People don't like to admit it, but it's so much easier to just be...comfortable. It's almost relaxing to accept less than what you deserve in life, than to chase after the highest dream you wish to acheive without a safety net. I, for one, am guilty of this comfort seeking behavior often. Taking jobs that paid more but made me feel empty inside over comedy gigs that could have inched me closer to my true goals sooner. Not entering comedy contests because of how much losing in previous contests had affected a much younger, inexperienced version of myself from the past. If only I were willing to struggle through the initial pain of not settling: My career, my friends, my health...How different would my life look?
I settled in various facets of my life because I couldn't see the other side for myself. I couldn't see that the road to success is paved by struggle. I didn't see the value in struggle, because I didn't see the value in myself. I didn't see this current version of me beneath the surface. A few select people around me did, luckily. They got me where I needed to be in order to take the reins later on. But how much farther along would I be had I been able to see myself as clearly as they did? If I have one bit of advice to give to all up-and-coming performers it's this:
Be The FIRST To Know Your Worth.
Knowing your worth is no different than any business you invest in that turns out to be highly profitable. There's high risk initially, but the potential payoff is exponentially greater than had you chosen the safe route. Only in this case, the "safe route" is mediocrity.
Worthwhile investments don't often start out that way. Profit comes from recognizing potentential where others are consumed by doubts...or simply just betting on black because everyone else said red. High value arises from the unforseen.
Sometimes a product fails because the original audience presented with the product was the wrong target. Potential investors perhaps were not able to fully appreciate or understand what was presented to them as valuable about the product in question. But when YOU are the product? You are the resident expert on the present value and future potential of this goldmine! There should be no one vouching for the company that is "You" more than you!
You must believe in your own personal value first to achieve any sort of value-added activity for others. Believe fully in who you are, what you stand for and what you deserve in this world. Because if you don't fully believe in you, why should anybody else?
Never be afraid to invest in yourself. Love yourself. BE yourself. As your needs change, invest in the changes that need to be made to continue being the best version of you. Over and over again, until you get it right...Then do it AGAIN. The path won't be perfect, but it will be rewarding. Know yourself, then grow yourself.
Because, obviously, you are worth it! ☺