You are sat at home with a cup of tea, casually dunking your biscuit carefully enough not to lose half of it in your cup. As you lounge in your zebra print onesie watching some cheesy movie you think to yourself I’d love a job in TV but something metaphorically slaps you in the face and says “you’re just not cool enough!”
You think I’m not thin enough, not good looking enough, not smart or witty enough.. I just can’t do the banter! You develop a picture in your head of what it’s like to work in TV without actually knowing the truth. I’ve met lots of people over the years that are keen to break into TV and I hear constantly a barrage of reasons why they won’t think they’d get in. Very rarely do people say I don’t have the work ethic, or I don’t think I’d have the ideas or I can’t shoot and edit, often they know that they can do all of that and all of that well. There is another barrier that is stopping them moving forward it’s this invisible barrier of cool. What even does cool mean? We are surrounded by images and ideas of cool from a young age and there is always that person in school who we emulated or secretly wanted to know how they were so cool. Those were the people that life seemed so easy and effortless but scratch beneath the surface things are never really quite what we believe them when it comes to other people. Our reality of their lives are often very different from their own day to day reality.
We’ve often been in situations where we know how to respond to a question and can do perfectly eloquently and intelligently but we allow someone else to answer. We have a fear of looking stupid, of not being right, of being a bit of an outsider. Why draw too much attention on yourself? I’ve been there numerous times and then kicked myself later as some over confident buffoon has spouted nonsense for twenty minutes, but in such a manner of authority that you actually believe it to be true. We can all be easily intimidated by other people and our lack of confidence in situations, environments new to us. We play down our strengths to somewhat fit in, or talk less about what we are passionate about if it doesn’t fit in with what other people are interested in. Sometimes that’s just good manners but other times we are deliberately sabotaging our chance to shine.
Try and switch your mind to your qualities and skills think about what you’ve done, what you want to do and what makes you different in a really positive way. We can build up a pattern in our minds about other people being better than us, about employers favouring people different from us, but is that actually true? Statistically you might say that was the case, but they haven’t met you.. So don’t talk yourself out of going for it! At the end of a busy shoot people remember who worked really hard, who got things done, who the contributors and crew thought were invaluable not who has the best handbag or the glossiest hair. Focus on your skills!
Check yourself when you have those thoughts, remember everyone is different, each to their own. Don’t resort to bitchy resting face or judgement, even when that is what you are being faced with. Stick to your own path and who cares, to me coolness is simply somebody comfortable in their own skin. How that individual chooses to manifest their security than that can be in a million different ways.
Even after many years of working I have many moments of feeling not cool, like an outsider, from humming All about the Base whilst everyone is talking about some hipster gig in East London. To cracking jokes at the wrong time, and feeling like I’m wearing the wrong clothes. It happens but I know I’m good at my job, I know who I am and hell yeah I will wear a yellow cardie and dress a bit like Blaine from Glee.. Why not eh?
Find your own path, remember you can bloody do it and most importantly just be you! It’s so so tiresome and time consuming trying to be everyone else. We weren’t meant to blend in, we were meant to be individuals and to shine!