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Saturday, June 10, 2023

How To Build Momentum and Overcome Self Doubt as a Nigerian Musician

It has been incredibly difficult for up-and-coming musicians and established pros alike in Nigeria’s music industry over the past few years. While news of new shows and tours is exciting, many of us can’t help but feel some nervousness because we know how quickly things can change. For emerging musicians, the feeling of having significant progress in their careers halted can be very frustrating and cause them to question whether or not they should continue making music. Without a doubt, finding success as a professional in this out-of-the-ordinary field can be challenging.
Truth be told, it’s natural to wonder if you’re making the right decision, especially when major changes are occurring all around you. It’s crucial to your musical career’s survivability that you learn to create and sustain momentum. You are not alone in having doubts about your musical abilities. The majority of musicians, especially those just starting out, have doubts about whether or not their efforts will pay off. But when doubt enters one’s thoughts, it can lead one to a depressing place that drains one’s motivation and creativity.The loss of imagination and, more importantly, the loss of trust in themselves and the learning process are both consequences of this.  Put another way, if you let yourself wallow in self-doubt to the point where it consumes you, it will taint your progress to tragedy. Have I reached the point where I am ultimately relevant? Do you think it’s worth it to put in so much time practicing? Does it justify the effort? It’s disheartening to watch other musicians seem to sail through their careers while you fight every day to make ends meet.

However, it’s not inevitable that this will be your life. As a musician, you need to be willing to face your fears and put yourself out there if you want to keep your momentum going and rid yourself of self doubt. Awareness and interaction with your intended audience are the keys to gaining traction. You need to keep putting out new music, making new content, and interacting with your fan base if you want to keep the momentum going. Maintaining this habit will pave the way to a secure musical career.

This article will help you feel more confident in your decision to pursue a career in music, whether you’re having moments of doubt or just need a little extra motivation. Everyone has the same deep-seated desire to follow their career path and convey who they are through their creative expression. However, there are times when worry creeps into our lives, and we start to wonder if we were truly meant to be artists. It’s the worry that we won’t be able to make our dreams come true because we don’t have what it takes to make them come true.

Many people have trouble accepting their identity as musicians when they are constantly being told by their inner critic that their work is not good enough. The result is an internal struggle between the aspiration to make a living from their art and the doubt that they can actually do so. An uneasiness that makes moving forward seem more frightening than exciting.

To tell you the truth, I think most musicians have doubted their talent and purpose in life at some point. It goes along with the territory of being creative. We doubt ourselves, we flinch, and we feel like giving up. That’s natural, and yes, we do have a say in the matter. Self-doubt is natural; the key is to push through it. Don’t let negative emotions like anger, frustration, or excitement get in the way of creating great art or music.

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Building momentum and overcoming self-doubt can be accomplished by following these steps:

1. Find your why and purpose

That is the bigger picture behind your actions. When things get rough, you’ll have something to cling to that’s bigger than yourself. One motivation for creating music and writing lyrics is the hope it can give to listeners by letting them know they are not alone in their experiences. Others may want to set a good example for other minorities and societies who may lack representation in their field.

Performing as a musician allows you to travel, be creative, and avoid being chained to a desk, all of which may appeal to you. One possible “why” is the desire to bring happiness to those who are going through tough times. Any number of these possibilities may be at play. If you’re having trouble staying motivated, it can help to identify what drives you. It can also help you find or keep the right team by allowing you to connect with them on a more personal level.

It’s crucial for getting on the same page with your collaborators and expressing your artistic vision clearly in areas like songwriting, branding, and goal-setting. Not every action you take in public or online must be preceded by “why?” (unless you want to). However, it will serve as the basis for much of your musical work and provide you with an objective reference point to rely on when self-doubt sets in.

2. Listen to the beat of your own drum

Others’ ideas, opinions, and declarations about what a musician is and isn’t are constantly floating just below your conscious awareness. Ignore the public outcry and have faith in your own conceptions of what it means to be a musician. It is understandable that approval is an important component in developing self-esteem and confidence, especially early in your career. This, however, can quickly become a trap.

Especially if you’ve been told repeatedly that your goals are too lofty or that you lack the resources to make them a reality. Your actions and choices can be impacted by the chitchat and criticism of others. It’s a shame that external influences can sway us to lower our standards so much.

Give up trying to prove your worth, but don’t be afraid to ask for help. And don’t make it a routine to constantly consult the opinions of those around you. If, while developing a new project, you make constant adjustments to your work in response to criticism, you may find that your original vision becomes watered down. In turn, your identity is watered down in your work. If you’re unsure about something, it’s okay to ask for advice, but ultimately you should go with your gut.

3. You need to invest in yourself

Lack of positive self-evaluation and neglecting one’s own needs can lead to a downward spiral of self-doubt. The benefits of getting enough rest and staying active cannot be overstated. If you’re in good physical shape, setbacks and other challenges along the way will be easier to bear. Ten minutes of cardio every day can make a big difference. People who are determined to achieve their goals often neglect their own needs in the process. They’ve been ignoring their mental health for far too long.

As a result, they don’t engage in any pastimes. Not taking enough time off to recharge is a common problem for them. Keep in mind that the secret to a happy life is finding a way to combine your work and your play. Take a practical approach to your education. Although it’s important to push yourself, it’s also important to set reasonable goals and time limits. Evaluate your current musical abilities and resources to see if you are fully prepared to succeed.

4. Find passions and hobbies outside of music

Feeling compelled to pursue music as a career is a reality for many musicians. It’s difficult to imagine fitting in anything else when pursuing a career in music, as it demands so much time and energy. But a common mistake is to associate one’s entire self and way of life with a single aspect of that perspective alone.

For this reason, it is recommended that you take a break whenever you feel exhausted or uncertain about continuing your music career. It’s fine to branch out and try new things, whether that’s a new interest or a more normal daily activity. You’re even better off if your interests include sports and other forms of physical activity. All of these will help you reconnect with your physical self or give you the impression that other parts of your life are flourishing.

5. Surround yourself with like-minded people

The music industry is distinctive in that it is founded not on competition but on personal connections. The people you keep close to you are also important. Having aspirations to pursue a career in music while surrounding yourself with musicians who lack drive or who treat their craft as a hobby will lead to burnout.

However, success is much more likely if you have people to talk to along the way who share your goals and are experiencing the same things you are. Seeing loved ones or acquaintances accomplishing comparable objectives can serve as a source of motivation and make your own targets seem more manageable.

There are many options for finding people with similar interests if you don’t already belong to a group. A great way to meet and support people on a similar journey is to join Facebook groups or, even better, courses in the music industry that have some sort of community aspect. Live performances, as well as attending local networking events for the music industry, are excellent ways to meet new people.

Many musicians erroneously assume success without first learning the ropes. Without that understanding, you run the risk of losing time, money, opportunities, and even your life to swindlers. Many people also make the mistake of not researching their options. Major openings await you at every turn. But you’ll never know how to go after them if you don’t even realize they’re possible.

6. Stop comparing yourself

It’s pointless to assess your own competence in relation to someone else’s accomplishments and competence. You’ve fallen into a trap! Do not give in to the temptation. It’s fine to be inspired by those who know more than us, but let’s not make it a contest of who’s better. Instead, judge your musical progress by how you stack up against your yesterday self.

Don’t let the success of others stunt your development; instead, shine brighter and brighter as time goes on. To add, there is more to being a musician than simply imitating others. The point is to add your own personal flair to the musical sphere through your own thoughts and style.

7. Embrace failure

It appears that we have developed a culture in which failure is not tolerated as a result of our consistent efforts to avoid it. People who are successful all the time don’t necessarily end up with more self-confidence than others who experience setbacks along the way. If we never make mistakes, then what is the point of even trying to learn? The best way to learn is to experience failure and then strive to do even better the next time. In addition to this, it shows us that perseverance pays off and that we have the ability to better ourselves through our own efforts.

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In Review

Gaining confidence in yourself and moving forward with your music career are integral parts. In essence, it entails setting an objective, working to achieve that objective, and then repeating the process. To keep moving forward as a musician, you need to keep doing this. But first, you must resolve to make a living as a musician and pursue a career in music. Having that objective in mind can help you gain confidence in your musical abilities and move forward.

If you aren’t easy to identify, no one will bother to. You’re connected, so you can make the necessary connections and get your music heard by the right people. There comes a time when you have to decide that your songs, albums, and performance are good enough to be heard and seen by the masses. If you never actually do anything but make small adjustments, nothing will change.

Have faith in yourself and make use of your innate talents. As human beings, we are all susceptible to feelings of apprehension when confronted with novel situations laden with ambiguity and unpredictability. No matter how positive we try to be, our inner critic will always speak up whenever we attempt something significant. If your inner critic is speaking up, it could mean you’re about to take a big, life-changing step. Suppose you had complete faith in yourself and were able to completely disregard any emotional upheaval you were experiencing on the inside.

You could give yourself over to your passion for music without worrying about what other people thought. It’s all in how you look at things; with the right mindset, you can make anything happen. Emotions, both positive and negative, are your greatest strength and most valuable tool, and it’s time you started seeing them that way. Think about how you’d feel if you’d taken a different tack in sticky situations.

As a musician, learning how to gain confidence and keep going when you don’t think you can is like discovering the secret to making it big. At first glance, it appears complicated, but upon looking closer, it’s not too difficult. However, you should be prepared to put in some effort. Without giving in to your doubts or fears, you would be moving forward and thriving. You’d be well on your way to realizing your dreams as a musician. The future musical possibilities would excite you. So why not use these tips and start implementing them to make your musical career better?

Adesola Adewumi
Adesola Adewumi
Adesola is a purpose-driven man, critical thinker, problem solver, inner peace seeker, nature addict, writer, and a good listener. As a content writer, he has written several published and unpublished articles, as well as life-changing masterpieces on various social media platforms and websites. Adesola as an ardent knowledge seeker seeks to maximize various opportunities to grow, develop, and become productive in his world.

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