From beginners to maestros, inklings of self-doubt and lack of confidence can affect us all. Belief in yourself will surely influence how you play an instrument or sing a song. There’s a direct correlation between negative thoughts and poor performances. The first step when being a musician is believing in yourself and understanding that we all have room to improve.
Let’s take a look at some common negative beliefs that hold musicians back from seeing their full potential.
Unfavorably comparing yourself to others
Unfortunately, this is a common misstep a lot of musicians make. They listen to others perform similar pieces and are instantly letdown when they hear someone else do it better. There are times when you have to view playing music, as you would playing golf. The only thing you can focus on is you to see true results. Chart your own progress and figure out ways to surmount obstacles giving you trouble. Even the best musicians will see another player do something better than them. Want a quick self-esteem boost when it comes to your music? Think about how far you’ve come since you first started out! You’re welcome.
Preferring to not take risks
Being a musician (or an artist of any kind) is all about taking risks. This is how we break traditional molds and make new, stunning pieces that resonate with people in different ways. It’s easy for artists to get stuck in a rut and form a since of complacency. There’s nothing more exhilarating than making something new and exciting. It can feel daring and much more stimulating. This goes beyond the actual performing of the music as well. There are plenty of artists who never feel comfortable taking that “next step,” whether it be performing at a local open mic night or taking your first gig. And if things don’t work out, it feels much better to know you at least tried.
One mistake is the end of the world
This is the perfect tip to follow our last one. If you have the guts to take risks, then that means things may not always go as planned. Normal people make mistakes. It happens. Talented and daring artists make mistakes all the time. Think of your favorite musician, one you really admire or aspire to be similar to one day. They have all had terrible gigs, where things didn’t go as planned. Audio issues, forgotten lyrics, slipping and falling onstage – issues will always arise. It’s how we move on from them that proves are worth.
There are certain things I’ll never be able to do
How many times have you listened to a musician play a piece masterfully or a singer flawlessly sing the national anthem and think to yourself, “Wow, I’ll never be able to do that.” Immediately toss that thought out of your head. This is the kind of destructive belief that will always hold you back. If you think you won’t be able to do something, then you’ve already dug yourself into a hole. Imagine how much stronger your performances would be if you listened to a musician dazzle an audience and you instead think to yourself, “I can’t wait until I’m doing that too.” Your mindset is everything.
Thinking you don’t have the tools to succeed
Focus your mind on the resources you do have. Many of us concentrate our thoughts on things that we don’t have access to yet. We convince ourselves that we don’t have the right tools to succeed, so we don’t even bother to try. This could be a certain instrument, a mentor or more time in the day to practice. With that said, those things can be crucial to your success. However, you may not be able to garner all of them at once. Take what you can as you go. There are many different ways to becoming a better position.
Feeling inspired? Read how terrific saxophonist Jessy J got her start