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If Your Life Is On Overload, Giving Up
'Old Baggage' Frees You To Move On
December 8, 2015

By Paul Strikwerda
Voice Actor

This year I stopped running after every audition or hoping for that big break.

I gave up my relentless quest for clients, and allowed clients to come to me.

I quit writing long emails to people who were asking me for the secret formula to overnight success.

I relinquished my desire to have a constant social media presence.

I said "no” to most requests for interviews, guest posts, and Twitter chats; I even took a few weeks off from blogging, just because I felt like it.

I stayed away from most voice over gatherings, online and offline.

I did not drool over the latest and greatest gear (well, just a little bit).

I gave myself permission to not be available all the time.

Instead of in the studio, I began most of my days in the gym, gaining strength, and losing weight.

I separated my personal from my professional life, and decided that who I am, is more than what I do.

This year, I gave up the control I never had in the first place, and I replaced most of my "should's” and "must's”  with "I choose to,” and "I’m going for it.”


And you know what? Things turned out pretty okay. My business survived. I survived. I feel less taxed, and more relaxed.

Here’s what I have learned: Giving up is not so bad. 

Sometimes the old has to go, in order to make room for the new. The junk we leave in the attic, and the trinkets we hang on to in the basement, It can all go. Really. Life is lighter without it. 

Many of us walk around with old stuff that isn’t necessarily our stuff. It’s stuff other people left behind. Baggage. Thoughts. Habits. Beliefs. Even objects. Things that no longer serve a purpose. It weighs us down.

And when all of it is gone, we can move on. Because we have reclaimed a space in our lives that is waiting to be filled with excitement and anticipation.

Take it from me: We sometimes need to lose part of who we were, in order to discover who we are. There is much to gain from giving up.
Paul Strikwerda is a 25-year veteran of the voice over industry whose Nethervoice service features German and Dutch voice overs, translation and evaluation services. Born in Holland, he has worked for Dutch national and international radio, the BBC and American Public Radio. Although 90% of his work is in English, Strikwerda also records in Dutch, German and French. Clients include Novartis, Johnson & Johnson, and the Discovery Channel. And he is author of the new book, Making MONEY In Your PJs: Freelancing for voice-overs and other solopreneurs, and publishes an informative and entertaining blog, Double Dutch.

Double Dutch Blog:

Making MONEY In Your PJs:

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Comments (4)
12/14/2015 at 5:26 PM
That was an excellent article and I will take it to heart! Happy holidays!
12/8/2015 at 1:17 PM
Here is an apt reminder combining a saying (indirectly) from Chuck Duran - that we ARE before we DO.
Jennifer Dixon
12/8/2015 at 11:13 AM
As we get older, some of us gain a better perspective of who we are and where we stand in this life and in general "get over ourselves," as they say. And letting go of all that tattered old baggage is so invigorating. As usual, enjoyed your perspective. Thanks, Paul. I've missed your blog.
12/8/2015 at 11:05 AM
Thanks, Paul, well said. Congratulations on a cleaner, leaner, meaner you.
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