Be the Hero of Your Own Story

Let’s just admit it – we all go to the movies or binge watch our favorite shows to escape from the stress and sometimes the boredom – of our everyday lives.

Oh, how it’s just so juicy, captivating, and fun when we have our favorite characters to root for in a storyline we’re all enthralled in!

In ways, these characters become our role models, our heroes, and our motivators.

It’s easy to see who the hero is in action and adventure movies.  You’ve got one guy (or girl) who, against all odds and enemies, figures out a way to save the day, defeat every foe, and come out on top – all in dramatic fashion.

That’s badass inspiring, right?

But sometimes, inspiration comes from heroes that are not so blockbuster-in-your-face about it.  The ones that don’t necessarily go through a major change or do anything “heroic”, but their story is one that simply speaks to you.

It resonates with where you are in your life, gets your heart racing, and gives you hope that you can one day make a change for the better.

The thing that inspires and empowers me the most is watching a character go through a major struggle, find their way out, and not be defeated. It makes me think – “She found a way out of it – I can too!”

Have you had this moment?

A picture perfect example – well, not really…but really…

I get inspiration as an actor and in the love department whenever I watch “When A Man Loves A Woman”, my favorite romance movie of all time.  It’s not your typical feel good love story – it has it’s cutesy lovey-dovey moments, but it’s also raw, a lil’ dark, and real.

If you’ve never seen the movie, sorry a little spoiler alert: Meg Ryan plays an alcoholic, and she and her husband (played by Andy Garcia), separate to take some much needed space after she gets out of rehab.

We get to witness her in the darkest times, fighting her way back to moments of light in her life.  A scene that stays with me as an example of this is when her husband is watching his family through the window to make sure they are ok.

When you see it in the movie you can tell she’s on her journey to get her life back on track. You see she’s dancing, enjoying her time with her youngest child in one arm, and holding hands with the oldest.

It appears that she is doing great without him.  And even though you know they are both hurting from their marriage falling apart, you can tell that she’s on a path to making her life whole again.

That’s where Meg Ryan is turning her situation around for the better.

She’s being the hero of her own story.

She has a true struggle – an addiction to alcohol, she’s missing her husband, who she loves with a passion, but against all odds – she’s finding her way back to a life she enjoys living again.

She may not be saving anyone from a burning building, but she’s saving herself.

And THAT’S inspiring.

Now, if you were talking to her character in real life, she probably wouldn’t think that she was doing anything special or heroic.  Her day-to-day progress would probably feel very mundane to her, even frustrating at times.

She would say it sucked.

Now, us looking in, WE feel inspired by what she’s doing to turn her life around -how she’s handling it, moving on, and healing.  Are you with me?

So how does all this relate to your story?

YOU, superstar – are the talented, tenacious, and courageous one to be going after your dreams, and taking on all the challenges that come along with it.

Tell me, do you have days of having a pity party because:

  • Your career is not where you want it to be.
  • You haven’t had an audition in over two weeks nor booked in 6 months.
  • You hate your side job and our resentful that you need it to survive and you just want to act.

Don’t be ashamed to admit it, I’ve been there on all 3!

Yet, despite the challenges, you keep showing up, and you don’t let anyone take you off your path of what you want to do.   Every year, you show up – getting rejected audition after audition.

You get the callback – but never the booking.

You cheer about the avail – to only later get released.

You watch all your friends go on auditions and get booked – while you’re sitting at home with a tub of ice cream wondering why it’s not happening for you.

THEN…

Every year you go back into the “war zone” during the holidays to get those darts thrown at you.  Even if you have had the most amazing booking year, appearing on TV or in the movies, there’s at least one family member or neighbor who will hand-deliver those little snide, judgmental, skeptical or negative comments about your choice in career.

Who else, besides the hero of the story, would put up with all of that?

While we’re on this path, 90-95% of the time, we focus on the negative, the hard, the challenges, and on what other people are saying.

We don’t pause – take a step back and give ourselves enough credit to see ourselves as the hero in our own story – as we see and cheer on these other characters as the hero in theirs.

Why is that?

If someone is watching OUR movie – we are just the same.

Realize, YOU are the Hero of your own story…

It is YOU working through the hard times.  It is YOU getting through the trenches, reaching milestones on the way to the mountaintop.  It is YOU facing adversity while doubting your ability to make it and still choosing to move forward on your journey.

It is YOU being the HERO of your own intriguing story.

And even though no one’s filming it (yet) and you can’t watch it on Netflix…you’d be amazed at how many people YOU are already inspiring just by being brave enough to live out going after your dreams.

As I’ve shared my story with you, I too am in it to win it.

However, please take note…

All the smiley headshots and IMDb credits that you see – neither came to be without me being willing to find my way through all the blood, sweat, and tears, stay in it, and live out my beautiful story through all the challenges that have come my way.

How have you been approaching the pursuit of your career?

Are you being the hero of your story?

If you feel you are not – learn to hold yourself up, let go of your pride and lean on others, and don’t fall victim to your circumstances.  Know that you are smart enough to find the resources and the know-how you need, talented enough to book, and strong enough to stay the course.

Own it. Live it. Survive it.

You got this!

Please share in the comments below, a time you’ve been the most proud of yourself because you were determined to see yourself through the struggle and made it to the other side.

 

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