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The music industry is a wonderful, but tough environment to work in. However, there’s some good news. If you really know and understand yourself when embarking on a music career, it can make a huge difference to your wellbeing. You’ll understand how you react to pressure, will know what pushes your buttons, what your needs are and the measures to put in place to protect your own physical and mental wellbeing.

In the first Elevate Music Podcast, Adam Ficek (psychotherapist, songwriter and member of Babyshambles) shares the challenges he has experienced working in the music industry. On reflection, Adam highlights self awareness as the most important skill a musician can master.

So why would you want to get to know yourself better? Self-awareness is incredibly important, as without it, we struggle to understand others, manage ourselves, deal with change, understand our successes and failures, and to develop healthy relationships. It’s really the cornerstone of emotional intelligence and important to all elements of our lives.

Full disclosure… Becoming more self-aware is NOT EASY. But that’s no reason to shy away, often the harder it is, the more important it is for you to master. 

There are tons of benefits of mastering the skill of self-awareness as a musician, we’ve mentioned a few already, and there are some more below.

The self-aware musician:   

Is values led, confident and dedicated

  • Creates more
  • Achieves bigger goals
  • Gets more gigs
  • Has a wide network
  • Collaborates effectively 
  • Is a strong performer
  • Can overcome writers block 
  • Feels motivated 
  • Experiences great relationships 
  • Has a high profile 
  • Sticks to a practice schedule 
  • Feels a sense of purpose 
  • Is fulfilled by their work 
  • Has a powerful sense of wellbeing 
  • Can reflect and solve problems (e.g. Why do people unfollow me? What could be the reason I didn’t I get a response to my demo? Why don’t the audience engage with me?)

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How do you build self-awareness?

Self-awareness takes time to build. It’s a commitment. A commitment to discovering more about YOU every day (and whilst most of the time it’ll be interesting and fun, sometimes it will be really tough). But if you can stick with it and place a consistent, regular  focus on understanding yourself then you’ll start to reap the rewards.  

There are some really simple ways to start developing knowledge of who you are and what you’re all about. Here are a few ideas to get you started: 

  • Find out how self aware you are using our MEQ (musicians emotional quotient) framework questionnaire.
  • Figure out your values using our FREE Musician Values Worksheet.
  • Establish your strengths using our FREE Musician Superpowers Worksheet.
  • Keep a record of your emotional responses and establish themes. What causes you to feel anger, sadness, joy etc?
  • Ask for feedback from people around you that you trust. Be open to hearing their honest view and reflect on this. 
  • Build reflective practice into your daily schedule. At the end of every day take 10 minutes to reflect on your day,  honestly. 
  • Meditate. Give your mind space to build awareness. 

Over to you

  • How easy do you find self-awareness?
  • What has been a useful awareness activity for you?
  • What have you learnt from self-awareness?

We’d love to hear your thoughts. We’d also like to see some examples of self-awareness in the music industry… Have you come across any powerful examples?

If you’ve enjoyed this article, then please share it far and wide.                            Let’s talk about building your self-awareness

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