Are you finding yourself disappointed and let down time after time by the people around you?
Are you feeling completely frustrated and stuck with the lack of progress?
Aren’t they supposed to be helping you?
When you deal with so much disappointment, I imagine it’s really easy to believe,
I’ll just do it myself!
And that can feel super overwhelming with all you need to do in your career and life.
Ultimately, I imagine you end up feeling very lonely. I know I did.
I can remember feeling like I had to do all the legwork in my career, because my agent just wasn’t booking the work I wanted. I was constantly on her, and it was exhausting. When I would book a show or commercial, it was really because of the work and relationships I had built on my own without her.
But I desperately wanted to up-level. I wanted to be seen for TV, and get seen by casting directors I didn’t know for larger projects.
That part I couldn’t do on my own.
I kept hoping the relationship would change and thought if I worked even harder, maybe it would change. Maybe if I visited the office ONE more time, or sent ONE more email, or followed up AGAIN, she would magically get me the auditions I really wanted and everything would change.
She would finally be the agent I wanted her to be.
Have you ever felt that?
So, what do you do when the people who are supposed to be helping you advance in your career are not actually making a difference?
Is it you?
Is it them?
What is actually going on, and how can you turn the situation around?
One of my private clients, Diane, came to me after leaving a career she loved. It was a messy ending, and one that left her doubting herself deeply. After taking some time to heal, she realized she wanted to be a coach and a published writer, so she started working with me.
While she was in transition in her career, she had a side hustle working in a hardware store, and all began well, as she has a great love of tools and hardware, but things soured very quickly due to dealing with one of her colleagues, Sean.
Sean was deeply disrespectful to my client, Diane. He had a never-ending supply of sexist remarks and seemed to go out his way to sabotage any ounce of teamwork in the store.
Diane was beside herself. She wanted to continue working there, but was finding it harder every day to show up because Sean was so difficult to be around. Diane deeply wanted to work WITH him, to find a way to create a team environment at the store, but every attempt was shot back with sarcasm.
Sean took over Diane’s mind. It was affecting her more important work of building her business and working on her writing.
The hardware store job was supposed to be helping her move forward, but the situation with Sean engulfed her mind, and took all her focus. She didn’t know how to let go of the situation and move on. Why was he making her so crazy?
She was exhausted and discouraged.
So, I gave her this prayer:
Just like me, you are seeking some happiness in your life.
Just like me, you are trying to avoid suffering in your life.
Just like me. you have known sadness.
Just like me, you want to be loved.
Just like me, you were once an innocent child.
Just like me, you are a spirit on a journey.
A prayer of empathy.
And something shifted.
When she began to look at Sean through an empathetic lens, she actually saw he was suffering, and she realized that a lot of his anger was also in her.
Sean was actually a mirror for Diane.
And when she had a mirror held up for what was actually alive in HER, it allowed her to release him from being the place to take out her anger. Diane actually was able to understand and take responsibility for what SHE needed in the workplace, instead of feeling like she had to FIX Sean to make it happen.
Clearly, Sean was suffering.
But, Diane couldn’t control that or change that. What this awoke in her was what she COULD do.
So, Diane started to create strong boundaries at work. She didn’t get caught up or involved in Sean’s anger and attempts to goad her on. Diane stood up for herself, and created another side gig that fulfilled her even more and paid better. She left the hardware store on HER terms, not because Sean drove her to it.
And within a year, she was published for the first time.
I came to the same place of acceptance with my agent. I realized she was doing the best she could, and she was consistent. She was never going to be the super agent I wanted or imagined her to be. And it was when I released her, I was able to place my attention where it needed to be, and I ended up working with a Broadway director doing a show I loved.
New opportunities came because I was taking ownership of my life, and making the decision to have a support system and team that was just as excited about my work as I was.
There was no convincing, just beautiful support and growth.
So, take stock.
Who in your life and career are you expecting different results from?
Are they showing up consistently?
Have you tried everything to make them better and nothing changed?
Perhaps there is a lesson here.
One of the biggest places we struggle in our human journey is letting go.
But,what if the way to let go is through seeing what you have in common?
What if the way to let go is simply compassion?
We can then release this person to have their own journey, and in releasing them, you will open up the energy to bring in incredible managers, agents, bookers, and collaborators who do the work, are trustworthy, and have your best interest at heart.
Actress Judtih Light recently spoke of what an enormous impact her manager had on her career. She credits him for her incredible success, Tony Awards, and Emmys.
Support is out there for you, and it happens when you are in a healthy relationship where both parties are in agreement and are on the same page.
It happens when you let go of what is holding you back, and open to the new.
Just like me.
We have so much more in common than differences.
And that is your ticket to freedom.
Photography: Caitlin Cannon Photography