find articles by Author

Weighing In: A look at Self-Sabotage


LeahCevoliIn last month’s “Weighing In” column I wrote about Mentors as a dedication to my late acting coach Ivan S. Markota.   With Ivan’s passing, I was reconnected with many former classmates and teachers and received a flood of memories from my first five years in Hollywood.

It was a time where I felt fearless and smart and hot and unstoppable.  In my first five years in Hollywood, (which at the time, seemed a very long time, but looking back accomplishing all of that in five years was pretty amazing).  I was Taft-Hartleyed into the Screen Actors Guild and had the enormous blessings and opportunities of acting  –  recurring even – on a few Emmy award winning television shows; all without having an agent or a manager. This was before social media, before branding and typing classes, before life-coaches and marketing gurus.  Just by naturally being me and pursuing my passions I ended up in opportunity after opportunity as an ACTRESS.  Not a social media gal or a Kickstarter guru or even as a producer. People were hiring me to ACT.

My first headshots were black and white.


Photo by Bryan Gage Photography

And then I don’t really know what happened, but with Ivan’s passing, I’ve been looking at it all with an open heart and trying to sort out my travels, my digressions, and the journey that I’ve been on.

Self-Sabotage seems to be playing a major part in my journey.  I know this. I’ve always known this, and my brand new weekly therapist knows this.  But why?   I seemed to have everything going for me: talent, intelligence, beauty, and dozens of mentors and friendly industry people willing to lend a hand, give advice, and hire me.  And one by one, much like my romantic life, I’ve systematically walked away, pushed away, pissed off, hid from, left by the wayside, until I found myself in the place I was just a year ago: letting go of all that I knew, and “guest-room” surfing in what I lovingly refer to as my #GypsyMode, including 30 amazing days in New York City and another amazing 30 days in Nashville.

I know I’m not alone in this behavior. Many artistic people have found themselves doing the self-sabotage dance.  It’s been years since I’ve read Julia Cameron’s ‘The Artist Way’, but I for sure remember a chapter or two dedicated to self-sabotage.  It comes in many forms, from surrounding yourself with those who will do the sabotaging for you, to negative thought patterns, which eventually after enough of them, will sabotage the good energy and good things that are already here or that are trying to present themselves in your life. It could even show up in the form of having a deadline for this very blog and turning it in five days late, even after promising Holly and Hels they’d have it 24 hours ago.  That, my friends, is self-sabotage.

So what do I do about this?  I am aware that I am a huge self-sabotager. I am aware that my journey to self-love has a long way to go.  I am aware that I am the only one that doesn’t truly believe in my talents, my intelligence, or my beauty.   So now what?

For me, I’ve begun spending more time at Agape, I’ve started weekly therapy sessions, and I am committed to pursuing the career I want. The bigger gigs, the film projects, the television shows, the hosting contracts, the commercial campaigns, the route that I was on not too long ago. Enough playing small, no more wasted time on dead-end projects (another form of self-sabotage) it’s time to really get back in the game.


Photo by Phoebe Parker

I also need to add more yoga, more meditation, and better nutrition.  I need to allow myself not just down time but time to celebrate the successes I have had and the strides I have made.  This Ms. In The Biz article by Kim D’eon was an eye-opener for me, her #5 tip really hit home for me.  I rarely celebrate my successes. That’s changing immediately!

How about you?  Do you have a knack for self-sabotage?  Have you found any tips and tricks you can share with me for getting rid of the sabotager within?  Please share, I could use all of the help I can get with this one.

Leah Cevoli

About Leah Cevoli

Leah Cevoli is a multi-talented entertainment professional whose work stretches across many genres. She is a rock ‘n roll enthusiast, body image activist, a certified yoga teacher, and fan of all things horror, Leah's acting credits include appearances on high profile tv shows like HBO’s "Deadwood," and voice-over on the Cartoon Network hit "Robot Chicken". Leah is a contributing writer for Ms. In The Biz and the founder of Body Image & Women’s Issues in Entertainment, a group of women who speak on panels and at conventions nationwide. Leah has a reputation for crowdfunding success and social media magic. To date, her company, has managed 50+ campaigns, and have been instrumental in raising over $5,000,000 for indie projects. Her latest projects include: the feature-length documentary "Remember The Sultana" narrated by Sean Astin, the gritty feature-length drama, "Girl Lost," distributed thru Cinema Epoch, and the light hearted comedy, "Dance Baby Dance". All three films were released in the spring of 2018.