On this episode of the show, we’re talking about accepting other people’s success, when you feel like a loser.
And this is something that we all feel like at some point. It’s become an issue especially lately with the advent of social media and how fast news travels these days. You know, because Jascha Heifetz didn’t get a notification every time Isaac Stern played a sold out concert. But this is a daily occurrence for us these days.
But more importantly, what does dwelling on this negativity do for us as musicians? And in the second half of the show, we cover some actionable things you can do to improve if you feel like you have stalled.
Listen to the Podcast Below:
First of all…
This is something we pretend is not real. Nobody really wants to admit they feel like a loser, and harbor resentment towards a colleague. But most the “How to win an audition” books and blogs don’t address life after a failed audition. And even when there isn’t a competition or a declared “winner” or “loser,” this is a feeling we all experience at some point.
The Polaroid snapshot of other people’s life is not worth getting upset about. Nobody’s life is that awesome all the time. The social peacock-ing and FOMO is not healthy or sustainable.
We feel like we deserve success, because we have worked so hard. But do we really deserve anything?
But is it just Jealousy. Sometimes life is not fair and “unqualified” and “undeserving” people get hired or promoted or get opportunities that we think they don’t deserve. But we are usually judging them and reducing a whole person to one quality. People have many attributes that could affect why they have success.
What’s frustrating is when others are successful with a weakness in an area that is one of your strengths.
But Some of this is just politics. It is a real thing! In the arts people want to hire and work with their friends.
But sometimes Politics is a scapegoat for more difficult issues that we don’t want to acknowledge. Like maybe they are good fundraisers, or good communicators, easier to get along with or better looking etc. It’s also easier to blame it on politics than to hold a grudge against a colleague.
Sometimes Luck plays a part in the success of others. But it’s not blind luck.
“Luck Is What Happens When Preparation Meets Opportunity” -Seneca (Roman Philosopher)
Musicians are generally over-analytical. It may be your job to over analyze why your fingers aren’t moving to the right place at the right time, but sometimes this skill needs to be left in the practice room. Why not just accept someone’s success, and move on. Just like it’s not healthy to over analyze every word in a text message- sometimes less is more.
Having a scarcity mentality isn’t helpful. Even though this is often the case with orchestra auditions-there is only one spot and many qualified candidates who all want it.
But switching to an abundance mentality can be healthier for the rest of the time. Which still might mean that you have to carve you own path.
We need to remember that someone else’s success is not everything. Many people often lose that awesome job, or decide to quit, or hate everything about it.
It’s hard to admit that maybe you’ve stopped improving.
How to Improve if you’ve plateaued
- Get feedback. Either from a teacher or from colleagues.
- Schedule something to practice for: a recital or other performance.
- Throw a chamber music party- even to just improve your sight-reading
- Utilize all the resources at our disposal: Masterclasses on Youtube, OrchestraExcerpts.com (hello!)
- The Metronome is invaluable: *Pro Tip: Record yourself without the metronome, play it back with the metronome. Good luck with that.
- Intonia or other intonation apps
- Play for musicians that don’t play your instrument. They don’t care what is difficult for you, just what it sounds like.
- Put some stakes on it. (make a pact with a friend that you’ll have to do something if you back out)
- Reward yourself if you complete your goal
- Don’t be jelly (a.k.a jealous)
- Don’t be bitter because you CAN use negative situations to improve yourself!
“Bitterness is like eating rat-poison and expecting the rat to die” -Christian
3.Don’t over analyze or beat yourself up! Keep moving!
4.Be genuine and happy for people
5.Grace and confidence = more jobs
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Thank you to the MasterWorks Festival for introducing the four of us!
Learn more at www.MasterWorksFestival.org
Links we mentioned:
Anna’s “fly-away” fingers
or available here for free (I think only in German or French)
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What are some of the things you do to help accept the success of others?