Shatter Your Glass Ceiling
We all have those defining moments in our life. The ones you can pick out and say; ‘now that was a turning point.’ The moments where you know that if you had changed anything, your life would look completely different. Well, I had one of those moments recently. A moment where an essential stepping-stone to fulfilling my biggest dream was put in front of me and I almost let it slip by. I had not only been working at said stepping-stone for years, but had been striving towards and manifesting it everyday. I don’t think I’m alone in this, so I want to share my experience, in hopes that you don’t ever let your dreams pass you by.
For as long as I can remember, I have dreamt about moving to New York City and performing on Broadway. One of the necessary realities of that dream is becoming a member of the Actors Equity Association. At this point in my personal journey, I knew that my next step was to get my Equity card; so this year I focused on the work that would achieve that goal. One of the biggest parts of that work — audition season.
We all know that this past audition season was incredibly difficult. There were endless early mornings, meticulous planning to make every single call possible, and not even close to enough sleep. After wading through all of this, I was thrilled when I received an offer for a summer contract. And this wasn’t just any summer contract, it was for a theatre that I respected, had dreamt of working for, and was so excited to have on my resume. I was beyond happy. I got the email and immediately started jumping up and down on my bed; everything in the world suddenly seemed possible again.
Now, I do not have an agent, so as many of us are taught, I did not accept the offer outright, I wrote back and I negotiated. I asked about a few different terms- such as more money, transportation, and then I took a shot in the dark at my most important goal for the year — I asked if there was any possibility of receiving my Equity card through this contract.
They wrote back. The majority of the terms panned out as I expected, but I was surprised that they in fact DID offer me a path to finishing the contract with my Equity card. It wasn’t going to be handed to me, it was something I would have to work hard for; begin saving for right now so that I could afford it, but it was a real possibility.
Now, as I mentioned above, this was something I had been manifesting and dreaming about for a long time. I created my own “Equity card”, signed my name on it, and hung it on the vision board in my room. I looked at it every day and put into the universe that this was going to happen — I was determined to make this dream a reality. But, when the moment presented itself, I hesitated, and I don’t mean I just got a little nervous; I mean I full blown dug myself into a hole, had myself convinced I was not worthy of this opportunity, and I nearly passed it up completely.
It was crazy; I read the e-mail, and immediately my brain flooded with every single reason not to do this- rational or not. I was going into imposter mode. All of the hard work I had put in for years disappeared and meant nothing. All of a sudden I was an insecure 12 year-old again who believed she would never be good enough.
Then a theory, presented to me a few years back at an introduction to Michelle and Robert Colt ‘s ‘Inside Game’ seminar, popped into my head. It’s the theory that we all have a personal glass ceiling that defines our success. A ‘limit to how much success we believe we are worth,’ and once we reach our personal glass ceiling, we begin to subconsciously self-sabotage. It stops us from making a certain amount of money, booking certain jobs, cultivating good relationships; whatever it is for us, we self-sabotage.
I was lying in my bed, covers pulled up over my head, literally trying to dig myself into a hole, when I explained this theory out loud to my boyfriend, and then I said, “I feel like I am banging my head up against my glass ceiling. I don’t feel like I deserve this.” And then he said exactly what I needed to hear: “Well, are you going to break through the ceiling, or duck underneath it”?
In that moment I finally started thinking clearly.
I have big dreams for my life, big things I want to accomplish, but if I don’t take my life into my own hands and claim what I have worked so hard for, I will never move forward. It took a night to sleep on it, and more talking to the people I love, but I finally realized that if I let this opportunity pass by when would it come back? Would it ever come back? I had to recognize my worth and take ownership of my life; I had to break through my glass ceiling.
The personal glass ceiling is real; we put limitations on our lives. I watched myself nearly sabotage a major stepping stone to attaining dreams I’ve had since I was a little girl, simply because I decided not to believe in myself. This world is going to throw everything it’s got at you. You have to believe in the power and beauty that is you. You, exactly as you are in this very moment, because you are enough. Period. End of sentence. Everything you have inside of you in this very moment is 100% enough. Some days you instinctively know that. Some days you have to wake up and tell yourself in the mirror before you start the day. And some days, you have to tell yourself over and over again until you believe it. And even then, there are still some days when you have to look to the people you love and trust; the ones who know it and can remind you when you’ve completely forgotten how to believe it yourself.
So wherever you are, whoever you are, and what ever you are doing, you are enough, and you’ve got this. Shatter your glass ceiling and claim the life you’ve always dreamed of…
Anna Terese Stone
Anna is a bubbly, curly-haired, owl-loving girl who believes that with the power of hard work, determination and a whole lot of kindness, anything is possible. Discover more about her creative adventures.