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Let’s be honest. We all have our excuses of why we aren’t where we want to be. Goodness knows I’ve got mine. But remember, at the end of your days, it’s not what you did that you most regret, but what you didn’t do! So at least try. What have you got to lose? Even if you don’t win the brass ring, you’ll have some great stories and a wonderful life! Now, let’s look at some of our favorite excuses.

Did you ever hear the phrase “one excuse is as good as another?”

  • Your parents told you that you can’t do it? Right. When was the last time you listened to them?
  • Your friends told you that you can’t do it? Take that as a challenge! If someone tells me I can’t do something, I do it just to prove them wrong!
  • Everything keeps knocking you down in your life? Ever hear of getting back up again? The people who succeed aren’t better. They just get back up more!
  • Does everything in your life seem to be negative? Those are just little gifts put there to make you so uncomfortable that you have to move forward.

Did any of those excuses sound familiar to you? I actually think the hardest part is admitting your own excuses. So get that list done. Good. Now, you can start taking some positive steps forward out of the swamp.

1. Set fun goals and challenge yourself like a game. Fun is more powerful than fear.

2. Find a support mentor or group. One of my clients told me recently, “What I like about you is that you love all the things about me that I hate.” Stop judging yourself. I believe in you and I don’t even know you!  Now you believe in you! Or I’ll kick your butt!

3. Take a chance. Trust your guts to do what you love.  I spoke to someone recently who’d shot a scene just because it was something that he wanted to do. It didn’t go on his reel. It was a little, edgy, political scene just for himself. Then, he got a call from “The Newsroom”…and guess which scene his agent sent the casting director? Yep. And they loved him and he eventually booked the show. Take chances to follow your guts. Just do it!

4. Presume the best instead of the worst. I had a client who was sitting around telling himself how much everyone hated him at his last audition. A few weeks later, he heard that the director had been talking about how awesome he’d been. He’d been beating himself up in his own head for nothing. Not that you would ever do that. Hey, you’re an actor. You were born neurotic. Get over it, silly!

5. Lighten up! Concentrate on the light and not on the density in your life. Find one thing that makes you happy (like your dog or a pretty day, etc.) and focus on it. That makes you feel a bit better. Soon, you’ll notice another happy thing and another. Your day will become mostly joy with just a little stress instead of the reverse. And you’ll be able to handle that stress because it’s not so overwhelming.

Please! No more excuses! You are the only one who stops you. I can’t even imagine my life if I had listened to all the fears that tried to stop me. Something wonderful is waiting for you…what are you waiting for?

Like this advice? Check out more from our Backstage Experts!

Cathryn Hartt is a Dallas-based acting coach, founder of Hartt and Soul Studio, and Backstage Expert. For more information, check out Hartt’s full bio!