~~“Sherly, I got the part!” my client, Mary (not her real name), exclaimed on the phone, as
These tears were quite different from the tears of frustration she shed only a few weeks earlier while lamenting her “dying career” and how she was a “failure” and hated her life.
A few hypnotherapy sessions helped her to uncover the roots of her insecurities and fears and replace them with confidence, strength, and trust. She had faced two primary issues. One was that she didn’t believe that she deserved success. The other was an insecurity rooted in an elementary school experience, when she was belittled in front of the class. Identifying these causes and replacing them with positive and empowering traits significantly helped her approach to the audition.
This turbulent emotional journey is quite common amongst actors, singers, writers, and artists in general. I know it well through friends, clients, and my own personal experience.
Artists (including entertainers, painters, and writers), perhaps more than any other occupation, consistently place their creative hearts on their sleeves. They thrive on the highs when they succeed; everything feels like it makes sense in that victorious moment. But when they don’t, it can be utterly devastating.
Some rejections may be accepted as “part of the job.” Actors know that they won’t get every role for which they audition. However, sometimes rejection can trigger dark, deep-rooted beliefs of not being worthy or not being good enough.
Beliefs such as these are not exclusive to artists. Most people deal with them on some level. Left to their own devices, these beliefs can haunt you throughout your life. Their presence affects the fabric of various relationships and countless jobs. They wait for vulnerable moments when you feel alone, wronged, or rejected, then manifest to torment you. It can happen during relationship break-ups, financial struggles, or career setbacks (some in the media have suggested that this could have played a role in Robin Williams’ depression-fuelled suicide).
Harboring these negative beliefs robs you of your life by stealing the present moment away from you. You are not in the now; instead you become that awkward teenager, scarred by harsh words from a parent, or that unbearably shy child who was teased by peers.
Why is this happening? All of those insecurities were behind you; you had grown and evolved into a stronger and wiser person. You read all the self-help books and took self-development courses. You thought you were fine. And then something triggers your anxiety and you slip back into a confusing and emotionally painful state.
Often, events that initially create those beliefs take place during childhood. From that moment, an unconscious program begins to run continuously in your mind, much like the software in your computer. Your unconscious mind is like the hardware that stores everything. You need to learn and gain insight into your mind so that you can change, delete, or update the softwareyour beliefs.
These inner battles with insecurity exist for most of us—artist or not. On some level, we all can consider ourselves artists, trying to create the best life we possibly can.
Mary felt great when she booked that pilot, but it would only have been a matter of time before she felt depressed and unworthy again—if we had not uncovered the root cause of her insecurities and self-worth issues.
Artists are like the proverbial salmon swimming upstream; constantly going against the flow. While the world is telling them to get a real job, they remain committed to following their passion. Their belief in themselves is the strength that propels them through their upstream journey. Without it, they drown.
Do not rely on a job, career, relationship, or another’s approval for your sense of self worth. You must trust that you are worthy regardless of external situations and outcomes. Believe that you are good enough and you will be.
Sherly Sulaiman (BA, ICBCH) is a certified Clinical Hypnotherapist and NLP (Neuro – Linguistic Programming) Practitioner. She has more than 15 years of experience in the Health and Wellbeing industry. She currently resides in Los Angeles, California, and treats patients in her Santa Monica facility, New Stress Relief.