Music business and lockdown—has the industry gone digital?
Making music yourself can be extremely fulfilling. After all, you bring about something creative with your own skills and resources that has never existed before. But sometimes a musical session can be overshadowed by self-doubt. This can then lead to you constantly questioning your approach and maybe even yourself, and also completely losing the fun of it.
If you stay tuned into such a session, the mood can occasionally drift into obsession, which is very unpleasant! But even if you don't do it at all, you probably come out of it with negative feelings in most cases. Eventually, the feeling of being incapable of doing anything and of having wasted your time can set in. In the worst case, this paralyzing feeling can continue in further sessions or even lead to you stopping making music altogether. It’s a really vicious circle.
Does that sound more or less familiar to you? If you want to know how to overcome your self-doubt and emerge stronger from your sessions, this article is for you.
In order to understand how self-doubt is actually caused, I would like to give you a small introduction to the causes and psychology of self-doubt. These are often deeply rooted in one's own childhood. For the most part, self-doubt stems from the relationships we had with those closest to us in childhood and adolescence. But experiences at school, at work, with peers and with authority figures can also have an impact on self-esteem. The type of communication in these relationships plays a crucial role.
For example, if you were constantly criticized for making mistakes, this communication pattern can manifest as an inner voice (aka "inner critic") in your thoughts. This then speaks to you in a highly destructive way, especially when you are not feeling well. But constant praise in childhood and adolescence can also have a very negative effect on how you feel later on. So it could be that you constantly make yourself dependent on the positive assessments of others and are constantly looking for confirmation from the outside world. If this search for attention and recognition leads nowhere, this can also lead to permanent, inner self-deprecation.
In addition to the aforementioned relationship experiences, socially anchored norms can also cause all kinds of self-doubt. For example, pressure to perform, ideals of beauty, gender-specific expectations, and personal setbacks can manifest themselves as beliefs in our thinking.
As mentioned earlier, the symptoms of excessive self-doubt are beliefs that creep into or underlie your thoughts. These can be, for example, sentences or questions that question your own worth or devalue you. Here are a few examples:
Perhaps you have already become aware of the causes and triggers of your self-doubt while reading. Take a few more minutes and try to find short and concise answers to the following questions, preferably in writing:
Once you understand why you suffer from self-doubt and how your own self-doubt pattern is “knitted,” you can free yourself from it in the long term. In particular, the identification of destructive beliefs is helpful. In the next step, we're going to get to the bottom of them, so to speak.
Now look at what you have written and ask yourself the following questions about each individual belief in order to overcome your self-doubt:
Write down the answers here as well to ensure as much clarity as possible. You will find that much of what you once believed to be true no longer corresponds to your actual feelings. The more you engage in the process, the easier it will be for you to actually leave your destructive thought patterns behind and replace them with new, positive beliefs. In the long term, these will ensure that you develop a healthy and loving attitude towards yourself. Then you can feel much more light in your everyday life and of course also enjoy making music and other activities. And who knows, maybe your findings can also be processed musically!
I hope this article has helped you overcome your self-doubt. Always remember: The whole thing is a process and may require several attempts. If you still have the feeling that you are not making any progress on your own or that you are not fully able to progress on your own, or if you would like professional support, I, as a coach for musicians, can offer you individual online coaching. With a little help, assistance and expertise, pretty much any problem can be solved. If you are interested, you can find my offer here.
If you would like to read more about coaching for musicians, you will find an overview of all relevant articles here. And if you feel like networking with other musicians in your area, take a look at our mukken portal. Here you can meet like-minded people with whom you can team up for a joint project or even for a band.
Have fun and success in all your projects!
Originally published on May 9, 2022, updated on May 9, 2022