Editor’s note: I’m Kris Wolfe, but the following article is by movie actor, Chris Wolfe. You probably know him from last year’s “Sharknado,” but the best is yet to come for this fellow Wolfe. Follow him on Twitter (@CWolfeman) and Instagram (8Wolfeman).
As an actor, I deal with rejection and doubt many times a week. For years I have struggled with insecurity and self-doubt. One person even called me the most insecure person he’d ever met. Negative thoughts plagued me, but I didn’t recognize them as “negative” at the time, but as “reality”. I hated being alone in my thoughts, so I would distract myself by drinking too much, eating too much, and dating too much.
What I have realized is that I need to die to myself. I need to die to the part of me that is creating all of this noise: my ego.
One of the more confusing things Jesus said is, “you must lose yourself to find yourself”. I think He meant dying to our egos, or what we hold most tightly. If we really want to live, we must die. There is a part in all of us that holds us back. You can call it ego, sin, the dark side, but whatever you call it, there is something within all of us that is hurtful, not helpful. By dying to that part of ourselves, we become free to fully live.
For example, I want to make a difference in this world because I feel alive when I help others. But, I also want to make a difference in this world because I will feel important and significant. The first is healthy. The second, not-so-healthy.
Dying to myself means eliminating my “needs” so that I can pursue what I WANT.
It’s like a golf swing. I want to win. But if I feel this need to win, I will most likely white-knuckle the golf club by gripping it too tight, and will lose all accuracy and ability. If I relax my grip, I free my body to be the best that it can be and I’ll have a better chance of winning.
Actor/Director Jack Plotnick has phrases he uses that help combat these negative voices. By repeating these phrases I remove unnecessary pressure and am able to operate and perform to the best of my ability. To me, it’s a tangible way to “die” to my self.
Here are some examples of how to get your negative voice to shut up:
In a job interview
Negative voice: You’re not good enough for this job, you’re not going to get it.
My response: I release and destroy my need to be ‘good enough.’ I release and destroy my need to get this job.
When I’m trying to make an impression
Negative voice.: They’re not going to like you.
Me: I release and destroy my need to impress him/ her. I have permission to not like them.
Negative voice.: You could be so much better than you are, you didn’t do that in the right way, there are so many people who are better than you.
Me: I release and destroy my need to be the best. I release and destroy my need to be perfect and successful in the eyes of others. To do things a certain way.
When a situation is overwhelming to me
Negative voice: you can’t handle this, this is too much for you, you won’t be able to do this.
Me: I release and destroy my need to control this situation. I know I’m not strong enough to control it so I ask my Higher Power to lovingly guide me through it.
I release and destroy my attachment to results. I am here to enjoy the journey.
These phrases aren’t magic but they can be surprisingly powerful tools in helping us live life to the fullest.
Listen to yourself. What is dominating your thoughts? What is your negative voice saying to you? Write your own phrases down and begin to repeat them to yourself.
I dare you to try it and see what happens.
Give up yourself, and you will find your real self.
You will never make a good impression on other people until you stop worrying about what sort of impression you are making. Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original. If you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.
“A soldier surrounded by enemies, if he is to cut his way out, needs to combine a strong desire for living with a strange carelessness about dying. He must not merely cling to life, for then he will be a coward, and will not escape. He must not merely wait for death, for then he will be a suicide, and will not escape. He must seek his life in a spirit of furious indifference to it; he must desire life like water and yet drink death like wine.” G.K. Chesterton