Ever feel overwhelmed?
You know… like your brain has too many tabs open? I think it’s fair to say we’ve all been there. It can leave you paralyzed, panicked, and just plain pooped. And when you have VO awesomeness to achieve—auditions, jobs, marketing, demo prep—feeling overwhelmed can stop you dead in your tracks.
So what can you do when that happens?
Seriously. You know when you’re having computer problems and sometimes all you need is to turn your computer off for a bit, and then turn it back on again?
We’re the same way!
Simply stopping yourself (and giving yourself permission to stop) can make a world of difference. You have the ability to collect yourself and course correct your mindset so things don’t seem so hectic.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to what you can do the next time you feel overwhelmed:
- STOP whatever you’re doing. If you’re recording, press “stop,” step away from the mic, take off your headphones, and exit the booth.
- Go somewhere else! Change your scenery. (Sometimes, we need to get out of that booth for a bit!)
- Sit down somewhere comfortable.
- Close your eyes and take deep breaths—inhale and count one, two, three, four, then exhale and count: one, two, three, four. Do this as many times as you need to feel calm. Taking control of your breathing is scientifically proven to give you a major chill pill!
- Once you’ve calmed down, see if you feel ready to head back into that booth or tackle what you were working on. If you do, sweet! You probably just needed a breather!
- If you’re still feeling like you’re bogged down by ten million things to do, try making a list of five things you can reasonably accomplish today. Or three things! Or one! Instead of, “audition for voiceover jobs,” get specific! Write it down: “Audition for five more VO gigs.” The smaller and more manageable your tasks are, the more likely you are to do them! (And the more often you get to cross stuff off of your to-do list, which is the best feeling!) It’s about baby steps—don’t bite off a giant piece of cake when you’re already full! You can still eat that whole cake, but in smaller bites. 😉
- Don’t forget to reward yourself when you finish those small tasks! This is key. You should celebrate your accomplishments! That doesn’t mean throw yourself a gala every time you record an audition (or, hey, go for it, we can’t stop you), but frame it this way: “Once I submit five auditions, I can watch the movie I’ve had on my Netflix watchlist for weeks.” Or, “once I send off ten marketing emails, I can take a twenty-minute break to walk around the block.” Whatever you love, reward yourself with it! This incentivizes finishing those tasks even more.
Giving yourself permission to stop, drop, and reboot is actually one of the most productive things you can do. We don’t talk about the power of taking a break enough, and we should! It’s the secret ingredient to making progress. All the coffee in the world won’t keep you goin’ forever (although it definitely helps…)
Feeling overwhelmed is a sign that you’ve bitten off more than you can chew—or that you think you have! Sometimes, it’s a matter of shifting your perspective, and realizing that you can handle big things once you break them into littler things!
Remember: slow and steady, bite-sized pieces win the race and finish the cake. 😉