As actors, we have a mindset that anything can lead to our “big break”. A party could lead you to meeting someone who could bring you in one day for an audition. That audition could lead you to another audition or a booking. That booking might be for a nothing budget film, but that nothing budget film could be the next “Paranormal Activity”. You never want to miss an opportunity or turn down something that comes your way.
But doing that can lead to exhaustion and burnout. I’m in the middle of a burnout right now and it’s a hard mood to get out of. While my burnout was caused by a mixture of fun things that I wanted to attend, and some things I felt obligated to attend, it’s still burnout and it stinks. And being in this burnout has made me realize that I have a big problem.
I don’t want to say no.
Saying no is not something I’m used to doing. I’m the person that is always happy to drive a friend to the airport, will answer the phone in the middle of the night to make sure someone doesn’t have to drive home drunk, or will help out with any project that I can. I’ve gotten stretched so thin that my personal life is starting to be affected. So I took the past few days and worked on saying no to things that I really didn’t feel like I needed to do.
By saying no to a bunch of stuff, I was able to have an amazing weekend that wasn’t just filled with fun, but it was super productive too. While I was still busy (I spent Saturday out with various friends from 11am until almost 10pm), I felt so refreshed and ready to start new again for the week. I had other things I should have gone to (and sorry if you are reading this and I was supposed to go to something of yours recently and now realizing that I bailed on it), but I didn’t go. I was invited to an amazing thing for bloggers for the Emmys, and I skipped it. Instead, I spent the day around my house doing tasks I had been putting off and then relaxing to watch the Emmys on the couch in my PJs.
I’ve got several things in the coming weeks that I have to do. They are going to make me a bit over scheduled again, but I’m focusing on the time that is after those obligations I have to do. I’m going to work on saying no to more events that I’m either not feeling like attending or that would make it tough for me to attend an obligation I might have before or after it. I’m going to work more on being selfish and doing the things I want to do instead of things that I feel like I have to do. There are things in my career that I’ve been putting off because I haven’t felt like I had time to do them. I’m going to work on a couple of action plans and start putting them into action very soon.
I’m not sure if anyone else feels the same conflict as I do about saying no to opportunities or events, but I’d love to hear your stories about how you prioritize what you chose to go to or how to decide what you want to go to and what you feel is an obligation. This is a new venture for me and I could use your advice and tips so I can make sure that this burnout doesn’t happen again any time soon.