Three years and some in LA, and most of my life in a male dominated society that does not quite believe in the importance of music, in addition to a lot of horror stories of emotional, physical and verbal abuse, I learned the hard way to develop thick skin and find ways to snap out of any emotionally draining mind-state and go full force after what matters the most. I found these tips helpful when times are rough, and I hope they would help you too!
1. Don’t take it personally: If you read the book The Four Agreements, this is one of the basic rules for a happy and peaceful life. Rejection, hundreds of revisions, nasty emails, silence from producers, hate-mail, gossip, etc. Just rise above it all and keep going forward confidently, following your dream and passion.
2. Don’t focus on you: You don’t have to be liked by everyone. Nor does your music have to be liked by everyone either. Not everyone has to agree with you. Stop trying to please everyone because you NEVER WILL. Don’t try to be the next great XZ, but be the next best version of you.
3. Why, What and How: Think and remember, why are you in this industry? Why are you getting rejected? What can you change to turn this situation around? What skills can you learn to get attention and gigs in the future? What values do you have? What problems can you solve? What makes you shine? What is your work ethic and attitude like with clients and people you work with? Who can you collaborate with or ask for guidance? Where can you volunteer to polish your skills?
4. Find your rock: A gratitude rock, or a friend/companion/partner who can support you and keep pushing you to never give up, a side hobby that you can release any stress through. Find a place and time to unwind and rethink everything when things get tough and you feel lost. Find a way to make you heal!
5. Compassion: Be nice, be kind. Put yourself in other people’s shoes. Listen to their needs and their stories, be a solution to their problem. Don’t face hate with hate, don’t react to rejection by pulling back or by being bitter or resentful.
6. Think abundance: The market is saturated with composers AND with people who hire composers. If you lose out on a gig, there are millions out there that might even be better for you.
And finally, keep watching inspiring movies and videos, expand your horizons and be involved with what’s outside of your circle, it doesn’t all have to be music and filmmaking.Keep taking risks, keep thinking of new ways to improve and make progress.
Stay happy and compassionately thick skinned