I’m currently writing a chapter on Confidence in my forthcoming book The Fearless Audition. Inevitably, there’s helpful stuff that you want to include but there’s no space for. So I thought I would include it here instead:
For actors confidence is a hugely important part of their job. Not just the confidence to get up in front of others and potentially make a fool of yourself, but also the confidence to audition, to play, to risk, to explore and to fall flat on your face without fear.
Confidence comes from a few different things like past experience, training, and the level of challenge involved in the current activity. But proactive confidence comes from the belief that you can do something. Negative experiences only damage confidence which is reactive, so building proactive confidence is important.
Filming, rehearsing or performing can be an exhausting, stressful and demanding experience. To maintain your confidence every day, you need to top it up proactively.
After each day of filming, rehearsing or performing, I suggest that you do the following:
What 3 things that you have learned from today?
What two things did you do really well today?
What one thing do you want to improve for tomorrow.
One: We must always be a learner. Only those who are afraid don’t want to learn. The growth mindset is always ready to learn. The fixed mindset always wants to defend what it already has and cannot face the risk of being found out. Always be learner.
Two: Acknowledge your successes. It’s too easy to forget we do great stuff, we can easily put our minds on the things we did poorly. Acknowledge at LEAST two things you did well today.
Three: What one thing can you improve tomorrow? We can be too keen to fix ten things. But chase 2 rabbits, catch none. Pick one thing to fix. Do your best, reflect tomorrow night.
This super simple method will always keep you learning, acknowledging success and tackling your obstacles.
To You, The Best
Mark Westbrook is the author of The 12 Obstacles - an eBook on the psychology of performance that’s FREE TO DOWNLOAD.