The year was 1998. Something radical shifted.
See, prior to a specific moment that year, I had a strong identity as a struggling actor.
By that I mean…
I identified as someone who would do a play or a movie and then follow that up with 3-6 months or more of being unemployed.
That’s what the actors I was hanging out with did – and we all believed that was the life of an actor.
Then in a moment something shifted.
I was cast in a movie called SAFE MEN, directed by John Hamburg.
Being cast in Safe Men was not the shift, though. I’ll explain…
SAFE MEN was my first lead in a movie after playing Raphael in the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie – eight years prior.
The fact that there were 8 years in between being a lead in a project reinforced – and was an expression of my identity. Sure I worked after TMNT, but with big gaps of unemployment.
I had a solid belief that actors worked, then didn’t work.
HERE’S HOW THAT SHIFTED.
(Pais + Ruffalo in Safe Men)
Mark Ruffalo, Sam Rockwell, Steve Zahn and I were putting on our costumes in a gymnasium in Brooklyn.
I overheard Rockwell and Zahn talking about the movies they had lined up after Safe Men.
They had SEVERAL projects lined up.
Several projects lined up???
Not possible! That was not the life of an actor! (My belief system argued in my head.)
At the time, I was so identified with unsteady work, that I was actually generating that outcome. My outcomes proved my beliefs.
More importantly: my beliefs were an expression of my IDENTITY.
Overhearing that conversation between Rockwell and Zahn shifted my belief system – and actually my identity. It felt like the atoms were shifting in my body.
And, I must say I have worked steadily as an actor since that time.
Upcoming I will be completing an A24 movie produced by the Safdie Brothers and Scott Rudin, called Two Against Nature. And in the new year I begin working on a new HBO series called MRS. FLETCHER. Plus I am writing a movie with Nicole Holofcener for me to act in with Ben Mendelsohn.
I tell you this not to brag – but to share the power of shifting one’s identity.
This is something you can do!
Over the years I have explored and played with altering my identity using the unique Committed Impulse tools such as the Inner Atomics and Sub-personality work. These are powerful tools that alter our perception, behavior, and ultimately the outcomes in our lives.
Sure these tools are brilliant tools for actors to create characters – but these same tools are game changers for everyone.
Recreating our identity effortlessly shifts how we operate in our lives.
Exploring CI with thousands of creators over the years has revealed that altering one’s identity is key to shifting behaviors which shift belief systems and thereby shifts habits and finally… outcomes.
The end result can lead to much greater success than the current identity can imagine. That’s exciting to you and me.