Reaching Success

When something is going right in your life, have you ever begun to wonder when something is going to go wrong or when the “other shoe is going to drop”? I would like to introduce you to the world of self-sabotage. In this brief blog, I will describe what limits you reaching your full potential.

Shockingly, most of us are unaware that we possess a significant level of fear when it comes to success in our lives. According to Gay Hendricks, “Many of our fears are based on the ego, the part of us that’s focused on getting recognition and protects us from social ostracism” (2009). Unknowingly, we all have an internal gauge that tells us how much success, love and creativity one is allowed to accept into our lives. Whenever you start reach past your internal set level, your sub-conscious will try to pull you back into its desired reality. You therefore end up sabotaging your own success.

You see this in relationships all the time -- you find someone who truly loves you, but you may feel not worthy of it. The person will end up running away emotionally or cheating physically, and these are only two examples in this area of life. But this doesn’t only happen in relationships. Maybe it manifests as not finishing song you have written, staying in a job you don’t like, fear of taking chances, even not taking that vacation you’ve always dreamed of. Are you worthy of (fill in the blank)?

Our thoughts trigger our feelings, which turn into actions. The first way to stop self-sabotaging is to first be aware of what you are thinking and acknowledge the thoughts. If you are unaware what you are telling yourself, you will blindly follow what your sub-conscious is telling you. Next, you need to pre-plan what you are going to start telling yourself. Some people call this a mantra. Every time a self-sabotaging thought rises up, you combat it with an alternative thought. What you listen to will affect what you do. We listen to our own voice more than anyone else’s. So be cognizant of what is going on in your head – because it matters.

I hope this helps you reach your dreams!


My Personal Struggle on Finishing

I can’t begin to tell you how difficult it has been to complete my album.  Let me preface this by saying that the physical side of making the album has been quite enjoyable.  The amount of support from my wife, family, friends, and fellow musicians has been amazing!  The musicians I have been working with have gone way past my expectations.  I am truly grateful for them.  The battlefield for me is in my mind.  Here are some of my struggles:

  • Why am I doing this?
  • Do you really think you compare to all the other guitar players already doing this?
  • Are you going to be liked by your peers?
  • Who will ever come to see an instrumental act?
  • You should have started sooner
  • You should have played your guitar in a way that “so-and-so” would like it
  • Do you really think you have something to offer?
  • How are you going to finish this?
  • Money does not grow on trees you know!

This self-talk probably runs through my head daily.  On top of that, I wanted my social media to be inspiring and encouraging for others to step out and do something that they’ve always wanted to do.  As soon as I ramped that up, my negative self-talk doubled.  It is amazing to see how part of my core belief is that I am not worthy of acceptance or success (at whatever level).  I am constantly combating it.  Some days I win the battle; other days I feel emotionally exhausted.  I realize that this album is not just about making my music, but it is also for me to confront my perceived self-identity.  I often tell people, “If you are going to look at one side of the equation, you must look also at the other side, it’s only fair right?” So here it goes:

  • I was given a talent to create music, and it would be wasteful to bury it and let no one hear my music.
  • I am my own unique person, given a unique talent; like a fingerprint, no one can play the guitar like me.
  • My music is not for everyone, but it is for the individuals that it resonates with.
  • If no one saw any instrumental acts, then the symphony would be out of business.  
  • Let go of the past and be present today
  • My musicianship and character will gain the respect of my peers.
  • What I have to offer is for this season and this day.
  • Scheduled creativity and enthusiasm will get the project done.
  • I will work hard, and money will be provided

It felt good to do the other side!  I encourage anyone reading this to not just look on the negative side, but to challenge yourself to practice daily the positive side.  It will change the world!  Thank you for your support and prayers, and please leave a comment if this has helped you at all.


Overcoming Creative Self-Doubt

As a musician, I love the moment when your mind is enjoying a creative spark and when possibilities seem limitless. But if you have lived any length of time of this earth, without fail, self-doubt plays that dissonant chord that makes you question everything you've just created.  Why is that?! Oh, the burning question that plagues every artist! 

Unfortunately, self-doubt feeds on insecurities: that they are not unique, not good enough, and even at their core, not worthy.  So what gives me the license to talk about this subject? Well, I am a musician, but I am also a licensed therapist; and I been analyzing myself for sometime now! 

If one is to overcome self-doubt, one must understand how thoughts and feelings work.  For example, have you ever been watching a food commercial, and minutes later you found yourself hungry or craving what they were advertising?  (Hmm, I wonder what a hamburger doughnut sandwich would taste like?) Well, our thoughts (either planted by someone else or ourselves) spark a feeling.  Thoughts=feelings.  The thought of me going on vacation triggers feelings of being excited, happy, or relaxed. 

So here is the catch: feelings (happy, sad, excited, afraid, etc.) never lie to you. If you are happy, then you are happy; if you are sad then you are sad.  My thoughts (remember either planted by someone else or ourselves) can be true or a lie, triggering a true feeling.  So the next time you create that new idea and think, "why would someone like this?" -- triggering a feeling of sadness -- remember to “think” differently and say, "Someone may like this!" -- creating a feeling of excitement! You are now on the way to challenging your self-doubt.  Experiment, create, and finish!!

Hope this inspires,