Freedom from negative self-talk

Too many musicians are limited by the voices in their heads: the gremlins that seek to undermine our best efforts. So I ask you to . . .


Imagine what a difference it would make to find freedom from negative self-talk

What would that change do for you, for your performances, and for the projects you take on? Wouldn’t that be worth working on?

To be clear, changing our habitual thinking patterns and limiting beliefs is never quick or easy. But I LOVE to find practical and effective tools to help with this.

So I’m happy to bring to you one of my favorite excerpts from Andrew Simonet’s book Making Your Life as an Artist. In it, Simonet includes a set of what he calls . . .


Principles for Building a Sustainable Life

Simonet presents these as counteracting positive messages to reframe a set of limiting beliefs common to artists of all disciplines.

Below you’ll see he first provides the limiting fixed mindset statement. That’s the negative self-talk (in italics). See how many of these resonate with you! Some of these statements are so commonly held by musicians that you may not even recognize them as limiting beliefs.

Underneath each negative statement is Simonet’s positive growth mindset response. These are reframed statements that you can choose to use to see your world as abundant with possibilities.

Again, these are from Andrew Simonet’s excellent Making Your Life as an Artist.


Try reading these aloud and notice the shift in energy between statements

“Success will either happen to me or it won’t.
I am building an artistic life, not an artistic career, step by step, thinking long-term and staying responsive to changing circumstances.

No one cares about my work.
By offering a strong artistic voice as widely as possible, I give citizens a chance to come close to my work.

I am competing with other artists for scarce resources.
The success of other artists is good for me. And mutual artistic support is worth more than money.

I need I need I need I need I need.
My skills are needed in the world.


The future is scary and I don’t have time to think about it.

With limited, regular planning, I work toward the art, the values, and the life that I believe in.

What I do is frivolous and I am lucky if I get paid for it.
We are highly trained professionals, and the work we do, collectively, is essential in our culture. I expect to be compensated fully and fairly. And I have the freedom to do unpaid or low-paying work that is rewarding in other ways.

I never have enough time or money to make my work perfect.
With the time and resources I have for each project, I will do the best I can.

I have to do everything I possibly can for every project, even if it kills me.
No opportunity or work of art is worth the well-being of the people involved, I can say no.

I have to work all the time, with no time off.
I schedule down time in my day, my week, and my year, essential to my wellbeing and artistic growth.

No one cares about art.
The world is hungry for noncommercial experiences, for moments of focus, connection, and insight instead of the profit-driven distraction provided by the entertainment industry.

I wish I had the career that ___________has.
I define success for myself, and trust that impact does not correlate with fame.”

By catching yourself when you fall into your habitual self-talk and swapping in the new viewpoints, you can, over time, change how you see the world.

Now of course, mantras alone won’t catapult your career forward. But a change in mindset can get you unstuck so you can choose to take positive action and get moving in the right direction.


For more help . . .

Remember: it’s subscribers to this Monday Bytes newsletter get exclusive access to our monthly Beyond Talent Clinic where they can get expert music career “laser coaching.”  Let’s tackle your questions live in conversation!

And if you’re curious about receiving coaching from me to become the artist you are meant to be, find the details here.

Looking forward,

Dream Big, Plan Smart, Live Well

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