DON’T RAIN ON MY PARADE!
As many of you know, I’m working hard to make songwriting my career. I’ve been a singer my entire life but never really believed I could write because I thought that it was supposed to happen like my voice, naturally and not with much work. Music is a part of me, and I love to perform, but with how females are being treated as artists in the industry, I knew I had to switch my focus to writing for not only myself, but other artists. If you’ve never been in the music business or been through it with someone, you have absolutely no idea just how hard it is. Making it requires getting the word no said to you 100 plus times, going to writes, meetings, and gigs after you’ve already worked your other stressful job, and having faith that if you don’t give up something amazing will happen.
This all sounds stressful, right? Have you ever had an “impossible” dream that you wanted to pursue? It could be opening a small business, losing weight, running a marathon...it could be anything! Did you achieve your goal? Regardless of your answer, you’ll be able to relate to what I’m going to tell you because i guarantee whether you gave up on your goal, achieved it, or are in the trenches as we speak trying to make something happen, you faced set backs and adversity. I have and still do every day!
Obviously I’m not where I want to be because I’m still a pharmacist. I want to be in music full time and leave my thankless corporate job. Nothing against pharmacists, but music has and always will be my heart. That’s where I want to be and feel most at home. So, what has kept me going? Why have I refused to give up? I realized what my set backs are and am constantly working on them. Here are some things that have held me back and still do occasionally. I want to share them with you because maybe you’re pursuing something that seems impossible and you’re wanting to quit or wonder why you’ve not made progress. Maybe you are struggling with the same issues!
Self doubt: Admit it, you get in your own head all the time. I am the most over analytical person and I can create a world crisis from a one sentence text in a matter of seconds. The mind can be your best friend or your worst enemy, and it’s really up to you which one. The “what if’s” are very dangerous because playing out these scenarios of various possibilities is exhausting and can kill self esteem. You can also talk yourself out of something quickly when you constantly think about what will happen if you fail. Guess what? You’re going to fail at some point, so you can’t stop pursuing your passion if you fail. I’ve often heard that you bring about what you think about. If you keep thinking that you can’t, you won’t!
Idle time: When I started making contacts in Nashville as a teenager, I got the attention of a writer named Larry Shell. I was invited up to his friend’s house to meet him and talk music. His friend was Kim Williams. I had no idea how lucky I was to be invited into their space. I received a lot of advice that day, but I think the most valuable piece of advice was to write daily. I have to show up and write and make good usage of my time, even when nothing “exciting” was happening in my career. I received similar advice from another friend and mentor Linda Davis. She told me that I had to stay busy and always be doing something, whether it’s performing, writing, and networking....idle time and time away from your passion will allow room for doubt and will also put you behind. You also miss out on amazing friendships and experiences along the way! She couldn’t be more correct! How much time do we waste on things like social media and television? This stuff is fine sometimes, but if you’re going to succeed, your time honing your craft and building relationships HAS to be more important than insignificant activities and excuses. We all have nuggets of time! Find them!
Support system: This right here is probably the most important point I want to make. I speak from A LOT of experience on this, so hear me out. Have you ever had that friend who is always a voice of reason? And when you come to them with a big idea or dream, they’re the first to squash it and tell you why you shouldn’t? Have you ever had a significant other that would tell you all the negative of your aspirations when you started making real progress? I have! And let me tell you, tell them how you feel and see if it changes or distance yourself from these people! If you are being responsible about the pursuit of your dreams, then tell the naysayers to move along. There’s nothing worse than having someone you care about and invest time into telling you that you shouldn’t pursue your passion. When you love someone you want to be that person’s champion and biggest cheerleader. If you have enough Negative Nancy’s in your life, they will talk you right out of your goals. Most of the time this behavior stems from jealousy or intimidation, so beware!
Let me tell you friends, regret is way more painful than failure! And even if you aren’t getting the goals that you originally set out to meet, that’s ok! Keep trying! Shift your focus and change your approach! Dream big and you will achieve something great if you work hard and put your faith in something bigger than yourself!
Love you friends! Keep on keeping on!