8.7 Self Confidence

Boundaries In Thinking

As creatives, we can often doubt ourselves. We doubt our abilities and can second guess the choices we make. Since a song is made up of hundreds of small decisions, second guessing is too easy.

However, you need to understand and accept that no matter what level of proficiency you are at, you will most likely always find to some extent, that second guessing is part of being creative.

One of the best ways to control thinking, in particular negative thinking, is to learn to ‘trust your gut.’ Learning to trust your initial inner impressions, feelings, responses is the best way to keep momentum in a creative space. It also helps to keep making music, fun!

Here’s a great exercise to ‘train your gut responses’.

  • Take 30 minutes out of your day and put all possible distractions aside.
  • Pick one instrument and start playing something. It doesn’t matter what it is, just play anything. Keep playing until there is something that catches your attention and your gut says, “that sounds cool!”.
  • Record that idea and move on to a different instrument. Continue the same process and keep layering different instruments.

For this exercise to truly work we need a couple of rules.

Rule 1.
You are not allowed to second guess your ‘gut’ response. You have just got to go with it! No going back and undoing anything.

Rule 2.
You have to have fun! Making music should be fun!

Comparison

Comparison can be a creativity killer. It can make us too introspective and we start believing that we are second best to those around us. We often compare the worst of ourselves to the perceived best of someone else. The issue is that we never really have enough information to make that judgement.

With social media in our faces daily, we are constantly confronted with comparison. Photos always make it look like our friends are living a better life than ours, having better dreams, better songs and better opportunities. That’s because we only ever seem to see the good things. We never see their struggles or the heartbreak from issues they may be facing.

In Jordan Peterson’s book, ‘12 Rules For Life,’ he talks about this topic. His fourth rule states, ‘Compare Yourself To Who You Were Yesterday, Not To Who Someone Else Is Today’. It’s a great reminder that the only person we can truly compare with, is ourselves.

The more we understand the beauty in our own unique creativity, the more fulfillment in life we will find.

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