The Muse's Muse  
Muses MailMuses Newsmuse chatsongwriting resource home
Regular Columnists

Overcoming Our Own Mental Barriers To Success!
By Paula Carpenter - 03/30/2004 - 02:29 PM EST

There's a noticeable phenomenon that I see, over and over again, in people trying to achieve great things, to rise to a status they had not previously inhabited. Sometimes...there is a tendency from deep 'self-sabotage'. Why?

Somehow, we all get accustomed to living with the set of circumstances/position in life/level at our jobs, that we are most familiar with, and 'breaking out' seems a bit...well...uncomfortable. Some of us tend to envision ourselves as that self we always knew in the past, maybe that girl from a small town, or that guy from the lower income level, or that person who considers himself or herself 'too old',
or 'too something'.... to be successful. I've even read that people who win the lottery, in some cases, if they are from the type of background that is unfamiliar with managing large amounts of money/growing wealth...tend to 'spend themselves' back to the financial level they were accustomed to...and typically, that is, a lower level. Do we do a version of this to ourselves, when it comes
to our career dreams?

If so, to all that, let me just say....ENOUGH, ALREADY! We absolutely must break away from these self-images that keep us in a place where we don't wish to be, and that is, unsuccessful.

As you know, the title of my columns, overall is: WHY NOT ME? In this question, I am asking each person to actually think of themselves as EVERY BIT AS ABLE as those whose success level is already established. I am not saying that *every* individual possesses the same amount of talent, because, indeed, that is not true. Certainly there are those whose level of intuitive songwriting talent is really a 'gift'; and if, to that, they add alot of study, honing the craft, and hours and hours of writing, they cannot help but become truly great. Then, there are those who are *not* noticeably gifted, but really enjoy this journey of songwriting, and seek to become better, via the same paths mentioned above. Then, I've found, there are some who not only are not gifted, but are truly 'out of touch' with the reality what it takes to compete in the world of commercial songwriting.

So, that said, it's a given we're not all starting from the same beginning point. But let's move on to the next thought -- we've acknowledged that everyone is not equally gifted and talented. Beyond that, let's seek to address the answers to the questions: WHY NOT ME? in terms of 'why should I - I - I - me - me - me be the one that finds great success and fulfillment in songwriting?

Typically when we ask a question like that, we see it as a postive engerigizer, as 'hey, why shouldn't I, with all my great talent and drive for success and work ethic... find success?" Let's turn that around and look at it from the negative, as in "What are the real reasons which may genuinely keep me from becoming successful?" Let's look at WHY NOT ME? from the negative side, and then see if we can fix those negatives. Then, from there, let's JUMP OVER those mental hurdles and negative self-images which may be keeping us from flying high into the world of songwriting success.

YOU MUST POLISH IMPROVE YOUR TALENTS! If you're not willing to learn, attend seminars, online instruction, whatever it takes...there's the reason WHY...NOT YOU.

YOU MUST PRACTICE THINKING OF YOURSELF AS A SUCCESSFUL SONGWRITER! Envision it, dream it, think about it, get accustomed to *viewing yourself* as this successful, talented, sought-after person. If you don't think you are, who else will? (Some of my past articles address this particular topic very well.)

YOU MUST SHOW UP FOR INDUSTRY EVENTS! Perhaps less important than B.T.I. (Before The Internet) ...still...getting your face and your talents in front of the 'industry crowd' is very, very important. If they don't know you, why should they believe in you?

YOU MUST NURTURE THE PERSONALITY/ABILITY TO COLLABORATE with other songwriters/industry leaders! This is an important advantage, as most often, two heads, or more, are better than one. Many times, it's true that extremely talented people, who absolutely do not have the personality to 'get along' with others in the business...just won't make it. You'd think the work/songs/level of talent would be enough, wouldn't you? I've found that not to be so. I've found that people with *people skills* and a pleasant personality...typically do better and go farther. Go figure!

Now...these are but a *few* of the real reasons you MAY NOT BE as successful as you wish...these may be the REAL ANSWERS to the question I always pose, which is WHY NOT ME???

There's MORE actually, and if interested...I'd be happy to send you a copy of my brochure, WHY NOT ME? Just write me at , or visit , and I'll pop one in the mail to you.

Remember: Don't let YOUR OWN HANG-UPS about "I'm just so-and-so from a small town in wherever...I can't be famous!" get the best of you. You may be extraordinarily talented, and we may never know it, because of the mental games and tricks that you are playing on yourself...most likely inadvertently.

So...get over it. BELIEVE IN YOU! You can do it. Faith Hill did. Shania Twain did. Garth Brooks did. Many a songwriter from small-town America did...including me. You can...too!

[ Current Articles | Archives ]

Help For Newcomers
Help for Newcomers
Helpful Resources
Helpful Resources
Regular Columnists
Music Reviews
Services Offered
About the  Muse's Muse
About Muse's Muse
Subscribe to The Muse's News, free monthly newsletter for songwriters
with exclusive articles, copyright & publishing advice, music, website & book reviews, contest & market information, a chance to win prizes & more!

Join today!

Created & Maintained
by Jodi Krangle


1995 - 2016, The Muse's Muse Songwriting Resource. All rights reserved.

Read The Muse's Muse Privacy Statement