Best Ways to Enhance Your Resilience as an Artist or Musician

Learn the do’s and don’ts on how to push your career forward no matter what happens…  

Resilience is one of the key attributes artists and musicians need to work on if they are to succeed in the music industry.  

What does it mean? Well, as with any career, you’re likely to experience plenty of highs and lows on your musical journey.  

In this context, resilience is all about how you recover when you get a setback. The aim is not to completely avoid ‘failing’. Instead, it’s about honing how you respond to any such challenges, then (hopefully) carry onwards and upwards. Here, you can check out our essentials on how to enhance your sense of resilience and your career… 

Don’t try to control the world around you

Change is one of life’s only constants. So musicians and artists trying to make their way through the industry shouldn’t try to control every aspect of their lives. As creatives, it can be important to realise that many things are out of our control. On acknowledging this, the most crucial thing to do is to not set out to change or prevent what is happening. Instead, focus on how you react to new and challenging circumstances. Refining how you do this is crucial to helping your growth…

Invest time in your plan and establish your goals 

What are you trying to achieve with your music? As an artist, musician or aspiring entrepreneur, are you clear on your ultimate goals? 

If you are totally honest with yourself on what you want to get from your musical career from the beginning, then it’s easier to stay focused and motivate yourself when obstacles or challenges get in your way. Remember that there is never just one way to get to where you’re going. Instead, consider multiple routes to reach your final destination.

Once your plan is in place – stick to it

After you’re come up with a plan, then do what you can to stick to it. Take one step at a time – and if you get knocked off target, then revert to the plan and continue. You might feel like you’ve been bruised by what has been thrown at you. But as long as you try and remain on target, then you can move forward positively at your own pace.

Build a support network around you and your music

In the music industry, much is made of the connections you make on your musical journey – and it’s true, your network can be invaluable. Not only when it comes to music making but also when you need to talk about your experiences or unpick something when it didn’t go according to plan. In this way, having the right people around you can be an amazing resource, not only when you need motivation but when you’re looking for insight, advice or even a shoulder to cry on. During testing times, it’s important to retain perspective and get some clarity – and an effective network can offer this. On a more personal level, your support network can also provide reassurance, reminding you just how amazing you are.

Rejection is an essential part of your career

Setbacks are an inevitable part of every career, never mind just a creative one. So it’s important not to see them as something that will hold you back or prevent you from making your ambitions become a reality. 

Instead, every issue should be seen as an opportunity to learn something new or another skill. It means when things don’t go according to plan, you can become more comfortable with yourself and how you react to this kind of situation.

Reflect and learn

Developing a thicker skin and an ability to bounce back takes work – and the best way to approach this is by continually evaluating your actions when it comes to success or failures. Ask yourself serious questions about your experiences, what you can take from them and apply to your next actions so you can do things differently, and hopefully more successfully, next time.  

If anyone provides you with feedback on a gig or piece of music you’ve worked on, then it’s often worthwhile listening to it and reflecting on this if possible. Sometimes it’s the advice or comments that are toughest to hear that can provide you with the best insight. You often receive the most important feedback when things are getting tough. Ultimately, things going wrong can lead to the biggest epiphanies… 

No one’s career has always been on the up and up 

If you’re looking at your heroes for inspiration, then you should try and get beyond the success to see how they made it.  

And if you do, you’ll see that many of them have tasted failures as well as glory. Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker spent more than a decade trying to get noticed. Lady Gaga was dropped by Def Jam’s LA Reid after he heard a few unfinished demos. Jimi Hendrix was booed off stage during an early performance. The Beatles were turned down by Decca Records and almost broke up as a result. But each of these stories just goes to show how important ‘failure’ can be in the success stories of some of the best artists and bands in musical history…

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