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How to Stop Doing What Others Want + Act For Yourself Instead

How to Stop Doing What Others Want + Act For Yourself Instead
Photo Source: Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

From the time we’re born, our lives are filled with the need to receive approval from our parents, siblings, relatives, friends, teachers, bosses...any type of authority figures. But this behavior takes a huge toll on our creative expression, often burying it and the confidence that can come with creativity.

We all get into acting for different reasons and there’s no doubt in my mind that you have had the very best intentions when you started practicing this craft. But what if there was a way to make it more exciting? To make it more freeing?

For most of my early life, I did what others wanted me to do. It never seemed like I had the opportunity to choose for myself and when I did, someone was in my ear telling me how to do something. This was a troubling, fearful time for me and it’s also what often happens to us actors. We’re led to become what I like to call “approval-seeking robots,” suppressing what our inner compass tells us to make others happy.

When I first started as an actor, I did as I was told. I suppressed the voice inside that told me to try things a different way. But this always created a feeling of uneasiness. I hated that feeling, but I never did anything about it. Eventually, I got to the point where I was fed up and had to dig deep to figure out what was causing my behavior.

After some introspection, I realized the issue was that I was programmed to please. I was so bent out of shape over trying to be perfect and get the approval of others that I ignored what was naturally trying to come through my creative vessel.

READ: How to Make Yourself Unforgettable to Casting Directors

Once I corrected this error in consciousness, I began to focus on being as relaxed as possible wherever I went. Whether I was in the audience, on stage, or on set, I knew that if I could be completely relaxed, the creative flow would rush in. As long as I was true to the essence of the script, it went over well. And even when it didn’t, the knowledge that I didn’t need anyone else’s approval created freedom.

The key was being able to stay true to myself, something that paid enormous dividends for me as an actor, writer, teacher, and in life.

Where are you in your career today? Are you running on a childhood mentality of seeking the approval of others as an actor? Do you find yourself feeling apprehensive and anxious about what a casting director or producer might think of you? Do you feel like a failure because others think you should be more of a success after all this time?

Release it. Favor expression instead. Take pleasure in the joy of knowing that if you move from a place of expressing yourself, your life as an actor—and person—will be one of joy and success. When you do things for yourself first, the real fun begins.

Shaun Grant is a dynamic “entreperformer” that is a recognized authority in personal performance and transformation. He is the author of Prosperity Secrets: How To Live the Life of Your Dreams. He is also the creator of The Vibrational Actor and hosts his own podcast called The Actor's Area. Shaun has been acting, writing, and coaching for the past ten years. He teaches the concept of vibrational acting and vibrational consciousness to performers around the world. His sole purpose is to inspire, uplift and motivate actors through cutting-edge mental and spiritual practices. He's at his happiest when his students experience successful breakthroughs in mind, body, and spirit as it relates to their acting careers. Shaun has acted in over forty projects, working alongside some of Hollywood's brightest stars, and has written and produced his own projects as well. When Shaun isn't acting, writing or coaching, he enjoys engaging in his love of travel and creating life-changing content through his blogs. 

Visit and for more career information. Find Shaun on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram 

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The views expressed in this article are solely that of the individual(s) providing them,
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Backstage or its staff.

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