The Performer’s Guilt Complex And How To Banish It.

I spend, the majority of my time these days, feeling guilty. It sucks. I don’t think people in normal jobs get this. Well, maybe, but not to the same extent that we do (and by we I mean performers). Not all of us suffer from this, but I’m pretty sure most of us do. 

What I’m talking about is that constant, nagging feeling that we should ALWAYS be doing something productive. We have a massive guilt complex. If we aren’t doing things that we consider productive towards our career, that wave of constant guilt can be pretty overwhelming.

 

Pay particular attention to 2…

In the type of industry that we have somehow found ourselves submerged in, contracts are often; short term, temporary, unpredictable and sometimes none existant. So obviously, in between we have to do other jobs to survive and keep us busy, and when we aren’t working these jobs, we simply can’t relax! Personally, I blame college for this. At college, we were training 8+ hours a day, 5 days a week. Being self critical became second nature to us and it became ingrained in our brains that we constantly need to work on improving ourselves and our skills (which is true, we do! But there’s a limit, we are still only human after all!). These self berating habits are ones that never left us, even though we left college. If there’s a day that I’ve eaten badly, or I spend the day just socialising or I skip the gym or class because I’m knackered, I beat myself up about it! Doesn’t matter that it’s my first day off after doing three 12 hour shifts in a row – because i’m not working on the career I want to persue, that’s just no excuse! I feel terrible for taking even one day off a week, let alone two!

And that just isn’t normal, is it? Think of the average full time worker, let’s say… an accountant! They go to work 9 – 5 (ish), maybe go to the gym, come home and relax for the rest of the evening. Repeat for four more days. Then it’s the weekend, and do you know what they do? THEY ENJOY IT! Guilt free! I mean, can you imagine??? None of this ‘I should be at home practicing my maths skills right now’, no ‘I don’t deserve to eat this pizza.’ – Nothing! They leave their job worries at the door on a Friday afternoon and collect again on Monday morning.

So how do we overcome this guilt complex??

Well, one way is to chill the fuck out. As Jess Glynn so aptly puts ‘don’t be so hard on yourself (nooo)’ …(I had to put the end bit in there because I know we all just sang that…

The other technique, is to change the way you look at it. I heard this from a friend, so I take no credit it for it whatsoever, I just think it is too awesome not to share!

Simply, make your own full time week. Here’s how; On average, people in a full time job work around 35 – 40 hours a week. Think about the hours that you work in your part time job (probably 16-25) – then, simply make up the rest of your hours with things that are advantageous to the job you REALLY want to do. Whether those hours are spent in the gym, at class, searching for new songs for your rep folder, sending endless emails, applying for jobs – whatever! As long as you deem it productive – then you’re putting in your full time hours! Yes, it is slightly more complicated than doing the same job every day, especially as hours are scattered, you couldn’t always fit it in Monday – Friday, but sticking to this method most weeks can finally mean enjoying your free time, guilt free! Go enjoy that hangover day, those coffee dates, day trips and movie nights, without that nagging feeling that you shouldn’t be there. This technique could dramatically improve your happiness and mental wellbeing, therefore your quality of life!

So why not give it a try? A guilt free life, is a good life.

P.S I’ve included a few cute pictures I’ve found that you might also like, that basically sum up all that I’ve just said. Sometimes we have to remind oursleves of this from time to time!

    

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