How do you persevere when faced with challenges?

I’ve never been into sports but agreed to go to the archery range with my friends in the Poconos. “It’ll be fun!” they said. In the span of an hour, most of my arrows fell to the ground or stuck to the far corners of the target.

The photo captures my proudest moment when I got two arrows sort of close to the bullseye. Nothing landed right in the center so I certainly didn’t master archery. But I tried. And I improved. And I got more comfortable and confident as time went on.

The whole experience reminded me of most things I find challenging in life. Initially, I am nervous. Will I do it right? Will I get hurt? Will I hurt anyone else? Then I get guidance or coaching. In the Poconos, one archery friend said I would shoot better if I raised my elbow. The other suggested positioning my feet differently. Someone else said I should close my left eye.

My brain struggled to implement all those tips at once so then I missed a bunch of shots in a row. I was overthinking.

But then I took a breath, centered myself, and finally, things clicked. Don’t I look happy in that photo?

I’m glad I stayed in the game, even when things got uncomfortable and difficult. I kept showing up even though I was tempted to put down the bow and arrows. I’m reminded of that old ad slogan on the lottery commercials, “You gotta be in it to win it.”

It’s the same with auditioning. It’s a “necessary evil” of voiceover work even when it takes time away from other things we might rather or might need to do. I know and accept that auditioning IS part of the job of a voice actor. I’ve got to get my voice recorded if I want to be in the running for certain jobs. I keep stepping up to the microphone, wearing my metaphorical Katniss Everdeen pouch, so I can have a shot at work that I love to do.

Isn’t that the way with all careers and any important undertaking? I think about my earliest days doing voiceover work. Ooof, some of my early missteps were cringeworthy but it was all part of the journey that got me to where I am today.

We all get overwhelmed and overloaded sometimes. We focus so much on that big bullseye goal that we don’t always think of the mechanics or the process of what we’re trying to do. We know where we want to end up, but we don’t always stop to think about how we have to adjust our stance, practice our craft, or take care of all of the parts that aren’t as much fun. We forget that we can take a breath, center ourselves, and keep working toward where we want to be.

What’s your best tip for persevering when things get tough or when you get too much “in your head.”