3 Tips For Building A Strong Artist Mindset
In an industry that’s based almost entirely around ones image, it’s inevitable that at some points in our career we’ll either burn out or have a moment of deep understanding. We came up with three tips to help you develop a strong artist mindset so you’re always able to keep ahead of the game.
Tip One: Condition Your Mind To See Opportunities.
As artists, our journeys are never going to be plain sailing. There are going to be moments where the unexpected happen. In fact, a lot of times when the unexpected happens, which only emphasises a state of “worry” and not being able to control situations. The good news is that you’re not alone. The human brain is actually wired to seek fault or bad situations. Essentially, it’s our primal survival tool. Think about this for a moment: Whenever we’re in a forrest at night and hear a branch crack, do we smile and continue walking? Hell no. Our brains go into one of two modes: Fight or Flight. Fight, as you can imagine is your body getting ready to battle, and flight; our bodies getting ready to run out of that place.
Since birth, we’ve practically been surrounded by people who either seek fault, judge or chronically complain and shout. It’s normal. Believe me, I come from an Indian family and we do our fair share of all of the above haha! ;).
The good news, however, is that you can reprogram your mind to seek the good. You see, when something bad happens, and we aren’t aware of how to seek opportunities, it can lead to us utilising poor coping mechanisms such as drugs, drinking or other things that either mask or numb the pain temporarily. Developing a strong mindset will help set you apart from other artists.
How to practice this: When something bad happens, follow this practice
Become aware of your emotions and where you feel the emotions in your body - Just think about them and label them like so: “Anger is arising”, “Jealousy is arising”, or “Sadness/confusion is arising” - The goal is to create a sense of equanimity and not identify with the emotions. You yourself are not “SAD”, you are simply feeling sad. You are not your thoughts.
Then list two ways you can strategically overcome this situation no matter how hard it is.
Remind yourself that you cannot control external things, but only your attitude towards situations.
Finally, practice deep acceptance by mentally “letting go” of the situation. You know that external things/people cannot be controlled by you, so just as water flows from river to the ocean, let it come, let it do its dance, and let it go.
Tip Two: Depend on Discipline
How many times have you heard the following: “Ahh man I don’t have any motivation to put in the work today”. Who came to mind when you read that? Your friend? Your mom? Your auntie? Or….. yourself? - The reality is, when it comes to our dreams, we are our own worst enemies.
In order to break out of this self-sabotaging mindset/trait, we have to leverage discipline over motivation. As John C Maxwell said, motivation gets you going, but discipline keeps you growing. Before we delve into how to develop discipline, think about what actually does motivate you. Does a lot of money motivate you? Do cars and big houses motivate you? Once you’ve understood the material desires, try identifying the the deeper reason as to why you want to be successful. Money and possessions alone don’t cut it entirely. For example, when launching Avora, I wanted to work towards developing financial freedom so some day my family never have to worry about bills or any inconvenient situations. Growing up, I’ve seen many tragic things happening related to a lack of money, so creating financial freedom has been a goal of mine. You need to evoke emotion to fuel your discipline.
Do you want to retire your parents? Perhaps you want to build a school in a poor country or invest in people who have potential in their own careers. Whatever it is, I want you to feel the emotion deep down, and write it down. Let this “why” be your motivation, not the fancy stuff.
Once you’ve identified your “why”, you can always look back to it whenever you need motivation. But still, discipline requires pushing through tough moments even when motivation isn’t cutting it in that moment. To do this, you NEED to create a routine. No matter what it is, it’ll help provide a sense of order and regiment into your life. If you feel like you’re kind of wandering throughout the day but not actively focussing and working on your goals, then a routine is what you need. Start by making a daily to-do list that you’ll commit to doing every single day. It can be as simple as:
Engaging with people on Instagram for an hour.
Studying music business for 30 minutes a day. Or:
Sending my music to blogs or promo channels each day for 20 minutes.
The goal is to become consciously focussed on building a routine that will help you achieve the success you desire.
Just for a little input here: I began posting every single day on Avora main Instagram page since December 2018. We didn’t just magically start reaching 100k people per week or amassing 16k followers overnight. It was a result of a small discipline repeated every single day.
Tip Three: Get Realistic
Becoming a self-funded and self-sufficient entrepreneur is INCREDIBLY hard. In fact, in the UK alone, over 60% of businesses go bust in their first three years of operating. You might be thinking, “well, I’m not a business”. Wrong. Every artist on earth is a business with a brand. In order to achieve the 1% lifestyle, you have to start thinking like the 1% and start acting like the 1% of people on earth.
Getting realistic doesn’t mean throwing out your dreams, but it means making the required sacrifices in order to reach them. Things get super uncomfortable when “getting realistic” means:
Removing yourself from social circles who have you spending money instead of investing it in yourself.
Sacrificing spending money on material possessions instead of growing your brand.
Living on a smaller overall budget to fund your music career.
Understanding music success isn’t an overnight happening. This can take years, so always begin with the end in mind.
One great way to keep pushing throughout the tough times is to remember this: If you’re working towards your dreams, what exactly are you sacrificing? - You’re technically not sacrificing a single thing if you’re doing what 99% of people in the world aren’t willing to. You’re pursuing your passion, so technically, you’re living out your dreams as we speak. Most people never make it this far, so be incredibly thankful.
To wrap up.. The toughest part about getting realistic is understanding your own bad habits. Yes, I said it. The uncomfortable truth is the greatest lesson of self-discovery you’ll ever go down. Notice if you’re someone who spends on bad habits and possessions. Notice if you procrastinate a lot. Notice if your attitude right now maps towards where you WANT to be some day. When you write down your bad habits, or things/people that are holding you back. Question “Why” all the way until you get to the root of the habit or problem. Only then can you build self-mastery and awareness.
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