The 1 Thing That Stops Most Actors From Succeeding (And How to Avoid It)

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You made the resolutions. Your wrote the to-do lists. You committed to making 2017 the year of you. But even with these grand declarations of action, you’re still feeling frustrated.

Struggling is a big part of this industry, and everyone from new actors to veterans with tons of credits deal with the associated feelings: they’re overwhelmed by the things they need to do, they’re filled with self-doubt, they feel powerless, they lack direction, they wonder if they have the ability to create any kind of lasting success, the joy and fun of their personal lives is eclipsed by the fear and helplessness they feel in their professional lives.

Now, most people will hear this and tell the frustrated actor who’s not seeing results to take action and make a long “Should-Do” list that looks something like this:

  • Create my own web-series

  • Be all over social media

  • Write and star in a short film

  • Make more phone calls

  • Do more marketing

  • Go to networking events

  • Get busy and hustle to make it happen

But stop and think for a minute: Haven’t you been doing most of this to the best of your ability for a while now?

Taking “massive action” as I like to call it can often be counter-productive. That old-school method of doing, doing, doing doesn’t work for everyone. Being busy for the sake of being busy doesn’t necessarily create success, but it does create exhaustion. And aren’t there people out there who succeed without putting as much effort into something? Everyone knows that person who success seems to just come to, sans the time and backbreaking effort you devote.

Mind-boggling, right?

But here’s what’s happening: When your efforts come from a place of frustration, doubt, or lack, they will never result in success. Adding something to the pile just so for the sake of having the biggest pile doesn’t add value. In fact, that extra height can often cause everything to come crashing down due to an imbalance or misplacement.

READ: How to Silence Your Inner Critic

So before you start building your pile this year, before you get busy with “doing,” you must first check in with yourself and figure out who you are “being.” Rip up that giant list and start a new one from a place of love, honesty, and self-respect. Whether your list is made up of one a few things, or it’s dozens of bullets long, make sure every single thing has the right intention behind it.

Take the actions you’re inspired to take from an empowered place, and your outer experiences will start to mirror your new state of mind.

To help you jumpstart your year, I'm hosting a free video series called Success Breakthrough Secrets For Actors. In three quick videos, I will guide you to release whatever has been blocking you, let go of limitation, and align with what you really want in 2017.

And to help you rock all of your auditions, download my free guided meditation for actors, “Success In The Audition Room.” This powerful audio will help you turn audition anxiety and self-doubt into confidence and ease in under five minutes.

Feeling inspired? Check out our short film audition listings!

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.

Wendy Braun
Wendy Braun is an accomplished actor and the CEO/founder of, a top resource for actors to align their minds, book more jobs, and love their lives. Braun’s transformational guided meditations and workshops have helped countless actors achieve amazing success breakthroughs and enjoy new levels of happiness—many of them now Emmy nominees, Broadway performers, and series regulars on hit TV shows.