Are You Doing Too Much?

Years ago I had an acting teacher give me some really wonderful direction.  This teacher also coached Nicole Kidman on her Oscar performance, so I took his advice to heart.

He said, “Erin, here’s the thing. It’s likely that every character you ever play will come across as intelligent. Because you are grounded in your body, and the fact that you yourself are wise, a sense of intelligence will always be pulsing through your characters. It will be hard to turn this quality off.”

Now, he wasn’t implying that I was some kind of intellectual genius, because certainly I am not. He was simply pointing out that part of my essence, or what comes across naturally, is that I have my wits about me.

But here’s the interesting part.

He continued and said, “Therefore, if when prepping for a part, you try to “play” intelligent, or you try too hard to make the character seem smart, it will be too much. You will be pushing and it will look like over-acting. And over-acting is just bad. Don’t push the smarts. Just trust that this quality will simply always be present.”

Just trust that this quality will simply always be present? Wow. 

The reason I loved this advice is because I think it applies to our lives.

There are qualities that are inherent in all of us.  And when we forget what those are, we end up pushing or forcing something that does not need pushing. 

We do too much. 

We get insecure. 

We doubt ourselves, and when in doubt we do a whole lot of extra “stuff” that we don’t need to do. 

Let’s take love, for instance.

I’m quite certain, that without you making any adjustment in this moment, you are fully ready to both give and receive love.

Without doing a single darn thing, your soul is constantly and quite beautifully sending out a signal that says, “Hey, people, I’m over here. I’m ready. Let’s do this. I’m a love machine.”

This means you have to trust in life. You have permission to stop TRYING to get people to like you. Men, women or otherwise.

And you don’t have to constantly try to prove to others that you love them, either.

Trust that there is this give and take of love pulsing through you, and that your soul is always working on making beautiful, natural connections that will allow you to both give and receive that love. 

In addition, I am quite certain that your body longs to be healthy and whole.

This means you can stop beating yourself up and telling yourself that you really need to get your shit together. 

Without you pushing yourself, your body and mind are searching for ways to be healthy and will keep looking until you find it. Can you trust your body enough to find the solutions? Can you trust in life to flow through you?

You have a natural desire to grow and expand. This applies to learning, growing your business or simply becoming a better person.

This longing to become ‘more’ is pulsing though you, even as you sleep.

So, if you are trying too hard to make yourself into a better person and you spend all your time on self-improvement programs, tools, etc. it will feel exhausting.

Can you relax and trust that you will learn what you need to learn when the time is right?

Now, I want to be really clear.  I am not saying that you should sit on the couch all day and eat bonbons (who really eats bonbons anyway, and do they even exist anymore?!).

I’m also not saying you shouldn’t take any action around love, your body or your growth. In fact, I want you to take action. I want you to take massive action.

But before you do!  Take the time to get in alignment with what you know to be true about yourself. Trust in life!

I want you to be really clear on who you are when you are absolutely still and not doing a damn thing. 

Because this is your power. 

THIS is what pulses through you, no matter what. 

It cannot be taken away from you. 

And when you are clear with what it is and you trust it… 

You will not need to push. 

You will not need to force. 

You will not need to overdo. 

You will, quite simply, be acting from your truth. 

And remember, acting from truth is transformative. It wins people like Nicole Kidman Academy Awards. 

I am tuned in

Now. Below, tell me what you know to be true about yourself. What’s pulsing through you even while you sleep? Are you able to relax and trust in life? I want to know.



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7 Responses to Are You Doing Too Much?


    I’m brimming with it. Be it writing, music, dancing, whatever – I often find myself worrying I’ll run out of ideas, but the truth is I have more than I’ll ever know what to do with!

    Thanks for this reminder to relax and trust, Erin.

    Also, my Mom always used to use the phrase “sitting by the pool eatin bon bons” and I don’t know if they still exist either 🙂

  2. Frances says:

    Oh, I so needed this post today. I have been struggling to find love and to get my shit together. This is the perfect reminder that I already have love and to stop holding on to things so tightly. Thank you.

  3. Loved this post, Erin. I, too, am an actor and my teacher tells me the same thing. Forget what you’ve prepared, just be in the present moment. That is the best advice for acting and for life. Thanks for the reminder!

  4. Paula says:

    I love this: “…you can stop beating yourself up and telling yourself that you really need to get your shit together.” That voice in my head is changing its tune now as I practice what I’m calling my #nottryingsodamnhard campaign. Every day I post a picture on Facebook of something I DIDN’T do. It’s so refreshing to see how much I really do accomplish from this new perspective. And instead of pushing myself, I’m learning to listen, which is what I have been hearing you say for a long time, but haven’t really gotten it until now. Thanks.

  5. Anne-Marie says:

    Dear Erin,
    Thank you for yet another inspiring mail; I can only say: it is so true, and for myself I wish that I had gotten this message a couple of years ago. Working hard is OK for me, but I know now that trying to please everybody (both friends and enemies) is not the way to reach your goal. However, after a very difficult year, I reached at least a personal goal: my PhD (

  6. Claire says:

    The reminder to stop beating myself up about getting my shit together, was precisely what I needed this morning. Thank you, lovely Erin.

    I think I forget to be still. I think I need the reminder of who I am in the stillness.

    The word SPARKLY comes to mind.

    Love. Best.

  7. Judit says:

    It feels that this post was personally was written to me! Thank you so much for the reminder Erin.
    Trust and let go could be often my issue even thou it ALWAYS ALWAYS work and we are all loved and supported . ( I guess I have a strong mind…..)