A couple of years ago I decided to create a special note in Evernote: a reminder note. I called the note ‘Mindf%@! Aversion Strategy’ (or MFAS for short). An interesting title, yes? Well, it came about as my eventual response to that ‘enjoyable’ phenomenon I can probably safely say we all go through: self-loathing. Regularly through my life I’ve had doubts, and consistently through my life they’ve stopped me from following my dreams.
When I was 10, and I loved listening to and singing along to my favourite albums, I was so shy that I felt I surely didn’t have any place in the world of my music idols – amazing artists like ABBA, KISS, the Bee Gees, and whoever had made it to radio airplay at the time. At 16, I still kept my singing to my room, and was still way too afraid to take it outside that room. At 20 I restricted my singing to a group, and slipped into the sheltered safety of a choir: my music dreams partly met, I was able to muffle that inner voice. At 30, I finally decided to work on playing music for a living. It would take years before I felt that I was actually giving something of value to people. I finally got to a point where I thought, “Yes, now I deserve to be on this platform, playing music for actual, physical people.” Only with that mindset could I – someone who for all of my teens and twenties loathed being in a spotlight of just 3-4 people in a group conversation – come to a point of being happy and even enjoying playing music solo to a room full of expectant people, and for a venue manager expecting quality music for their spend. Several years into this business, however, there were many times I still couldn’t believe it. So I created the MFAS.
Along with my dear husband, the MFAS is where I go when I’m not sure, or I’ve forgotten, or even worse, I’ve lost belief in the premise that I was born to be a music artist. In it, I write the nice things people have said to me about my music. Things like thanks for making them feel good, for helping them through feelings of darkness, for giving them a buzz, or purely appreciation of my singing and playing. Conversations, emails, passing comments: I jot down the ones that make me feel that warm fuzzy feeling, and keep them in my MFAS. Then anytime I’m on the verge of a crisis of confidence (aka a ‘mindf#@%’ as my other half calls them) I open up the note, and read the nice things. And the nice things people have said remind me not to leave this track, but instead to forge on ahead in full confidence that music is the thing I do that fans a spark and ignites a flame in others. Fortunately, as time passes and my confidence and belief solidifies, I find the need to look at the MFAS less. But I know in times of growth – such as now, with blogging – doubts can return, and I’ll be using it if need be. Actually, I think I might start a section for ‘Blogging’ in it…
I encourage anyone who has felt the same doubts to start your own Mindf%@! Aversion Strategy, or whatever you want to call it. Even if you’re a stable kind of person, the nice things people have said about you are so good to read back over, and well worth keeping somewhere.