This is an easy topic for me to write about because I’m practically perfect in every way…said no one evar (OK, it was actually true of Mary Poppins).
Have you ever stopped to take a look at the way you get in the way of yourself?
I’m not just talking about denial, or procrastination; that’s picking the low hanging fruit on the tree of self-examination.
Relax back on my couch here, and let’s talk about your childhood. Were you a middle child? The only girl among 5 brothers? Parents divorced? Ever delve into the family history?
In the popular TV show, “Who Do You Think You Are”, celebrities learn deep secrets of their ancestors. Patterns emerge. Actor Kelsey Grammer – known to have a recurring battle with alcoholism – saw precedent in the men who formed his family line.
My point is this: knowing your limits is empowering. Even if you lack the power to solve your foibles on your own, you can form a plan to counteract. The first step is being brutally, objectively honest with yourself.
My friend, and seasoned voice pro Terry Daniel, has often written about his ADHD. He knows he’s that way. He’s devised work-arounds, asks for understanding, and depends on methods (and Tracy) to help him.
Me? I’m OCD. Obsessive compulsive. If I lose something even so insignificant as a beloved fountain pen, my world stops, and the house gets turned upside down until I find it. You know the TV show “Monk”? That’s me (well, not quite as bad).
What’s yours? Can’t stand criticism? Hate messes? Perfectionist? Self-doubter? Over-confident?
Think about how that’s hampering more success in your voiceover career. I know that my OCD is almost sometimes an excuse to do something insignificant so perfectly that it takes time away from the email marketing I should be doing, or even finishing that waiting audition.
Mind you, such traits can also be strengths. Terry has tons of energy, and gets a lot done. My compulsive drive to be neat results in a good eye for composition and presentation.
Play off the strengths, mitigate the faults.
But first, be honest with yourself. Because without that objective honesty, you’re your own worst enemy.