your advantage! It’s the quirks and unique features that will make you stand out against the competition.
Focus on the work
Without looking too much at the end goal, just do the work. Every day. Consistently. Take the next right step for your career and focus on that. Dreaming about an end result will bring you nothing but doubts about your ability. Doing the work will grow your career. All of a sudden, you’ll look up to find yourself farther along that you thought.
Knowing and acknowledging that Imposter Syndrome is out there is the first step. Fixing our focus is the next. We have the power to fix our mindset to whatever we want. The question is: What will you choose to do with yours?