As you know, building an acting career requires a great deal of your resources – a lot of time, energy, and money.
As you also know, your resources are limited. Very often, the actors who are moving forward are the ones staying focused on what they want to achieve and making wise choices about how they use their resources.
In other words they are “putting their own agenda first.”
Putting your own agenda first always requires saying “no” to certain requests and opportunities that come your way.
But you’d be surprised by how many people waste their resources by doing things they don’t really want to do simply because they feel awkward and guilty about the act of telling someone “no.” Although I can’t help you get over the “guilt” part in one little blog post, I can certainly help you with the “awkward” part.
First, remember that rarely are you in a situation where you have to make a decision on the spot. You can always say, “Let me think about that and I promise to get back to you tomorrow” (or whenever.)
With that response is you are showing the other person the courtesy of at least considering their offer. That’s cool of you.
Now, remember what I said in the last post: the excuse that “you don’t have the time” just doesn’t hold water any more because nobody has any time these days! You aren’t any worse off than the person who is making the request so they won’t feel sorry for you. And since they don’t accept that excuse, they will continue asking and tweaking their request until they wear you down and you say “yes.”
Because THEY are putting THEIR agenda first – and it’s easier to try to get you to say “yes” than it is to go off and find someone else to ask.
So how do you say “no” in a way that will stick? I’ll share that in part 2…