If you want to speed up your dreams, remove this word from the way you describe and think about yourself.
That word is aspiring.
Nowadays, I see many creatives describe themselves as an “aspiring” X on their website, even when they’ve made many things in their medium! When I receive requests for mentorship, they usually open with this line: “My name is X, and I’m an aspiring filmmaker.”
For me, “aspiring” does not sound confident. It sounds like you have the dream, but you’re not ready to commit or take the plunge.
If you’ve made one film, you’re a filmmaker. Introduce yourself as a filmmaker. Call yourself a filmmaker. Think of yourself as a filmmaker.
If you’ve written one article, you’re a writer. Introduce yourself as a writer. Call yourself a writer. Think of yourself as a writer.
And if you have not made anything yet, go make something and then call yourself what it is you’re aspiring to be. You don’t need to have published tens of books or won prestigious awards to claim ownership to that identity. All it takes is one thing that you’re proud of.
I promise, doing this will open many more doors for you than if you had used the word “aspiring.” Think about it. Who would you rather hire or mentor? Someone who calls themself an “aspiring” X, or someone who confidently calls themself X with proof that shows they put skin in the game?
When I introduced myself as a filmmaker, even with one small film under my belt, it made people feel like I had a firm commitment to what I was doing. They would then let me film them or work with them. This would catalyze a snowball effect that would reinforce itself in a virtuous cycle. The more opportunities opened up, the more experience I would have. The more experience I would have, the more opportunities would open up. The more this snowball got bigger, the more I developed expertise and established myself in the filmmaking world.
In five years, without going to film school, I went from not knowing how to use a camera to making 10+ films around the world, winning an Emmy, and developing my own method, which is used by over 80,000 students from around the world.
Never in that time have I used the word “aspiring.”
So, if you want to speed up your vision, stop belittling yourself with that word. Confidently step into who you dream to be. Claim it.
You are what you call yourself.