I must be strange because throughout my life I’ve ALWAYS believed I could do whatever I set my mind to. (If I decided I wanted to fly in space, I knew I could make it happen. It never occurred to me that I couldn’t. NEVER.) I didn’t realize the way I thought was odd until recently. I thought everyone was like that.
Take getting published. When I decided to take my writing seriously in 2000/2001, I had no doubt I’d get published. I’d heard it was hard. I listened to a lot of horror stories. Knew the odds. And then blissfully ignored them because in my mind the odds never applied to me. I know how incredibly naive that sounds–and it is, but it’s worked for me my whole life. When I was pursuing music, I queried record companies. Everyone told me that’s not how the business worked, including my ex who had a record deal at the time, but I got a call from one of those companies inviting me out to Nashville to sing. I also received a lot of lovely handwritten letters from presidents of record companies passing on my songs, but encouraging me to continue writing. When I decided to take acting lessons (to get over stage-fright), I was told the odds were enormous to land a job. Any job. And I absolutely believed what the other actors were telling me. They’d been in the trenches. They knew. I also believed without a doubt that I would beat those odds. I was flying. I didn’t need the money. So therefore there was no desperation on my part. I was just out to have a good time ‘pretending and playing’. I got two commercials within six months of my first acting class. They’re embarrassing reminders of my younger naive self. 😳 😆 But the important point is I had jobs. I didn’t pursue acting–even though I found it a lot of fun–because it was never my intention to be an actor.
Are you seeing a pattern yet? I’ve kind of waltzed through life like that, which is good and bad. It’s good because like I mentioned above, it never occurs to me that I can’t do something. It’s bad because it makes me extremely impatient and hard on myself when things don’t happen as fast as I’d like. I know a lot of people (including me) get frustrated by this business. Half the time it feels like you’re banging your head against a brick wall laced with razors. But next time you’re ready to throw in the towel, try a little naive belief. You’ll be amazed how far it’ll take you.
(Note: Although I believed I could do all these things I did work hard at each one while pursuing them.)
What do you believe?