Bold Journey recently connected with Terrah Bennett Smith and have shared our conversation below.
Hi Terrah, we’re so appreciative of you taking the time to share your nuggets of wisdom with our community. One of the topics we think is most important for folks looking to level up their lives is building up their self-confidence and self-esteem. Can you share how you developed your confidence?
Depending on your personal blueprint, it can sometimes take years. Although I appeared to others to be confident, it took time for me to develop any confidence and/or self-esteem. When I got sick and tired of caring what other people thought or said about me, it was the beginning of me sifting through years of personal muck to begin honoring who I was. There is something empowering about relying on what you know about yourself and not having to look outside of yourself for validation. It’s freeing and for me, was when I truly understood what wearing confidence truly meant. Confidence is not about being arrogant, but it is about ownership of oneself. When we align more with what others think of us, and take their word as truth, they are in control.
Thanks, so before we move on, maybe you can share a bit more about yourself?
A little history about me. I am a Native New Yorker, and the mother of three amazing young adults. I currently serve as Chief Content Officer for the global production company, Inyani Corp, I have enjoyed a rich and multifaceted career in the entertainment industry. I am an award-winning director and actress, as well as a producer and writer. The arts have always been my passion, and I had no desire to live out my life in any other industry. At a young age, my mother enrolled my sister and I in dance school. This was her way of keeping us busy and off the streets. ‘
I spent my early years performing dance recitals around various New York City areas. I gathered my friends to participate in weekend talent shows, which I would also direct and produce. I’d make handwritten tickets, and invite family and friends to watch the performances. This was no doubt the shaping of what I know now to be my career launch, both in front of and behind the camera.
After years of hitting the New York City streets auditioning, and performing in off and off-Broadway shows, I landed two commercials, one for Levi’s Jeans and the other McDonald’s. I then went on to perform in my first Broadway musical, and my career in show business was off and running. I was excited to perform in, or direct different storylines, but once I began to align with myself, I realized the projects that mattered most to me were projects that serve a purpose. It doesn’t matter the genre; comedy, drama, or thriller, it is important that the projects uplift, educate, or share socially conscious information.
I had the opportunities to perform in theatre, television, film, and as a recording artist. A few of my behind the camera credits include: her directorial debut with the feature film FLIP THE SCRIPT, recently completed the film THE NEXT GIRL, L.A. BAKERS, and the pilot SLEEPING WITH STRANGERS. I am also Executive Producer/Co-Writer and Star of THE WRIGHT TURN, an 8- episode TV series now on TubiTV. I am currently working on a slate of international projects with Inayani Corp, and I look forward to bringing them to light.
In front of the camera, my credits include Starring, Recurring, and Guest Starring roles on several network Television shows, including Bosch, Stuck With You, 9-11, and more.
Looking back, what do you think were the three qualities, skills, or areas of knowledge that were most impactful in your journey? What advice do you have for folks who are early in their journey in terms of how they can best develop or improve on these?
These qualities have made me relentless, and I have a “don’t take NO for an answer” attitude. Quitting is not an option. I believe as long as you can find another angle for you to arrive at your destination it’s worth taking that path. There’s a saying, “Nothing beats a failure but a try”. We only have the moments we are living. Yesterday is a canceled check; tomorrow does not exist. As long as you get another chance to wake up, you have an opportunity to go after what you want. Please keep in mind it’s easy to develop or improve these qualities, when you keep the idea of the alternative in the forefront of your mind. When you don’t have resilience, you give up. When your work ethic is weak, you give up. When you don’t have drive, it’s easy for you to talk yourself out of doing anything, which will result in you not achieving what you’re going after.
Any advice for folks feeling overwhelmed?
I take some me time. I believe the energy we focus on is the energy that grows. For instance, when I’m stressed or worried, life presents me with more things to stress and worry about. When I focus on the lack of anything, whether finances or energy, those situations seem to grow. I offset being overwhelmed by taking some me time. For me, that’s in the form of meditation, hiking, listening to some of my favorite music, writing, watching a good movie, or sometimes, taking a long or short nap. Naps help to reset my mind and body; it’s a do-over.
Another way I work through feeling overwhelmed is by taking everything that’s swirling around in my head and putting it on paper. Then I tackle each thing one by one and cross it off my list. There is something about seeing it on paper that makes it less daunting. When I have too many things; chores, questions, etc., floating around in my head I tend to get very little accomplished.
Image Credits: Noble Ambience photos
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First published November 21, 2023, in Bold Journey