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Don’t Overthink It. Just Do It!

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Jessica SmithSomeone asked me recently how do I make time for the work? I tried to give good answers like, “Well, on Mondays I do such and such early in the morning, but on Tuesdays, I have time at 9 a.m. for this other thing over here…” But the truth is that I don’t know; I don’t know how I do what I do when I do it.

I do know that I don’t always feel very successful. But I think that is a struggle for all of us who like lists. I currently have my life compartmentalized into 16 different To Do lists and while that sounds crazy to me as well, I still can’t shake my love of crossing things off a list. And I have this image in my head of a Jessica that can tackle anything head on and make it happen. That’s a good trait, but it also means I tend to overload my daily To Do lists with about three times the number of things I am actually capable of accomplishing.

On the other hand, it is this trait that does accomplish at least one third of my list every day and it is this trait that I want to encourage you to cultivate, if you have not already.

One of your biggest saboteurs is yourself, and telling yourself that something is not possible. Any time another actress/mom tells me that she can’t figure out how to juggle auditions and sitters, I tell her this story:

My oldest (and at the time only) was 2 years old and going to preschool two mornings a week. It was 12 p.m. and I was in the carpool lane when my agent called. I had a 3 p.m. audition for a very popular television show. The audition was about an hour drive from my house. I had been running and was still sweating in my workout clothes. I didn’t yet have a strong arsenal of babysitters at my disposal. And I was going to have a two year old who was missing her mommy underfoot while I got ready.

Then I hear this: “So, so sorry that it’s so last minute, but you were personally requested by the director.”

Not that I would have turned it down, but certainly not at this point!

In three hours, I got my two year old home and fed her lunch, showered and did hair and makeup, learned three pages of sides after fixing the jammed printer, found a sitter (after a LOT of trying), and drove an hour to the audition. Oh, and booked the room (not the job, but oh well).

I can imagine that many of you have similar stories of what you did to make an audition, or of how you successfully produced some crazy shot in your web series that everyone else thought was insane, or how you finagled your survival jobs to make rent that one month. Whatever it may be, we all have these stories of overcoming some sort of adversity to pursuing our dreams.

I think the key to my above story is that I didn’t have time to think it through, or in other words overthink it. There wasn’t any time for a pity party about how much harder I have it than the other girls who were rushing for the same audition. I just had to do it.

And that is what I leave you with today—remember that the very fact that you are pursuing this career at all makes you the crazy person who can just get things done. You are powerful, strong, and admired. Whatever it is you are trying to accomplish this week, don’t overthink it. Just do it.

And when you’re done, reward yourself. Tell yourself how awesome you truly are for doing what no one else was able to do this moment, this day, this week.

Don’t forget to tell us all about your own awesomeness this week in the comments section below. Let’s get a conversation going and celebrate each other. I truly want to hear the super cool stories of my Ms. In The Biz sisters.

Hmm, I think I need to take my own advice—I have a toddler to potty train and overthinking it sure isn’t getting the job done. And now you know what is on my To Do list this week!

Jessica Leigh Smith

About Jessica Leigh Smith

Jessica Leigh Smith can currently be seen running around town in her yoga pants, toting her two little girls everywhere she goes. Being a mommy has played into Jessica’s latest projects, Mommy Parodies. The first is a parody of a song from the movie Frozen, which has reached almost 40,000 views (and climbing) on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86FY-AEdizA. Jessica’s most notable acting roles are co-starring roles on One Tree Hill and Drop Dead Diva. Coincidentally, Jessica was toting her daughters in those roles as well, since she was pregnant both times. In addition to acting, Jessica has co-produced an educational series for actors, called The Dinner Project, putting actors and casting directors face to face. Episodes can be found at http://thedinnerprojectshow.com/. For more about Jessica, the actress, please visit her website, http://www.jessicaleighsmith.com/, and follow her on Twitter, @JessiLeighSmith.