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When you step out with a new project, a new song, even the most confident of people can be hit by imposter syndrome and feelings that you aren’t good enough. Maybe I didn’t sing that well enough, maybe I didn’t play that well enough and ultimately “I hope people like it.” I’m currently working on a great project, having a lot of fun with it. Feeling pretty at ease about it and yet there is still an undercurrent of nervousness. It reminded me of how much I used to worry about whether people would like my songs, my voice, my vibe, or whatever the hell else people judge you for. My hair or clothes.
I never really had a handle on that when I was younger, and today I have an incredibly good handle on it and yet there is still a slight thought there. So I wanted to offer some suggestions and help today for those who are feeling this for whatever reason.
Where does our worry that people won’t like it come from and how to not only navigate it, move past it. Because I do feel as though I have moved completed passed it, even though there is always a slight undercurrent like I said of thought that “i hope it’s well accepted”, it’s definitely not at the forefront, it doesn’t bother me, it doesn’t get in the way of me having fun with the project and making decisions for that project and everyone involved.
But when you’re IN it, that undercurrent is strong, and maybe you’re feeling that way right now.
And I want to offer to you the idea that you can still be a person who is liked, and wants the best for you and others without having the validation and need for acceptance turn you in the wrong direction and plague your thinking.
Let’s try to understand why we do this?
We are humans, and humans are made to want to try for the approval of other humans, it’s what helps us to build community and over our lifetime we are taught to think about about first impressions, to care about what people think of you. And in a way that keeps us honest, and in integrity.
So the problem isn’t necessarily that we just worry too much about what people think of us. It’s that the worrying turns into anxiety and the reason that you’re now doing this project, and it becomes the driving force of how we make decisions in our career to try to please others. A team, our fans our family and then the devastation happens when those people appear not to care or react or validate you or your music.
I’ve worked with a lot of people who have personally felt this devastation that they wanted so badly for people to like what they did and love what they did and in turn it felt like love for them personally and when that didn’t come or didn’t come to the level that they wanted or anticipated it’s devastating.
In our industry we deal with a product that is so personal to us, and is part of us, that’s complicated to put together and when we hold tight to it having to be accepted we lose sight of the fact that it’s not US, it’s a piece of art, or music that we created, and it should never be so much at the helm that it runs your life.
I completely understand when people say “I put my heart and soul into this, I hope you like it because I poured everything I have into it.” But that is also a huge red flag to me as a coach because what I hear is. “I’m going to be completely personally devastated if this doesn’t work out the way I want it to.”
A much healthier approach is to be aware that you’re in anxiety mode and worry about what people will want, and if you’ve done this process before, take a moment to pause and reflect and set up your intention of how you want to approach it this time around.
And ask yourself, why am I doing this project?
I don’t think the answer will be “To get the love and admiration of people.”
And yet that is what we worry about.
So go back to the why?
Maybe your answer is that you’re doing it because you want to bring happiness and spread joy and enjoy your own life, leave something behind on tape that others can listen to and enjoy, maybe raise money for charity and pay for a house someday. If you want to be somebody, ask yourself why?
Aren’t you somebody now
Aren’t you important and whole now?
Aren’t you valid, and perfect now?
IF you’re in this place, take a reset, take a moment to ask yourself this.
IF not ONE person likes this song or project will that devastate me?
If the answer is Yes, WHY?
Start there….Awareness will bring you change. You will need to always ask yourself why.
IF you are about to start a project, you’re in a good place, ask yourself “How do I want to go about this project?”
Do I want it to be fun?
Do I want it to be exciting
What will it take from me internally to achieve that
Maybe it will take letting go of worrying about what everyone else thinks.
You will never stop seeking validation, and love.
That’s human nature. I don’t suggest that you do.
I suggest that you don’t let that become the driving force in why you’re doing what you’re doing. It cannot be the reason it has to be the icing on the cake and only that if you’re lucky.