Hello, everyone. Thank you so much for joining me for another episode of the More Than You See podcast hosted by me, actor, filmmaker mental health advocate Deborah Lee Smith.
Every Monday I come to you to share some resources, have a conversation, and generally just dive into all sorts of topics around mental health. I am not a licensed practitioner or therapist, but just a woman exploring my own mental health journey and sharing it with you, my listeners. My hope is that this podcast brings you some joy, some understanding, and some tools so that you can build your own mental health toolbox.
Thank you so much, everyone for joining me for another episode. This episode is going to be a little bit of a debrief from the episode two weeks ago with Shelley Regner, if you haven't listened to that episode, I strongly recommend that you check it out. It's one of the top performing episodes ever. And I'm sure that it is mostly because Shelly is just so darn charming, and so open about her own mental health journey. And I know that I learned a lot about myself through talking to her, and it's probably something that, you know, my hope is that you'll learn something as well.
Again, as I said, on the last episode, I'm actually - this is going to be the second to last episode. So we've got today and then next Monday, we are going to have one final episode. I'm really excited about what I'm going to be talking about next week. And I just wanted to kind of have it be the wrap up of this season of the podcast. And then we're going to take a little bit of a hiatus. As I kind of mentioned on the Instagram last week, and if you're not following our Instagram, you certainly should all of the links to the Instagram and the website and to rate and review and subscribe, and all of those things are in the show notes.
I mentioned last week on the Instagram that I like, really needed to take some time for my own mental health. And I am going to be continuing that in the fact that like, I just need a couple months to regroup, to settle some things going on in my own life, and to just not feel like I'm over stretched. And I think that this is really important that I'm able to share this with you all and say that like hey, I too, this is still a journey. And this is still something that I struggle with all the time. And that's just part of life. Sometimes life is hard. And sometimes we need to take a step back and evaluate things and you know, continue on from there.
I am not however saying at all that I will not be returning I absolutely will. I already have some new guests that are scheduled for the next season and I am very excited about them. I would love if you could give me some feedback about what you have thought over the past two seasons. And if you haven't listened to all the episodes, please go back and check them out. I really want to again, make sure that this podcast is for you. And one of the ways that I can certainly do that is to get your feedback. So I've put together a quiz. I've mentioned on other episodes before, but there is a quiz in the show notes. And if you could go and answer that quiz for me, that would be super, super helpful. Because again, this podcast is for you. It's for me, it's for the community, but I really want to make sure that we're all getting something out of it. And we're all you know, moving forward and learning about our mental health together.
Okay, so let's dive into what we discussed in last week's episode. One of the defining moments for me last week, was our discussion about how we define ourselves based on our careers, and how that can be quite damaging. And I really want to talk about that topic today, especially because with COVID potentially being back on the rise again, with the Delta variant and all of that kind of stuff, I think that it's really important for us to recognize that another pause in our creative careers might be coming again. And that's okay.
Something that Shelly and I talked about quite extensively was this idea of being defined by a career. You know, she booked Pitch Perfect when she was, you know, very young, like in her early 20s. And so then the rest of her career since that point has kind of been defined by that original booking and I know that we talk about how that happens and how you can be pigeonholed into one type of character, but with a franchise that large, it really becomes like the defining moment of your career and what If that's not what you want?
I think the main thing that I walked away from that conversation is that it is our decision what we define ourselves by. I think that sometimes we view ourselves very differently than the way that others view us. And sometimes that can be a good thing. And sometimes that can be a bad thing. Sometimes we're seeing ourselves as less than ideal or worthless, or we have, you know, low self esteem in some way. And that's very damaging to our own self image. And other people will see us as beautiful and strong and the incredible people that we are, and sometimes it is very difficult to come to terms, and to accept the love of others, and to accept that we are the incredible, beautiful, magical people that we are.
And then when you add on, you know, this very tenuous and difficult career, sometimes it can be even harder, because we define ourselves based on other people's ideas of us. So not only are we you know, looking at our friends and family, we're also looking at all of these other people who have huge impacts on our career. I'm certainly never saying that they don't. You know, what, a director or producer or a casting director, or network executive or studio head, whatever those people think of us in some way will affect our lives. But it is important to try to not have that affect what we think of ourselves and our place in the world.
Because we are important, we are valuable, we do add a lot to the world, whether we are actors, producers, filmmakers, pharmacists, teachers, etc. I think that we often think that our career defines us. But it doesn't. You are your profession, as long as you choose to be so and nothing, and no one can change that. You are an actor, even if you are not being paid right now, to be an actor. That's still who you are at your core. And that's something that took me a very long time to get to the bottom of, but it's something that I really hold on to today.
And believe me, I understand how complex those feelings are, and how much we have the desire to be validated by this external force, that's telling us our worthiness is tied to the financial validation of our careers, that I think that that's where it can be really damaging to our own mental health, especially when we go through periods like this. Because maybe it won't be a pandemic, in the future, maybe it'll be a death in the family, or a pregnancy or something happening to a partner or a friend or so many different things that will take you out of the game in some ways. And it's so important to remind yourself, and to remind myself, I'm talking to myself here as well, that our worth and who we are, is not defined by our profession.
And yes, we can still hold on to who we want to be and what we want to be doing with our lives and etc. But I also think that it's so important to have some separation and to be able to protect yourself in some way. And say that, yes, this is part of me. But there's all of these other amazing parts of me as well. I think that that balance is one of the hardest aspects of life. It's something that we probably struggle with for a very long time, especially if you're, you know, so career driven. But that's also okay. I think that we are always works in progress. We are always imperfect, as long as you are continuing to learn about yourself, and to surround yourself with people who love you and see you as the amazing person that you are, then everything's gonna be okay.
I want to thank you again, for being part of this community. I'm really excited to, you know, share this last episode next week with you all and then to take that break, but I'm always reachable by Instagram, I'm going to make sure that that Instagram is very active and continually giving back to the community. Even when we're on hiatus.
I have a little homework assignment that I'm going to leave you with today. I think that you know, when you think about defining yourself as something beyond your career, sometimes we think of like big, big things that are a part of us or who we are or whatever. And I would love if you would write down 10 things that make up who you are outside of your career. And it could be you are a damn good chess player or you're a wonderful friend. Or you're a dog mom, or you have a ton of plant babies, whatever it is, I'd love if you would write down 10 things that define you beyond your career, and maybe share them with me, share them with the Instagram, I would love to, you know, share them with the community. And I'm going to go ahead and share 10 things from me as far as what are what are 10 things that I see myself outside of my career and my profession as an actor, because I do think it's so important to share these well rounded sides of ourselves. And that's just going to make us better actors, filmmakers, pharmacists, teachers, people.
I want to remind you to be kind to yourself this week. Anxiety is certainly starting to mount things are starting to, you know, go in, not the direction that we want. And I know that there's a lot of feelings, there's a lot of anger, there's a lot of confusion and uncertainty. And I want to remind you that it's okay to feel those feelings, whatever you're feeling, that is valid. And we will all get through this. And that's where I think that this homework assignment and this understanding of who we are as full fledged people is so important. Because if we can't be one aspect of ourselves for another six months, that's okay, because we have all of these other incredible aspects of ourselves that are equally important. And again, this is a reminder for myself as well. I'm definitely you know, preaching to my own little choir here.
Again, be kind to yourself this week. Please remember that you and everyone around you is more than you see. Thank you so much for listening. I look forward to seeing you next week for the season finale.