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Pushing Past Insecurities: Career, Relationships, Life

My Dad just texted me.

He congratulated me on my day of auditions yesterday. Then he told me a quote he recently came across…

 

“To succeed in life you need three things:

A wishbone

A backbone 

And a funny bone.”

Reba McEntire

 

Yesterday I had a day off  work, but as I explained here, a day off from “work,” isn’t actually a day off. It means a day for my real job. My dream. My goals. For doing what I need to do so that these days can far outnumber the days spent dealing with take out Uber drivers shoving their phones in my face…seating flocks of people who then get up and choose their own seat anyways….running my ass off delivering food to 6 hours worth of hungry people while not having three minutes to eat anything myself.

…The service industry. 

insecurities

In the morning I had a film taping for an agent showcase. I didn’t feel great about it. I felt heavy. Hopefully they got a good take but I realistically know it may have been $150 down the shooter. I don’t regret it, though. It’s another chance at being seen.

Later that afternoon I had an audition for one of the major Canadian theatre companies here in the city. Honestly, I was shocked I even got an audition. The artistic director had gotten to know me a bit through various things this past year, but not being a Union actor and not having a tonne of professional work under my belt, I wasn’t entirely sure why she brought me in. I mean, wow. It was really nice of her! I was excited and flattered that she, apparently, remembered me. I also knew it wasn’t an “I could get this part!” audition, but rather a “this is me and I want you to keep me in mind for future years when I am more established” kind of audition. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel that great about my work. I felt good going into the room, but just didn’t think I brought the right piece in. Like I didn’t present myself as I should have?? I don’t know. I now know I have a relationship with her. She knows me. I just really hope I didn’t turn this into a negative thing and screw myself over for the future. 

Then that night I had my scene study film class. I felt good about my work in my scene… so at least I felt good about one out of three things that day.

Its amazing how I can so easily flop between believing I can act, and then believing I absolutely can’t

insecurities

One of my biggest supporters/mentors in the business keeps saying…“People just need to get to know you.”

Sigh. But how do I make that happen!?

And….. who is this person they just need to get to know? I know I need to bring myself into my work and choose pieces that show the panelists who I am, but, I’m still really struggling to figure that out. 

When will people get to know me?

And when they do, will that be enough?

Will they see my talent? My desire? My dedication? Will they see something “special?” Will they want to work with me or will they just pass me off as “nice… but boring.”

 

insecurities

 

Lately, I’ve been feeling quite self conscious. 

Not just in my acting, but in who I am as a person. 

I’ve been feeling self conscious even around Dan. Like all the little things I do are weird or embarrassing. Like I always have these images of lovely mornings and planned days where everything goes perfectly. And then, nothing in the day goes according to plan and everything I tried to make a lovely experience turns into absolutely nothing like I had imagined. And then I feel responsible. Ashamed. Embarrassed

 

insecurities

 

He once held me on a pedestal. He saw me as someone with many rays of perfection surrounding her. And then as we got closer, he began to see those rays dissipate. This was hard. But it ultimately brought us to who we are today. 

Still however, there is a large part of me that wishes I was still on that pedestal and would really like to hop back on it. It’s been hard to have those images of myself shift in front of him. Like, with food. He used to see me as the “always make myself” “kombucha master” “hippy granola kale eating” goddess. And now I’m the one telling him I had a whole order of fries for dinner?! What does he think of this person that isn’t who she used to be? What do I think of this person who isn’t who she used to be!?

I fear the answer to both of these questions. 

I fear how this will affect me when we are living together and he sees all of these “secrets” of mine – how I actually live my life and how I do many things that are weird and so not perfect, or clean, or organized, or that even make any sense. I don’t do things that are story book material and often I try, but fail. 

 

insecurities

 

My insecurities in my career are there. The other day my restaurant hired yet another actor and I just found myself thinking ” dear god EVERYONE wants to do the same thing as me. This is insane.”  But they don’t stop me from doing what I’m doing. I continue to put blinders on everytime I meet yet another actor. Because they aren’t me. Just because there are a million people doing what I’m doing doesn’t mean I am not somehow unique. Somewhere inside I still know that I am special and that I have something to offer. I’m just waiting for the moment when someone else sees that, too. 

And in other areas of my life, well I can’t exactly let those insecurities and fearsstop me either, can I? I love Dan, so we are just going to have to figure out these messy bits together and I am going to have to hold on to my boots for all the times he sees me not on the pedestal that I’d like to be on. I’m going to have to learn to be okay with him seeing my real, messy, so-not-story-book self, and hope that he accepts it all. Maybe… maybe… even like it?

Insecurities: Career, Relationships, Life. How do you push past them? #vulnerability #shame #goals #dreams Click To TweetTell me,

What do you do with insecurities and self conscious thoughts?

Do you believe in perseverance? 

Was it scary for you when your partner started seeing the real sides of you you often kept hidden?

    

 

 

 

30 COMMENTS

  1. Kristy from Southern In Law | 29th Sep 17

    Oh Cora. I want to give you the biggest hugest hug. I know you don’t believe it right now but you are amazing. You are beautiful and special and unique and so incredibly talented – but you’re also just like everyone else… you know why? Because we’re all insecure. The reason so many people think they have “imposter syndrome” is because we all do. We all think that everyone else is so different than us. More confident. More beautiful. More talented. But really, they’re just the same as us – and they’re thinking the same thoughts of others.

    And I promise you, the right person will always love you, regardless of what’s happening. Warts and all ❤️
    Kristy from Southern In Law recently posted…Recent Things: Home Sweet Home!My Profile

    • Cora | 6th Oct 17

      Thank you Kristy. Its crazy how we can all feel so isolated in our feelings and yet we are all the same. I wonder why its so hard for us to see that?

  2. Susie @ Suzlyfe | 29th Sep 17

    Hugs hugs hugs.
    “People need to get to know you.” That is both a truth and an impossibility in your line of work! But I understand it–you need to continue to bring YOURSELF into your roles, and make them your own, as well as keep getting out there–they need to see the name Cora and know who that is. That just comes with auditioning, I’m afraid.
    I understand your belated insecurities–I have them directly after making a decision, but I am the opposite way when it comes to public speaking: I will go up there nervous, but then I relax into it. Every time you go up there, I want you to think less about yourself, and just let yourself go into your role. Become that person. If you are nervous being “you,” be that other person for a bit. And then re-emerge at the end to be you again to handle the technical stuff.
    One of my favorite quotes is that “You will never be right for the wrong person, but you will never be wrong for the right person.” Aka, you are you and you can’t change yourself, so be patient because the right person will love all of the “wrong” things about you. xoxox
    Susie @ Suzlyfe recently posted…Friday Catch Up + 5 Ingredient Cornbread Sweet Potato Hash Recipe (vegetarian)My Profile

    • Cora | 6th Oct 17

      You sure you don’t want to add “acting coaching” to your list of careers? You have a wise, wise mind my lady. Thank you.

  3. Dee | 29th Sep 17

    I’m getting better at noticing self conscious thoughts. I try to treat them with care. Acknowledging them, making the tie to where they stem from and letting them go. It’s not me anymore. It’s normal for the fear to creep in and try to protect me. That’s what I tell myself. I keep a journal. Some days I don’t want to write and I try not to make it an obligatory deal because I get carried away with anything too structured. The last few months especially, I have become almost a different person with food. I have been rebelling. Eating things that I NEVER dreamt I’d eat again and you know what, I feel better than ever. With a balance of course (that I found for myself because it’s something different to everyone). So that’s all fine and dandy but like you said, suddenly you’re not the person you built up in your own head anymore and what does your partner think of you now (husband in my case). I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the more free you become, the stronger your relationship will be. Because let’s face it, when we are so rigid and uptight with food, we are not really invested in our relationships and I don’t know about you but I’m sure as hell not a lot of fun to be around. I don’t want to bake a damn thing right now and I’m sure that it will come back to me some day, but for now, if I want something sweet-pass the cereal I love so dearly! Cora, I have so much time on my hands now that it’s scary. No longer am I listening, reading, cooking-filling my mind w/nutrition nonsense constantly. This is my transition point right now. It would be easy to slip back and consume myself with it all, to fill in this empty hole, but I’m trying to push forward-finding joy in new things-evolving as a person. I think that’s what it all could come down to. Just being that mature voice for ourselves now. When those thoughts come up, just letting them be and knowing it will be part of the process. Tracing the feelings and thoughts back and then just letting them go. Not getting too hung up on anything-even those seemingly “good for you” things. If that makes any sense 🙂 Sending my love and support.

    • Cora | 6th Oct 17

      Oh Deeeeeee. Thank you.

      You’ve reminded me of something hugely impactful I learned through seeing the therapist I saw for a long time – who taught me the most important things I’ve ever learned through/for my recovery. To acknowledge that your past actions were all in a means to protect yourself. They were trying to do good. So that now, we can see those thoughts and say, “I know you are trying to protect me. Thank you. But I’ve got this now.” To not be disparaging or hateful towards them/you.

      This transition phase. Thank you for saying exactly what I’m feeling. NOT spending so much time reading/focusing on food or fitness related articles and reading etc etc etc has left this major hole. This really scary hole. When I have free time, I get confused and sad because I know I don’t want to spend any of my time and energy on obsessing over food or cooking or working out etc, and yet I still get scared and unsure of how I should spend that time! It’s the hardest part of recovery. Learning to sit in that boredom? Unsureness? Emptiness? It would be SO easy to fill that hole. And sometimes I still mess up and revert to that easy route. But I know its not where my soul wants to be, so I’m constantly and slowly working that muscle to get me used to that new free space in my life. Thank you so much for all of this <3

  4. Jamie@TheMomGene | 29th Sep 17

    One thing Jody said to me after we got married was: “you have to stop thinking of yourself as the TYPE of person I love. It’s not about what you do. It’s just YOU.” This helped me so much to stop worrying about how I was changing or we were changing. I think that goes for acting too. I so feel you with this one: “dear god EVERYONE wants to do the same thing as me. This is insane.” But you are the only YOU in the mix. I love you, you hippie fry-eater ?

    • Cora | 6th Oct 17

      Jody is one good find, my dear. What a smart man. Who found an equally brilliant woman.

  5. Sarah @ Bucket List Tummy | 29th Sep 17

    We all have moments of insecurity, that is totally natural. Even some days or weeks are just insecure in general. I think it’s a normal part of growth and being uncomfortable. You are putting yourself out there with acting, trying to let people get to know you. It’s hard and scary and vulnerable. You don’t know any of the answers but yet you’re out there trying and that’s what counts. I love your last lines – Dan may love everything about you. Maybe he loves that you can order a plate of fries and not make everything from scratch. People change, and sometimes things change depending on the situation. For me, when life’s busy, I don’t cook as much. We accept it and move on. I think theses challenges will be great little lessons for your relationship. But remember how AMAZING YOU are, how you have the talent and ability to bring smiles to peoples’ faces or transform them somewhere else to that magical place/destination you are acting about. That is a magical trait!
    Sarah @ Bucket List Tummy recently posted…Friday Favorites #24My Profile

    • Cora | 6th Oct 17

      One of the articles you shared today on your Friday post really struck with me:

      “You’re doing it wrong. But at least you’re doing it. Once you’re doing it, you have a chance to do it better. Waiting for perfect means not starting”.

      You’ve said it here. I don’t know any of the answers – but I’m throwing myself into the mess and choosing to stay there. Thanks for all this Sarah – really means a lot.

  6. Colleen | 29th Sep 17

    Cora, you know that I am a klutz. Truly. I was once in a play where I had to be on a pedestal for a period of time. It was one of my worst times on stage. I was so inhibited in movement, afraid of falling, preoccupied with keeping my balance, unable to interact with the others. It was a relief when I could descend (with a steadying hand from a friend) and move, dance, sing, trip, and scratch where it itched. But that’s just me. Hugs, ck

    • Cora | 30th Sep 17

      You are the wisest. I needed this.

      Thanks, Colleen. <3

  7. Casey the College Celiac | 29th Sep 17

    Girl, I can relate SO MUCH. It’s scary and embarrassing and nerve-wracking to let people in and let them really see all sides of you. But you know what they say…the people who care don’t matter and the people who matter don’t care! <3
    Casey the College Celiac recently posted…Want to Find the Best Gluten Free Diet for You? Read This FirstMy Profile

    • Cora | 6th Oct 17

      True words, whoever came up with them. Hard to trust sometimes.. but we just have to.

  8. Joyce @ The Hungry Caterpillar | 30th Sep 17

    I’ve never seen you act, but I have seen you blog, and I know you do that very well.
    Your determination in this competitive field that makes you put yourself out there in such vulnerable ways is amazing to me. As I creative writer, all I have to do is load a draft through Submittable and hope for the best.
    That said, I can totally relate to what you’re saying of the ups and downs in confidence. Within a space of an hour or two, I can go from thinking I’m a brilliant writer to thinking I’m a total poser and never deserved my degree–or vice versa. I still feel really gross about my thesis, and the fact that parts of it were polished, but parts of it were really rough. It literally makes my heartrate speed up with embarrassment whenever I think about it–even though my advisor said it was okay with her to have unpolished work in the thesis.
    And my teaching. Don’t get me started on how insecure my students make me feel about myself. My students make me feel more vulnerable than any of my own teachers ever did!
    I love the Reba McEntire quote. Thanks for sharing it with us.
    Joyce @ The Hungry Caterpillar recently posted…WIAW: IBS, Eating & ExerciseMy Profile

    • Cora | 6th Oct 17

      Haha – “seen” me blog. Sounds like a dance move.

      Whether its your teaching or writing or my acting, we have the exact same feelings. It doesn’t matter the context. It helps me to read that you deal with this too. As, from an outsider, I could say all the exact same things back to you. Your writing astounds me – though I’ve never read your thesis. And putting your words out there, on paper, is just as vulnerable. And teaching – oh gosh. How interesting is that! I would be so scared and self conscious infront of students. Probably why I get too scared to take on many teaching gigs. Of course I wish we didn’t have these insecurities, but this really helped to read, Joyce. Thank you. Plus, I guess a life without any of these feelings would be one where we aren’t constantly striving for our dreams, ya?

  9. danielle | 30th Sep 17

    you are incredible!!! seriously. you are so much stronger than you even realize.. i know that it may sound redundant or cliche or whatever considering do i really know you? I DO!!! i may not be there or be in your head or living your life, but i know what it feels like to not be able to cope with life just by letting things go. coping skills, what are those??? i love when they say, “just take a bath… etc”
    anyhow, you are amazing. the fact that you are scared and still being open and honest means that you are a true warrior. true courage is feeling the fear and doing it anyway.
    i’ll be honest. i hid behind my ED for so many years and didn’t allow myself a true relationship till i met my husband at 35 yrs old. all the other relationships were fake in a way because i hid my ED and then i felt like i could just detach from them anytime because i still had my ED.
    i could go on and on and on… but really. that pedestal is not a real pedestal if you aren’t taking care of yourself or had/have an ED. the true pedestal is when you are being exactly how you are being. real.
    remember, you are all those things that Dan loves, and even more. that’s the best part. he has even more reasons to love you. you are all those things he fell in love with, but there are still things you are learning about yourself which you can learn together. your relationship will only get stronger. people are never ‘one way’ all the time anyway so don’t even worry about that.
    i get it though, my first boyfriend had me on a pedestal and when i tried to open up it scared him and it scared me too much to stay. i left a great guy because i was so embarrassed about the truth. don’t do that. the truth and vulnerability are beautiful. just. like.you.

    • Cora | 6th Oct 17

      …ha. I feel like you “know” me better than most people, Danielle…

      Its hard to believe that “being exactly who you are” is still going to be someone that your person loves. Or that people continue to love throughout change. But I guess, if it changes things, then they aren’t your real person, are they?

      Learning these things together is something that both completely TERRIFIES me and really, really excites me. I’m embarrassed about the truth. But I’m not going to let it scare me away this time. I’m staying right in the middle of the sludge and mess. Thank you <3

  10. Alyssa | 1st Oct 17

    going to bed with a dream… waking up with a purpose. I love that. Also your dad’s quote is everything. don’t hide the truth either love… vulnerability and authenticity are key. let your truth bring you two closer!
    Alyssa recently posted…Monday ThoughtsMy Profile

    • Cora | 6th Oct 17

      That’s one of my new favorite quotes, I think.

      Letting the truth bring you closer to others is so terrifying. Yet equally beautiful, isn’t it?

  11. Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets | 1st Oct 17

    The feelings you are having are all perfectly normal for your present stage in life. The trick is not to let the negatives take over and hold you back, and you’re doing that part splendidly. One day, you will find your confidence growing more and more to the point where you can hardly remember all these doubts. With age comes confidence and the ability to not care about the rest.

    And sharing the messy bits with your partner is really the good stuff. Try it and you’ll see. Remember he has messy bits too and you’ll probably fall in love with those as well.
    Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets recently posted…Week in Review: The San Diego Edition (#101)My Profile

    • Cora | 6th Oct 17

      Not holding back. Trudging straight through the sludge and awkwardness and discomfort and newness. Right in the thick of it with my gum boots on.

      Dan definitely has his messy bits. And yes, as many make me itch, they also have a weird way of making me swoon 🙂

  12. Naomi @ Naomi Why: Roots | 1st Oct 17

    Hugs to you. We’re always changing, and I think that might be part of why we feel insecure sometimes. Like, I thought I had myself figured out, what’s going on? Keep moving forward through the change, like I know you will. <3
    Naomi @ Naomi Why: Roots recently posted…getting in the groove + eats lately + life thingsMy Profile

    • Cora | 6th Oct 17

      Well said! We are ALWAYS changing. Whether we like it or see it coming or not. Throws us for a loop that’s for sure.

  13. Week In Review: Career Guilt, Buckling Down and... Glitter | 1st Oct 17

    […] week I had a big audition as well as a tape screening – which I mentioned – and I felt really awful about both of them. I felt supreme guilt for having made […]

  14. chasetheredgrape | 1st Oct 17

    We all go though this my love, no matter what profession we choose as a career. The difference is hardly anyone talks about it so we feel so alone. You are the superstar that puts those feelings out there and makes us breathe, well, a big sigh of relief! Someone else feels this way! It may not fix things but it sure makes me feel better knowing I am not alone in this.
    And remember, when you move in with Dan you are going to have to see all his little quirks too! We all bring our good and bad traits to the table when we move in with someone. But if I had one piece of advice for you it would be not to presume what Dan will think or feel. I used to do that with David and it made me so unhappy. But when we actually talked about it and I stopped presuming I realised how far off from reality I actually was.

    • Cora | 6th Oct 17

      As much as we don’t “want” others to have those hard feelings, it does really help to know we all have them… doesn’t it? Especially with inner insecurities.

      I need to really be aware when I am making assumptions about what Dan will think/feel. I think I do it so automatically I don’t even realize it. From the past I now I’ve learned that we both “mind read” and are both very very bad at it. Open communication is the key.

  15. danielle | 6th Oct 17

    I know I already commented but had to share a new exercise I just started using and loving to help with worries. First, write down all the ‘Don’t Want’s and Fears’ then read through them. Write down all of them, all those darn pesky fears. Put em down on paper! Face em in ink! Then, right after you finished writing down ALL of your fears and Don’t Want’s, get a new paper and make a new list of Want’s and write down EVERYTHING you want. You can go down your fear list, and write down your corresponding want. For example, I wrote down I don’t want stress – so on my Want List, I wrote down, I want Peace!!! and so forth. This exercise has helped me in radical ways I can’t even explain. To face each day, each week with acknowledging all my fears and then immediately saying what I want to replace them and what I actually want instead of all my fears has helped me to see that I really do WANT a lot of things and it’s great to know what you don’t want. And it’s even better to know what you DO want. every moment of the day when I have a chance to sit there and think I’ll go down my wants list… whenever I’m feeling uncomfortable or anxious I’ll state my fears then immediately state my wants. It’s OK to admit and release those pesky fears. It is actually so freeing. xx

    • Cora | 6th Oct 17

      It is freeing. I think it harms us even more than the fears themselves when we push them down and try to pretend like we don’t have them.

      You know what I love about thinking about all my wants and dreams? It inspires HOPE and excitement! Sometimes this makes me sad because it just makes me think of all the things I “don’t have yet” and want so badly…. but the excitement I get in just dreaming about them – and then the planning what I need to do to FREAKING GET THEM – is worth everything. It is the best feeling. Hope. Optimism. Dreaming.

  16. Kaylee | 27th Oct 17

    Oh Cora. I’m so sorry that this is such a late reply. My heart was hurting for you as I was reading this. I wish I had advice on handling insecurities. But honestly my coping mechanism around my own insecurities hasn’t been the best (i.e. eating disorder). I think we have to constantly remind ourselves that we are way more than these tangible these in our lives. And you for one are incredible. I don’t think I would be where I am right now in my recovery if it wasn’t for you.
    On the Dan stuff, have you talked to him about your recent insecurities in your relationship? I think insecurities best thrive in secret. *Insert every possibly Brene Brown quote about vulnerability here*

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