What do you tell yourself when you don’t get the job? Be honest. Generally it follows something along the 5 stages of Grief. (Sometimes all within the same minute!)
1). Denial. “Ummm . . . What? They definitely don’t know what they’re doing! They’ll figure it out and when no one else does a better job they’ll bring me back in.”
2). Anger. “WTF! I hate this business!”
3). Bargaining. “I didn’t want that job anyway. Lame. A better job is coming along that I wouldn’t be available for if I got that crappy role.”
4). Depression. “Oh Gawd. What am I doing with my life? I can’t take it anymore.”
5). Acceptance. “Oh, I got another audition? Cool!”
That’s quite the mental roller coaster ride we take and it often leaves us feeling queasy and insecure. And the same formula could be applied when we get dumped by our perfect boyfriend or girlfriend, when an agent doesn’t return our calls, or when we get fired from a job.
What if we tried another approach? And we tapped into the ancient tradition of using a mantra as a grounding device to help us weather the storms of life? Not just in the acting world, but living life period.
We use a mantra to quiet the mind. And like neuroscience has shown, creating new patterns of thought reboots old neural grooves that are habituated and unhealthy. So like anything, we use a mantra as a vehicle. As a practice. As an understanding of process. As awareness. As a way to let go and trust.
The point is to gain peace of mind. Because if you don’t have peace of mind on your journey, what do you have? No amount of money or fame or popularity or success can provide that for us. Peace of mind comes from the mind.
The word mantra literally means an “instrument of thought.” And when you begin to use one, you can learn how to go beyond the mind and get out of the vexing self-dialogues we often hear ourselves engaged in.
Instead of beating yourself up when things don’t go your way, why don’t you try any of these more truthful statements?
“I am ready for success.” (You are.)
“The universe is orchestrating the details for me. It’s safe for me to let go. I don’t have to control everything.” (You can’t anyway.)
“I’m in the right place at the right time doing the right thing with the right people. Always.” (Boom!)
“I am peace. I am light. I am love.” (Indeed.)
“My life keeps getting easier and easier. And more and more fun.” (For shizzle!)
“Everything always works out for the best for me.” (It does.)
“Let me be me. I accept and love myself exactly as I am.” (If you don’t, no one else will.)
Let your mantra be a centering thought when everything else in your life seems to be anything but that. You’ll find that amidst the disappointment of rejections and setbacks, you’ll become more resilient and adaptable. And actually, start having a lot more fun. Even when you don’t get the job.