Stop Worrying So Much
Updated: Jun 22, 2022
Ah, musician. We're probably among some of the most confident people on the planet, yet isn't it interesting to see how quickly that confidence can take a knock when we feel that we aren't doing well enough, especially when comparing ourselves to others in our same industry? Which brings me to todays amply titled 'Stop Worrying About Others So Much' blog. When I say the above phrase I don't mean it in the charitable sense, I'm not saying that we need to become self indulgent and no longer look out for our fellow man etc, etc. If history has taught us anything, it's that while having self worth is important it can sometimes get confused with greed and arrogance, and these are traits that could easily contribute towards our own downfall. So please, help each other and love your neighbor as much as possible ok.
I am meaning to use the above phrase in a career context that will hopefully allow you to stop complaining about others (and yourself), stop comparing yourself to your peers and focus on your own achievements and goals. At the end of the day music is art and art is open to interpretation. It shouldn't be judged or seen as competitive - it should be enjoyed and made with joy, thought, effort, love and pride.
So, how do we stop comparing ourselves and our playing ability to the new 'wow check out this guys amazing chops video of the week'. Hopefully these simple steps will help you...
Stop comparing -
Unless you maybe know the person personally, you really have no idea what the person you are comparing yourself to has had to go through to get to where they are. You don't know how much time, effort, blood, sweat and tears they've put into the things that they're doing, so don't for a second allow yourself to base your own self worth on their achievements.
Focus on your own thing -
Even if you're striving to reach the same level as a certain player, composer or pop/rockstar. The only way that you're ever going to get to where you want to be is by focusing on your own goals and working towards them. Trust me (as someone who has done it in the past), beating yourself up mentally about something or someone that you wanted to do or be is a complete waste of time. Plus, think how much you might've been able to achieve if you put that same time and effort into productive use.
Take it all with a pinch of salt -
While social networks (yes I've mentioned this all before), are great for connecting with friends, and networking. A lot of it can be deceiving, so if you're timeline is anything like mine and all you'll see everyday are pictures and videos of your friends touring, gigging, teaching, practicing and traveling the world while having the time of their lives. There is no need to compare yourself to what it is you think you're seeing. Believe it or not, these same people see the same thing on their own timelines and here's the kicker - some of those posts even come from you. So, if this affects you in a way that makes you think you're not doing well, put your phone down and limit your time on these platforms. After all every second away from social media can contribute towards extra time in the practice room.
Work hard and don't believe the nay sayers -
Pretty self explanatory really. Hard work pays off. So put some elbow grease in, stay humble, always give 100% and I ensure you that you'll see the work come in. Sure, there are going to be some nay sayers along the way but don't let them get you, rather use there words as fuel to allow the passion inside of you to burn even brighter than before.
Keep a Diary -
When those gigs start to come in and you can see your diary or calendar taking shape each month and you suddenly realize that you're actually making enough money to pay your rent from 'music' you suddenly won't want to compare yourself to anyone else anymore. Sure you'll still see videos of Olympic/Alien musicians that will make you think ' how the heck did he/she do that', but you might actually start to realize that there is enough room in this industry for everyone and that even you deserve your place. @MusiciansMentorPics