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Got ANTs? Spray Those 'Automatic
Negative Thoughts' With Blasts of PPT
By James Alburger & Penny Abshire
Voice Actors & Coaches, VoiceActing Academy
Co-Producers, VOICE 2010
Are ANTs bugging you? Does it feel like they’re taking over your life?
We're not referring to pesky critters that ruin picnics and routinely invade our homes. This pest is Automatic Negative Thoughts.
ANTs are the thoughts that immediately pop into your brain whenever you want to try something new, take a chance, go on an adventure, talk to a stranger, ask for directions, demand a refund, ask for advice or ask a question, ask for more money, or ask for the job, etc.
It happens whenever you step out of your comfort zone in any way, and the list can be endless
It’s anytime you make an unconscious decision to let a negative thought win out over a positive one.
So how do we get rid of the ANTs in our minds? The same way you get rid of those nasty little insects in your house ... 

You can spray them with PPT - Powerful Positive Thoughts.
For instance, when the first thought in your head is something like,
“Oh! I can’t ask that question. The producer will think I’m stupid!”
Then, the ANT is winning.
Try this thought instead:
“I am a professional, and professionals ask questions. Only amateurs assume they know everything.”
How 'bout this one ...
“I’d really like to submit this audition, but why should I even try? Someone else will get it anyway.”
There’s that ANT again! So try:
“Every audition I submit brings me closer to the producer who’s looking for me.”
“I can’t ask for union scale for this VO job ... I’m just a beginner.”
“No one knows that I am a beginner unless I tell them. I know I can do a great job on this project, and I should receive appropriate pay.”
If every time you want to try something new you hear negative thoughts first, it’s evidence that you’ve programmed your brain to react in this manner.
Even if you had (or have) someone very negative in your life, it’s still your brain that’s doing the programming.
So take responsibility! You and you alone are in control of your thoughts. If you’ve programmed your mind to immediately embrace the negative thought in a situation, you can certainly RE-program it to follow another, more productive path.
It’s really ALL about programming, and only YOU can do it.
If you’re thinking about attending VOICE 2010, the huge voice-over industry conference in Los Angeles next June 2-5, don’t let the ANTs keep you away.
Oh, they’ll try, with negative thoughts like,
“I can’t afford it.” ... “Everyone there will be more accomplished or more successful than me.” ... "I'm not good enough to hob-knob with the pros.”
You may have to spray them pretty aggressively with PPT, but with some concentrated effort you can eradicate these little "buggers" and make your way to one of the best experiences you’ll have in your VO career.
Remember: There are NO limitations except those you place on yourself!
James Alburger and Penny Abshire are voice actors, producers, and the founders and directors of the VoiceActing Academy. Two of the nation's top voice-over coaches, they offer workshops and training by phone and in-person at their San Diego studio. The winner of 11 Emmy Awards, Alburger is author of the best-seller, The Art of Voice Acting. Abshire is author of Demo & Marketing Magic for Actors. They are also co-producers of VOICE 2010, the largest voice-over industry gathering next year, slated for June 2-5 in Los Angeles.
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