We all face mental blocks both in our personal and professional lives. We develop coping mechanisms to work through or avoid them, but inevitably, we end up facing a few that leave us frustrated and without an answer. What can you do when your initial efforts to overcome it aren't working?
Mental hurdling should be an olympic sport! Once we learn to make it over something that was tripping us up, we feel empowered and encouraged. Looking back on the situation, we frequently think the answer was so simple. But putting mind over matter is one of the most challenging obstacles the creative mind faces.
A recent fall left me with several broken vertebrae and a traumatized perspective of the passtime that invited the injury. Now that my body has healed enough to get back up on a horse again, I find myself facing a mental block with a seemingly simple activity I was practicing when I got hurt. Logically, it seems so elementary, but the fact of the matter is that when my mind tells my body to do it, my muscle memory takes over and I am unable to follow my mind's direction. While replaying my inability repeatedly, I realized the physical circumstance is very similar to the talent facing a professional trauma.
After you've had a negative experience as a model or actor -- be it on set, in the casting room, or while networking in a social setting -- it can be scary to revisit that place or to see that person. The first thing one has to do when overcoming a physical or emotional trauma, is to acknowledge it's presence and power.
The second step is to practice facing the trauma in a safe environment. If your negative experience happened in the casting room with a specific director or casting director, reenact the audition with a friend (and have them play the other person's role as you experienced it). If you did not like your response to the circumstances, change it. Practice a new and better response. Then practice a positive ending, instead. Continue to heal by practicing the same positive choices with a different director or CD.
A third option would be to work with someone who you trust to help you grow through the trauma. A coach might be a good person to get advice or feedback from. Keep in mind that mental and emotional hurdles aren't something that can be fixed in a single try. You may have to revisit the coach multiple times to feel you've achieved success!
Training my muscle memory to do the right thing will take time; it will also frustrate me in the interim. Persistence and patience are the keys to overcoming and retraining our muscles to follow our brain. What techniques do you find most effective to overcome mental and emotional hurdles?