“Don’t worry, be happy.” Four lovely words. It sounds so simple.
My career has been and remains a roller coaster of emotions. One day, I am on the top of the world because I got called for a gig or released some new material. The next day, I get a rejection or writer’s block and thinking, “What am I doing with my life.” I’ve discovered that it’s better for me and everyone around me if I maintain a level or joy and peace. However, being joyful doesn’t always occur naturally. I work at it. Every day. Every single hour. Every time a negative or defeating thought comes into my head, I concentrate to get past it or transform it. Every time I experience frustration or disappointment, I have to consciously filter through it. It is a life-long endeavor to remain in a positive and joyful state of mind.
Do I ever wallow in self-pity? Do I have my moments where I’m negative? Do I cry? Absolutely. But I have realized any frustration, fear, anger, self-pity is created in my head. I am thinking whatever thought that is prompting it. And usually not just once. I think these thoughts over and over. “I’m not good enough.” “My music isn’t good enough.” “Success will never happen for me.” “No one will like this.” “No one will care.” Then I gather evidence (more thoughts) to confirm that original thought. It is a veritable rabbit hole that makes me feel worse and worse. It doesn’t matter the situation that caused these negative thoughts-lost a job, argued with a friend, a submission was rejected. It just matters that I am using that situation to make myself feel bad. You might say, “Losing a job or getting rejected does feel bad.” Well, it can. But only if your beliefs and fears support it.
Let’s say I submit a song and it gets rejected. One fear I have might be that the song is really terrible. One belief that maybe is buried down inside me is that my music isn’t good enough for people to like and never will be. Another might be, I’ll never write a song that people resonate with. Now, I have fans who would disagree with all those statements, but it doesn’t matter what they think. It matters what I think. Here’s why the power of thought is so important. If my song is rejected, those negative thoughts flood into my head because they are my deepest feast. But there are literally hundreds of reasons why a song is rejected. None of them might be that the song is bad. Maybe it wasn’t a good fit for what they needed. Maybe the song will find a home somewhere else that is a better fit. Maybe the timing wasn’t right. Maybe the song budget was cut. Maybe the director’s nephew got the placement. Any of those is possible and has very little to do with the quality of my work. When I change my thoughts I can change my mood. When I think thoughts of hopelessness or depression, I feel bad. When I think thoughts of opportunity and gratitude I feel good. I could go on for hours about this, but let me get to how I change my thoughts and in turn, how I say positive.
There are a couple of other things I do that keep me in a good place.