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Trapped In Negative, Self-Limiting Thoughts? How
To Remove Them, For The Life You Want - Today!

By Emily Maguire
Voice Actor and Life & Business Coach

In Part 1 of this series we explored how and why our voice over performances can be inhibited and blocked by a number of self-limiting beliefs.

For example, those beliefs can lead to negative thinking that causes the body to tense up at the neck and throat, resulting in poor performance.

Today we share how to remove that negativity to empower you to present the best possible version of yourself in work and in life.


One thing that can be done to help increase a person's sense of well-being and increase self-worth is called 360 Feedback.

It's used in business coaching but can be easily adapted and applied to performers.

Simply approach close friends and family and ask them to tell you one thing they think is amazing about you as a person on the inside and on the outside.

Here's a video here that explains it further. Note: The video is aimed at body image but can easily be applied to other areas ...

The comments you get in this 360 Feedback may surprise you and contain things you had not previously considered about yourself.

And they're great to keep with you as texts to read every day to remind you that even if you are not matching the speed of your peers, it is nothing about you as an individual.

This can help increase your sense of self-worth and confidence, and allow you to look at yourself more objectively. For instance, perhaps now you just need more skill sets to achieve your goals, as opposed to there being "something wrong" with you personally.


Criticism should be constructive.

But if someone simply criticizes your work, stay confident and ask why they have given negative feedback. Tell them how it makes you feel. They may surprise you with a constructive response.

By confidently questioning those people, you in turn help them to become better communicators.

Stand up to non-constructive criticism. Do not absorb it. Criticism should always be constructive; otherwise how can change take place?


This leads us into NLP, or neuro-linguistic programming. Broken down:
  • Neuro is about a person's thought process,
  • Linguistic is about a person's language structure, and
  • Programming looks at patterns in a person's actions and learning to be in more control of them.
So, to summarise, NLP is a focus on a person's, thoughts, words and actions. It's about learning the language of the brain. Our thoughts affect who we are and how we feel, which in turn controls how to react to a situation.

Through NLP coaching you will learn new ways to communicate and process your thoughts, so that your actions become the ones you want, rather than feeling out of control and a slave to the world around you.

Instead of being reactive to your environment, you will become proactive.


Now let us return to the 360 feedback comments you got earlier, as these can now be used to form affirmations.

These affirmations can be said every morning, for instance, in front of a mirror, and eventually, you will retrain your brain to believe what you are saying.

You will let go of past injuries and restrictions. With renewed confidence, you will start to look at work more impartially and judge the work you do better - and in turn, increase your productively and performance due to having more energy.

Retraining our brain and learning to think differently about ourselves can enable us to feel and act differently in our interactions with the world around us.


So, back to self-talk.

Stop self-blame and pity and thinking "I am useless," which makes you feel unempowered.

When those thoughts arise, challenge yourself and reply, "I am not useless, I am useful."

Tell yourself that you have potential and that by trying, you will grow, learn, and create a path to success.

Instead of doing nothing, do something! Remember that a problem, is not a problem: it's is a solution waiting to be solved.

Challenging ourselves is not just about physical challenges or mental. It's about challenging our preconceptions of others and ourselves.

If you think negatively about yourself, challenge why you feel this way and the reason behind it. Sometimes, the only limits are the restrictions we place on our sense of self.


What can we do every day to ease some of the stresses we carry from the past along with recent stressful events?

Meditation is great for balancing emotional blocks and increasing creativity, which is key for all entertainers. It can help you make grounded decisions and connect with your inner self.

And meditation does not have to be full-on. It can be as simple as introducing a 10-minute breathing ritual before starting the day's recording.

These warmup techniques will help to reduce the stress on your throat, neck and shoulders.
With your eyes closed, scan your body and recognise how you sit or stand, find your centre of gravity, shake out your neck and shoulders, recognise how a slight shift in posture creates a better feeling. This will help you breathe better and increase your vocal performance.

Try some breathing exercises before you start a day of recording. Again, close your eyes and place one hand on your stomach and one on your back - and then breathe in a REALLY deep breath. Hold it for as long as you possibly can. The longer the better, and then release, and with it release all your tension and negative energy. Imagine you are the big bad wolf blowing the house down, really let go.

Buddhist's believe in cause and effect. That what we give out, we get back. That we can become trapped in a cyclic existence constantly doing the wrong thing or trapping ourselves in a pattern of negativity.

By identifying the reasons behind our entrapment, the blocks are released.

It is as important to nurture ourselves as it is to nurture others. Overall, remember to be patient with yourself and kind to yourself and others, and remember that asking for help is not a weakness. It is a strength!

You are the captain of your ship. Empower yourself and take your life where you want it to go.

Take the leap: what is the worst that could happen? If the worst does happen is it really the end of the world?

Now is the time to set yourself weekly challenges and reward yourself for achieving them.

Start working towards the life you want - today!
Emily Maguire is an experienced Life and Business Coach with 20+ years of business management and mentoring experience. She is a member of The British Psychology Society (BPS) with a degree in Psychology, and a MAC member of the Association for Coaching. Qualified to Level 5 in Professional Coaching & Mentoring by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM), and holding a Life Coaching Diploma, she specialises in Business Coaching, Career Coaching, Coaching for Performers, Executive Coaching, Mindfulness Coaching and Spiritual Coaching. ​Working as a Talent Manager for over 10 years as the Managing Director of 'Reflections Talent Agency' and as a performer for over 20 years, she has a wealth of industry knowledge and can help guide entertainers to unlock their full potential. ​

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Comments (1)
Jim Conlan
7/3/2020 at 10:12 AM
This is such an interesting perspective. Of course, it can apply to any activity, any profession, and some psychological work comes with the job of VO coaching. But it's nice to know there's an actual professional out there who is both a life coach and a VO coach.
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