5 Pieces of Advice I’d Give My Younger Self

Summer always brings around a lot of reflection for me. I’m filled with gratitude and joy for where my journey has brought me as an actor and life-coach. But it hasn't always been easy and sometimes mistakes provide the best lessons. When I think about the obstacles I dealt with in my younger years, I wish I had received this advice. 


Get your finances in order

Cut up your credit cards right now! You don’t need them and your credit score doesn’t matter as much as you think. Immediately, enroll in some sort of financial program to get clarity on your finances. There are some amazing programs including Debtors Anonymous, the Actors Fund, or even Suze Orman’s “The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous, & Broke.” If you can get clarity on your finances now, you’re going to discover that you are worth a lot more than you think.


There’s no rush

You can do it all, but you just can’t do it all right now! Get really clear in this moment about what it is you truly want. Sure, I know all you want to be the best of the best of your craft, but in what capacity? Get specific and then start enjoying the journey. Focus on one goal at a time. With focus and structure comes freedom, and people will be drawn to your carefree, process-oriented energy. Also, you’re going to find a spouse, so stop searching so hard.


Keep studying

I know, you just finished four years of school and you think that’s all you need. I’m here to tell you that you need more training. You can’t tell an athlete to stop training, or a ballet dancer to stop taking class, why would you think that a four-year college degree was all you needed? If I would suggest anything to you, start with an online course, coach or peer support group. There are accountability groups for writers, improv classes, songwriter workshops and so much more. You have a voice inside you that needs training and it your job to give the tools to express itself. Also, study something that has nothing to do with your craft at all. Suggestion: Read Walt Disney’s biography.


Stop hiding

Risk failing! You seriously have nothing to lose by showing people—including professionals—all of who you are. You don’t need to hide behind alcohol, or shy away from your sexuality anymore. Try watching a little Brené Brown's TED talk about vulnerability and challenge yourself to unapologetically own who you are in every situation. If you find it’s too hard to do, get help. Find a community in a 12-step program. Start exercising your emotional health with a therapist, read books by people have been through it before, or reach out to a loved one to work through the blocks that are preventing you from authentically being you.


Who are you doing it for? 

Your family may never understand your dreams, and that’s okay. Not everyone is going to like you, and that’s okay too. In fact, if everyone likes you, you aren’t working hard enough. Your job is merely to invite people to decide whether they want to take part in your journey. Stop holding yourself back from going after what is rightfully yours because you’re afraid other people may not like it. What other people think of you is none of your business, and that includes your family. Remember, the best way to teach others is through your example. If you want your family and everyone around you to find true happiness, find what makes YOU truly happy. Suggestion: Start with gratitude!


Come and join the BroadwayLife Community Facebook group, that's where all of us meet to help instill new habits. We talk about new habits, good ones. We create ways for all of us to continue to move forward as leaders in whatever respected industry we go. Join us here at BroadwayLife Community Facebook Group if you need help committing to your decisions and meet our community of artists that are more than willing to listen and lend a hand.

P.S. If you’re looking for even more FREE information visit my Youtube channel, Bret Shuford subscribe and don’t forget to click on the notifications button so you don’t miss my weekly videos.

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