MONDAY BYTES — December 5, 2016
During the holidays, with all the season’s extra stress, mindset issues are compounded.’Tis the season for self-flagellation?! Let’s stop beating ourselves up with the negative self-talk!
I’m especially interested in antidotes to negative self-talk because getting tripped up by our own musician mindset is so common it’s chronic.
Our mindsets are the habitual ways we think—of ourselves, our abilities, our peers, and our profession. We all have habits of thinking that can get in the way of making our desired changes.
So I’m happy to bring to you one of my favorite excerpts from Andrew Simonet’s book Making Your Life as an Artist. Simonet includes a terrific set of Principals for Building a Sustainable Life.
He presents these as counter messages to a set of common “limiting beliefs” many artists are prone to have.
Simonet first provides the limiting fixed mindset statement (see how many of these resonate with you!) That’s the negative self-talk. Some of these statements are so commonly held by musicians you may not even recognize them as self-fulfilling negative prophecies.
Simonet then answers each negative fixed mindset statement with a positive reframed growth mindset response. (For a quick refresher on Carol Dweck’s fixed/growth mindset work go here.)
Use Simonet’s principals to help reduce your own negative self-talk and get moving faster on creating the life you want. These may be especially helpful this season.
As an added bonus, check out the other terrific holiday book recommendations included—great gifts for yourself or other musician friends!
From Andrew Simonet’s Making Your Life as an Artist (download it free!) Try reading these aloud. In italics are the beliefs many creative artists harbor with the counter-message below each.
“Success will either happen to me or it won’t.
I am building an artistic life, not an artistic career, step by step, thinking long-term and staying responsive to changing circumstances.
No one cares about my work.
By offering a strong artistic voice as widely as possible, I give citizens a chance to come close to my work.
I am competing with other artists for scarce resources.
The success of other artists is good for me. And mutual artistic support is worth more than money.
I need I need I need I need I need.
My skills are needed in the world.
The future is scary and I don’t have time to think about it.
With limited, regular planning, I work toward the art, the values, and the life that I believe in.
What I do is frivolous and I am lucky if I get paid for it.
We are highly trained professionals, and the work we do, collectively, is essential in our culture. I expect to be compensated fully and fairly. I have the freedom to do unpaid or low-paying work that is rewarding in other ways.
I never have enough time or money to make my work perfect.
With the time and resources I have for each project, I will do the best I can.
I have to do everything I possibly can for every project, even if it kills me.
No opportunity or work of art is worth the well-being of the people involved. I can say no.
I have to work all the time, with no time off.
I schedule down time in my day, my week, and my year, essential to my wellbeing and artistic growth.
No one cares about art.
The world is hungry for noncommercial experiences, for moments of focus, connection, and insight instead of the profit-driven distraction provided by the entertainment industry.
I wish I had the career that ___________has.
I define success for myself, and trust that impact does not correlate with fame.”
Now let’s get real: a new set of mantras alone won’t catapult your career forward. But a change in mindset can get you unstuck so you can move forward and do better work.
Here’s some more ammunition:
In addition to Simonet’s terrific book, here are 5 more that are great at helping musicians overcome negative thinking and other career obstacles.
These aren’t “dream it and it will happen” books. These are candid, no-nonsense books that name some of the typical mindset snags that creative artists have and they offer practical and real-life tips and solutions for getting the work done.
Do yourself a favor: buy yourself a present for the holidays. Browse these on online and choose whichever resonates the most; read it before the new year—you won’t be sorry!
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
Make It: a Guide for Recent Music Graduates by Emilio Guarino
Awakening Your Business Brain by Jennifer Rosenfeld and Julia Torgovitskaya
Break into the Scene by Seth Hanes
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
This week: I’d love to get your feedback on the negative self-talk messages that resonated for you or others that these ones brought to mind!
And when was the last time you read a book to help improve your career and your life? If you have other book recommendations, please email them to me—I’d love to get these, too. Angela@BeyondTalentConsulting.com
And for for individualized help managing career stress and managing time, let’s set up a time to talk–reach me at Angela@BeyondTalentConsulting.com
Dream Big, Plan Smart, Live Well