This post will be short, but it contains one of the powerful lessons I’ve learned. It has taken me a long time to realize that my 2 biggest obstacles were mental and of my own doing:
- frustration about what I thought I hadn’t achieved and my perceived lack of time to achieve it
- comparisons to others and jealousy about their success (frustration’s wicked twin sibling).
The day job wasn’t the obstacle
For years, I blamed my day job for holding me back from achieving the success I wanted in voice-over. Sure, it was difficult to work 2 jobs for 12 years:
- It was physically demanding to work a full day and then come home and do marketing, recording, and editing on evenings and weekends to further my voiceover career.
- The job itself was mentally draining because I worked for 25 years as an IT specialist who was responsible for the end user hardware and software, computer networks, and email systems. I had a problem-solving job that required constant communication with the customers. This job also occasionally caused me to work late or on weekends, disrupting any other plan.
- I wrote on my blog about my feelings of being a secret agent in both the day job and voiceover camps. Note my comment on that post about:
A) how to manage voiceover clients while working full-time, and
B) not letting fear and a scarcity mentality cause you to make bad decisions.
You may be amused at a journal entry about frustration that I included in this blog post. What I didn’t say in that post was that I was frustrated because I had the full-time job and felt the time spent there could be better and more enjoyably spent on voiceover marketing and gigs.
Be aware of the Law of Paradoxical Intent
The frustration and comparisons/jealousy are self-defeating attitudes that cause you to feel desperate and set up the Law of Paradoxical Intent in your life. If you only read one of the links I’m providing here, make it this one. It explains how the more desperate you become about achieving your goal, the more you push it away.< I've written several times about the negative effects of comparing yourself to others and ways to stop the insanity:
- Voice-Over Secrets from Adam, Bob, and Bob
- Think/Write/Speak what you WANT into BEING!
- Has the competition got you down?
It’s all too easy to make comparisons to other people and then measure your success only on the income you generated in voiceover or the biggest name client that you have. The comparisons only keep you focused on a perceived lack. As Eckhart Tolle beautifully explains in the passage I excerpted in this post, since what you think about expands, focusing on what you think you lack will only ensure that MORE lack will come into your life!
Someone recently left a comment on my blog about their own frustration. My comment back to them is sort of the blueprint I’ve learned and followed to overcome the frustration and accept my life.
ACCEPTANCE is the key
Acceptance of your life is the key to being in the flow and receiving the good that is yours!
It was only after I accepted my life as it was — complete with the day job — in the last several years that things really started to move quickly for me. Part of that acceptance meant that I made conscious and continuous effort to be grateful for all of the many blessings that I received as a result of my day job.
I got a clear sign from the Universe about making the leap to full-time voiceover. I didn’t have to force anything to happen. I’ve found that if I’m forcing the solution, the outcome is not the best that I could have. You have to know that the Universe is always orchestrating the right action in your life.
I can’t say that I’m always perfect in maintaining the right attitude. However, my lapses to the dark side are more infrequent and last a much shorter amount of time when they do occur.
What’s holding you back? I’d love to get your comments about these thoughts!
Joyce Bates says
I followed the link to your website from the Audiovoices Linked In site. I am not yet a member, but I am interested in getting into voice over work. Really like your website. I am actually presently looking for full time employment but decided that I need to follow this lifelong pursuit at the same time. I am hoping to be able to make a living at it eventually. I have a BA from Temple University in Radio,TV,Films…from 1984. I don’t have a demo yet. I have talked to a couple pros who feel that I have the talent. Unfortunately, I don’t have money. I do have a friend with a studio (he’s been a sound engineer for 40 yrs) so I can make a demo, but I don’t have money for any home equipment yet.
Don’t mean to be too verbose (not an easy feat for me,) but I would love to get into this field. I have a wide range of voices and I was thinking that might fit into an audiobook niche.
I’ve downloaded a bunch of Kindle books on voice over to my laptop. I’m a free member of Voices123.com and another couple free V.O. “clubs.” I do understand the value of having a voice coach, but I really can’t afford one right now (I’ve been unemployed for a while.) I look forward to reading more of your blog entries and your advice.
Greetings, Joyce! Thanks for the note. I think people often say money is an obstacle to their dreams when really they are just afraid to take that step forward to live the dream life they envision.
Instead of focusing your thoughts and energy on things you think you don’t have — like money for coaching, equipment, and demo production — focus instead on what you DO have:
— a lifelong interest in voice-over
— a BA in a related field, so you presumably have had some microphone experience. It also shows you are goal-oriented, can finish things, can organize your thoughts and communicate them clearly, and many other things.
— self-motivation to research the field
— an ability to learn new things
Our society demands instant gratification, but you should look at voice-over like any other career choice. It’s an evolutionary process that starts with the tiniest seed of an idea and grows with each small step taken.
I love this quote from Teddy Roosevelt: Do what you can, where you are, with what you have.
You can always practice reading aloud every day. Practice doesn’t cost you a thing except time. You’ll need to practice even after you become a sought-after voice talent.
Since you’re interested in doing audiobooks, start reading books aloud. Listen to audiobooks. Subscribe to AudioFile magazine. Immerse yourself in that world as much as possible. You can also volunteer to read for the blind or at your library’s story hour to gain confidence and skills.
If money truly is the only thing standing in the way of you pursuing your dreams, check out this thread for a gazillion ideas of how to make $100.
I hope these thoughts are helpful to you. Best wishes for your continued health, prosperity, and success!