I’ve been a recording artist for over a decade, which means I’ve heard a lot of ‘no’s’ – And although I didn’t realize it at the time, every time I got knocked down, I gained confidence in myself by getting back up. Every setback fine-tuned my vision and made me more confident in my ability to keep following my passion. Hearing the word “no” taught me where I need to grow, what I stand for and where my abilities lie.
Had I claimed the victories I wanted early on in my career, I’d have never developed the skills to sustain them. I would have crumbled under the stress or let myself be swept away by this fad or that. All of those hurdles, challenges, rock bottoms – are your currency for success. They are the resources you need to claim your win. The late nights, the early mornings, the hard work are what’s building your confidence in yourself and sharpening your skills.
I was once in a music group where any setback meant something larger about their worth. They labeled themselves by every loss. Rather than being energized by the chance to stretch and confront their shortcomings, they actually tried to create a world without any. Every ‘failure’ was their unraveling. Anyone questioning them led to a complete emotional meltdown. But if you’re only someone when you’re ‘successful,’ who are you when you’re ‘unsuccessful’?
If we thought in terms of gaining resources to learn for the long haul, a setback would not be a threat to our worth. Failing once, twice, three times would not mean we should stop trying. If ‘failure’ is seen as a means of learning, then true growth lies in the setbacks. What if you were stretched by difficulty, and energized by criticism? What if when things got tough, they became more motivating and exciting?
Two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Mia Hamm said, “All my life I’ve been playing up, meaning I’ve challenged myself by competing with players older, bigger, more skillful, more experienced — in short, better than me.” When a baby falls while learning to walk, no one suggests that the child give up and find another means of travel for the next 80 years. Yet we let a fear of how others may judge us make us afraid of the mistakes we need to learn from and build confidence from.
Expecting perfection is an absurd expectation. Making a mistake might seem like a blow to your ego at first, but a far greater one is remaining frozen in place with no growth, no trying, no advancement. Stay the course, learn the sh*t out of your shortcomings, keep fine-tuning – then you won’t have to ‘protect’ your confidence…you’ll actually believe in it yourself.
Truths to start believing right now for a growth mindset:
~ You are far more unlimited than you think. Your true potential is unknowable…really. Keep trying until you can – not until you fail.
~ The hand you’re dealt is just the starting point to grow from. There are a lot of unknowns. Keep getting up and you’ll prove to yourself that you’re unbreakable.
~ Get to know your deficiencies. They mean nothing about your worth, they’re only a cheat sheet for you to grow from.
~ Play up. Surround yourself with people smarter than you and learn everything you can from them. Ask questions. If you get it wrong, investigate why. No one comes out of the womb knowing all things – shift learning to be fun rather than embarrassing.
~ You’re a badass. Always have been, always will be.
Author: Meghan Tartamella
Author Bio: Meghan Tartamella is a musician in Los Angeles, California. Performing under the name Skeleton Woman, as well as writing for artists across genres. To listen to her music, follow her journey, and see her art follow her at @skeletonwomanmusic