There is something nasty sitting in the back of our head every artist has to deal with sooner or later. The uncomfortable feeling of questioning yourself and everything you do. Here are seven ways to overcome self-doubt.
1. Don’t compare yourself
A good portion of self-doubt can be triggered when you compare yourself to what others have achieved so far. Especially since the dawn of social networks, it can be pretty easy to get carried away by all the credits, the trailer placements, the won awards and new career opportunities of everyone.
Stop comparing yourself, because it is dangerous to measure everyone’s success with your failings!
2. See failure as experience
You have to accept a simple fact: Failing is part of our lives, primarily as a self-employed artist.
Most of us think in short terms: We failed to write the appropriate music for a project, we were unable to understand the client’s instructions or didn’t succeed in a pitch.
Try to think in long terms and file that process of failing as experience to make it better in the future. Become aware that there is never an “If I would have known earlier, I wouldn’t have _______”
Take a moment to realize that you have that experience to improve yourself because you failed!
3. Write a positive list
Whenever you feel struck by self-doubt, sit down for a moment and write a positive list. Try to come up with everything positive you’ve achieved so far in your life. No matter how small or “unimportant”. Tell me how you feel afterwards when suddenly seeing all your accomplishments at once!
4. Stop the thinking process
No seriously! Why do you even waste time to think about that you are not good enough? I know it sounds cheesy, but life is way too beautiful to doubt yourself.
No matter how many articles you read about famous people. At some point, they either suffered from self-doubt, have been rejected, fired or had to overcome obstacles until they finally became that successful person they are known for.
5. Do or do not!
The truth is, you can research, read, watch, educate yourself and check as many statistics, videos, book, and reports as possible – you only know if something works until you have tried.
You want to know if your business model is successful? Then f*ckin’ go for it!
You are unsure about your new track being successful? Release it and see what happens!
I remember the situation when I was working on a game trailer which production costs were around 2 Million USD. The trailer only!
I spend around a week to write the biggest and most dramatic epos I have ever written. Today I would definitely say that some life essence has been sucked out compose that track.
A few weeks later, I received an email containing a few reworks and was glad that it was just a list of four to five things to change … and after sending off the reworks, there was the silence.
Then one day the trailer was released … and contained someone else’s music!
The disappointment was obviously huge, but the truth is, no one will never ever be able to take away the gained experience.
The other point is, in general, it was about 99% safe that this trailer would feature my music. So much for “99% safe”.
On the other way around, a long time ago I worked on a track I wasn’t really convinced of. However, since I spend quite some time writing it, I sent it off to see what happens.
A few years later I can say that this track was among my highest grossing tracks ever!
Do or do not!
6. Stop the dwelling
With every hour you waste about doubting yourself you are one more hour away from taking your next step which could change your entire career
So stop the dwelling! Stop thinking about negative comments on YouTube telling you that you suck. Stop wasting time to understand why someone is trolling you or the motivations to talk you down!
It. Doesn’t. Make. Sense. Period.
7. A mark in your schedule
Try the following. Whenever something positive happens during your day, no matter how small, note down a little green dot or cross in your calendar!
Do it for a few months and once that wave of self-doubt is hitting you again, take a look at your calendar and be surprised how much green you will find!