So from time to time, you are your worst enemy. It happens, and those who can shake it off without a scratch, my hat goes off to you.
But in the music industry (specifically due to my ability), this is a common issue-at-hand we all endure. And it can get ugly.
So what is stressing a person in the music and entertainment industry? Isn’t this an industry that is to help relax the mind, and bring one into a different world? Why, yes it is, and it is a lot of work. We are working 40 hours at least to keep up a living in creating such a product.
This post isn’t saying that other career paths are easier, and I cannot stress that enough. But when it comes to creatives, and trying your darndest to find a job in this field while maintaining creative freedom, liking what you do, enjoying the grueling process of nay-sayers, etc….it gets to you.
So…back to the self-hating feelings. Time to stop those. As an artist seeking involvement in both creative and management, I needed to learn this the hard way. I took on jobs I loved but didn’t see a future with, or I would take on jobs thinking “This is going to lead me to my future”, and when it didn’t, the self-beat up continued. It. Takes. Time. As I tell my clients, and myself, Rome wasn’t built-in a day. And as cliché as that is, it is true! Process takes time! And everyone goes through this process of finding their voice in the arts differently.
So, how do I stop that pesky jerk from entering my head, and continuing to ruin my groove?
1. Pencils Down. I think back to when I was in grade school and we took timed tests. A whole other angst-felt fest, but knowing those two words were coming made me feel at ease. Because that meant my mind can take a break. So, take a break. Put down your pen, computer, guitar, hammer, what have you and go for a walk. Meditate. Make a smoothie. Something that can get your mind off of what is stressing you. Set an alarm when you start working on something important, and when it goes off, (unless in the middle of a surge of energy or an important call–then do the following after)…stop it. Your brain and body can only handle so much at once, so breaks are a.o.k.
2. Listen to Nothing. As a musician, this is quite helpful. I always have music in my head, so when I add more, imagine the noise party going on inside. Take a break from the noises, find a quiet area for a few minutes, and listen to the ambient noises. If you are in a loud space, find the most quiet areas and focus on your space. Your space is the most important thing. Knowing your body moves in-sync to ambient noises will help you get back to your Self, and find that peace you need.
And the most important thing of all….
3.Get Yourself Up Mentally! In order to do these things and then go back to the stresses of finding a gig, keeping a gig, and working on multiple projects takes self-confidence and self-love. So, find out what is making you sad. Why are you beating yourself up? And if you know the answers, write what makes you a necessity! Because if you are in this business, and are passionate and strong about it, then you belong. By spending time hating your process, or even more extreme, yourself, your process will stop. Find the tools to make you happy. To make you shine. And if you cannot do it alone, you are never alone! Talk to someone; a friend, a mentor, a peer, a social worker, your family, anyone. I can tell you to eat healthy, sleep more, smile more, play/create more, but these things are not in practice, but comes when you feel better about you!
So in conclusion, being so under pressure about what you do is normal! However, when it is toxic, take these three steps, and make them your own. No one is the best version of you besides you!
And this is coming from someone who is in it, but knows that there are ways!
Be happy and thrive!