For this month’s workshop we headed to The Landmark Forum’s offices in Euston, where Landmark Introduction Leaders Gareth and Jane delivered an evening session. Landmark Forum is a three and a half day course focused on training and development that helps individuals break their self-imposed limitations of what they believe is possible. Our lead agent and founder of The Artistes Collective, Eki Maria, has found The Landmark Forum process to be effective in both her personal and professional life. She invited Landmark to meet with us so the collective could gain some new insights into our acting careers and personal lives through their reflective process.
This workshop was an introductory session into The Landmark Forum’s methodology. As Jane walked us through the process she detailed her time in the forum and how it changed her life both personally and professionally. Landmark is all about transformative learning rather than the way we’ve been generally taught to retain information (known as informative learning). With informative learning we take on new information that we didn’t know before to expand our knowledge, whereas with transformative learning we are changing the way we perceive what we think we already know. The example Jane gave from her personal life was her relationship with her father. She’d let resentment build up in their relationship, and there was a severe lack of communication between them, with Jane trying to minimise the time she spent back in France with him. Jane blamed her father for this block, but through Landmark she realised she was equally to blame for it. After Landmark she spoke to him, and in doing so realised he felt the same too, wondering what he’d done to make her so distant from him, and unsure what to do to rectify it.
In her original Landmark session, Jane chose to work on her relationship with her father after realising this was an area of her life that wasn’t working for her. She looked at what she was currently doing, what she had, and what effect this had upon her. By doing this she realised what was missing in this relationship and realised there was a new possibility for a better relationship. She now has a more open and trusting relationship with her father thanks to Landmark’s process. These few steps are the essence of The Landmark Forum’s process. A more in depth overview and description of this process is outlined below using the example I went through in the collective’s introductory session.
Step 1: What’s working.
You simply list what areas are working in your life. Some for me included: Physical health, solid support network of friends and family, a stable financial flow from jobs, and a physical, secure home.
Step 2: What’s not working.
Then you list the areas that aren’t working so well. For me the main areas included: Work-life balance, building for the future, and career development.
Step 3: Chose an area you are working on.
I decided for this session I was going to focus on was my career, specifically the way in which I contact other industry professionals. Going into the session I believed this was something I was afraid of and rarely did outside of a bare minimum standard that I set for myself.
Step 4: Probable, almost certain future
Next you break down the area you have chosen into what you’re currently doing in that area, what you currently physically have that’s helping you achieve it, and what effect this all has on how you’re being as a result.
Doing – I was regularly applying to jobs via casting websites such as Spotlight and Mandy. My side hustle of reviewing plays meant I was attending lots of theatre press nights and networking there. Plus I was occasionally attending scratch nights of my own new writing and acting in other evenings.
Have – I have my own self as the product I’m marketing in my mind, body and voice, and a network of peers and professionals in London that I don’t fully utilise.
Being – My current state of mind about this area was anxious. I fear failing in the area that I want most, and I fear rejection.
Step 5: What’s missing, the presence of which would make a difference?
This area can feel a little tricky as you have to put aside ideas like “an unlimited stream of money”. They have to be feasible elements that you can obtain.
The missing element for my goal was grit or courage.
Step 6: Inventing a new possibility.
In the final step you create a new possibility of being. You realise that if your current state of being isn’t the optimal state to achieve your goal, you need a new possibility (by adding what’s missing) to help you achieve it. I realised that my new possibility meant by adding grit I could recognise the moment that I feel my current state of being – the fear; I could notice it, tell it I appreciate that it’s trying to keep me safe, but I’m letting it know that I’m just going to give it this extra 10% in this moment. My new possibility was I could be fearless in the social aspects of my life.
Reflections on the Process
A problem with The Landmark Forum is that the full experience comes at the financial cost of £580 for the three and a half day course. This is not an amount that is expendable for everyone, especially for those who might benefit from it most. With previous life coaching specialists that have come in for the monthly workshops, I’ve found it hard to commit to the plans that have been set out in them long-term.
The difference that The Landmark Forum provides is that it doesn’t make you set out a step-by-step plan to be different, rather entertains the idea you can live your life differently to how you currently are, by changing how you’re being - even if it’s just in one respect, and that’s true. Anyone can make the decision to change their life, and it can work if you commit to it.
As with previous life coaching specialists, I’m not sure if Landmark’s methodology will change my way of thinking for life, but it has changed my current state of mind in the short term. That evening I got home from the workshop, sat down and emailed some of the connections I’d been putting off. There’s potential that the small changes inspired by this session will have a bigger significance for my personal and professional life in the long term, and maybe by sharing the steps with you, they can affect your life too.
To find out more about Landmark: https://landmarkworldwidelondon.com/ or email our Founder & Director Eki Maria - firstname.lastname@example.org
By Matthew Cleverly @matthewcleverly