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Our thoughts play a huge role in whether we’ll experience success or failure — they are the difference between looking forward to a happy hour and NEEDING one. 

Fixating on the wrong thoughts can cloud your vision of success, forcing you to downplay it instead of proudly shouting accomplishments of all sizes from the rooftop. (Ahem… remembering to wear real pants is still a huge accomplishment most days.)

I don't need to tell you that the life of a creative is challenging at times, especially when navigating the business side of things. Here’s some good news, though. It is possible to be successful, with the right mindset. You'll likely need to let go of old thought patterns first. A lot of them.

Let me give it to you straight… no chaser. Impostor syndrome is like the date you met up with after a flirty exchange on some app. You believed every word they said until you began to dig a little deeper and realized they were the exact opposite of their profile. No thanks.

Remember how you got rid of them? You stopped believing the lies and moved on.

Why not do the same thing to reject the idea that all your talents and accomplishments are the result of some sort of dumb luck? Because they absolutely aren’t.

As we look at six mindset monsters that may be currently taking up space in your head, I hope that you'll consider this a letter of encouragement or swift kick in the pants—whatever it'll take to finally kick them to the curb once and for all.  

Mindset Monster #1: Downplaying Successes

This is classic impostor syndrome behavior, affecting men and women alike. You’ll often experience this when instead of celebrating your achievements, you feel like any moment you’ll be exposed as a fraud. This is not the case. You are not a fraud.

In these situations, remind yourself that the value you provide is being who you are… in all ways… every day. Even if thousands of other bands play the same exact venues as you, your shows will be completely different. And that is not something anyone else can copy (at least not well).

Your audience decides what’s valuable to them. Don’t take that away by not showing up! Once you accept that your special sauce is exactly what your peeps need, you’ll stop wondering “why you?” and will start saying “Hell yeah… me!”

You are uniquely qualified. Accept it.

Mindset Monster

This track often plays on a loop, suggesting you're not quite up to par, or maybe even an impostor in your field.

your new anthem

Flip this track to one where you recount your successes, both big and small. Each achievement is a lyric in the song of your unique talent. This isn’t just self-praise; it's a reminder of your undeniable capabilities.

Mindset Monster #2: Coveting The Royals, The Bachelor or Reality TV's Next Whatever

Yep, creatives can fall into this “larger than reality” trap too. Often, it's by believing that “making it” means conforming to someone else’s standards; aspiring to do, say or be like a specific mentor or industry leader. That’s bullshit. Don’t fall for it. If you’ve been around this joint for any length of time you know that I firmly believe the best way to dominate in any market is to fully lean into who you are as a uniquely created individual.

So, friend, how about if you make your own path from now on? Because doing the things you see and hear others doing is not a great strategy. It’s also not very motivating… leading you into situations you aren’t equipped to be in nor know how to leave. 

Bottom line: Whenever you believe that you don’t know how to do something and “model” your actions after someone else's, you end up thinking that anything but achieving the same results means you’ve failed. That's simply not true.

Mindset Monster

Watching others can lead to a sense of needing to emulate their path, their style,
their success.

your new Anthem

Assert your individuality. Your journey is as unique as your fingerprint, and your creative expression is your own genre. Remember, imitation might be flattery, but originality wins the day.

Mindset Monster #3: Being Skeptical Sally or Negative Nelly

Have you ever heard the saying “Every party has a pooper that’s why we invited you.”? Yeah… that’s not a compliment. It’s good to slow your roll in certain situations and really think things through. Heck, I’m a huge fan of doing this consistently. That’s called being a boss. My caution to you is not to let skepticism and negativity become barriers to success. Trust yourself. Trust your plan. Trust others to help you get there.

Here are three things you can do right now to stop negative thoughts from getting too comfy

  • Get physical… even if you don’t feel like it. It’s been proven that you'll feel better once you get away from your screens and out into nature. So, go. Get your heart pumping and use energy in a different way. Focus on every stride, movement, stroke you make while out there.
  • Smile. I know that sounds simple, but have you ever smiled and not felt better afterward? I haven't! Smile at yourself, the people around you and about the things you’re able to do now that you aren’t wasting time on your negative thoughts.
  • Turn up the music. Loudly. This is one of my favorite things to do. I love to crank the tunes and jam out. My iTunes library, which can play for 15 consecutive days without a repeat, has saved my sanity more times than I can remember. 

Mindset Monster

Sometimes, the negative thoughts feel
like they’re in surround sound, impossible
to ignore.

your new Anthem

Actively choose to turn down the volume
on negativity and amplify positivity. This might mean practicing gratitude, focusing on what's going right, or simply taking a moment to breathe and reset.

Mindset Monster #4: Craving Others’ Opinions

Whose project is this… yours or theirs? It’s yours! Stop wasting time wondering what others think. Focus on your own thoughts. If you are happy with the work you’ve produced, then that’s all that matters.

When you do need to ask for feedback from others it’s important that you remember one thing: sometimes people just aren’t good at giving it. And if you’re someone who craves others’ opinions this can be hard to handle. You may not be able to hear the good things they’re saying because you don’t believe them yourself. Resist this urge, friend. Take people at their word. And if you’re genuinely unsure, ask for clarification.

Trust your instincts. Go get yourself a celebratory beverage for all you've achieved. You deserve it. Cheers!

Mindset Monster

The fear of judgment can be paralyzing, leaving you questioning every decision.

your new Anthem

Shift focus to the value of your own opinion. Your creative voice is the one that truly matters. Feedback is a tool, not a verdict.

Mindset Monster #5: Living In The Land Of Analysis Paralysis

You put a lot on the line with every new creation. I get it. But… living in the land of over-analysis and evaluating situations every which way doesn’t mean you won’t have a failure or two. We all fail. Sometimes more than we’d like to admit. Don’t let fear stop you from moving forward. It’s an important part of the process. Learn from it.

I recommend acting as if a goal has already been achieved. I’m not saying “Fake it until you make it.” I mean from more of a visualization standpoint. See the outcome and then go through the motions as if it’s already been crushed. Doing that enough times well guarantees that you’ll become more confident in your decisions.

In other words, get excited about doing something (anything) instead of being fearful. For example, if you’re meeting up with a gallery owner for the first time, imagine it going well instead of all the things that can go wrong. You’ll end up walking into the meeting looking confident and calm instead of nervous and awkward.

Mindset Monster

Overanalyzing every step can make you
feel like you're stuck in the rehearsal room, never ready for the main stage.

your new Anthem

Embrace the flow of your creativity. Trust in the organic, sometimes messy process of creation. It’s in this flow state that the
magic happens.

Mindset Monster #6: Forgetting To Believe In Yourself

You can do it. I have faith in you. The key is to put all those childhood memories holding you back to the side and learn to believe in who you are now; push past your discomfort knowing that the other side will reward you with strength, expertise and a launchpad for growth.

Sure, #thecreativelife won’t always be rainbows and unicorns. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Trust me, I’ve likely felt everything you’re feeling. Sharing those feelings with others is one of the best ways to overcome them. Seeing that we aren’t the only one going through something provides great moments of relief.

No matter what obstacle is in your path, from childhood or last week, know that you can overcome it. Be kind to yourself. And mean it.

Mindset Monster

Self-doubt can be a silent audience,
watching and waiting for a misstep.

your new Anthem

Transform that silent audience into a cheering crowd. Be your own biggest fan
and advocate. Confidence in your abilities
will not only improve your work but also
how you present it to the world.

Your Roadmap to Kicking Mindset Monsters to the Curb

It’s time to face those sneaky success blockers. They've been hanging out in your mind, dimming your spotlight for far too long. You were born to shine. So, let's roll up our sleeves and show them who's boss. Remember, once you get a taste of success, it's like your favorite track — you'll want to play it on repeat.

Step No. 1

Your Encore List: Every Win Counts: Picture this: You’re the headliner in the concert of your life. Every achievement, big or small, is a hit single. So, start writing down your setlist. That science fair ribbon from 5th grade? That's not just a token — it's a platinum record in the making. This list isn't just a trip down memory lane; it’s your personal hall of fame.

Step No. 2

Turn Triumphs into Magnetic Stories: Now, let’s take those top-charting moments of yours and turn them into stories that resonate like a catchy chorus. These aren’t just anecdotes; they’re your connection to your audience, your future collaborators, your crew of ride or dies. Picture inspiring someone with the melody of your experiences. Your journey, with all its ups and downs, is not just your backstory — it's your unique soundtrack that draws people to your stage.

  • Identify Your Chart-Topping Moments: Think back to a time when you felt unstoppable. What were you doing, and how did it contribute to your sense of achievement? Reflect on how this moment has shaped your journey.
  • Uncover Hidden Tracks: Are there accomplishments or positive moments in your life that you've overlooked or downplayed? Consider why you might have minimized these and how recognizing them now could change your perspective.
  • Remixing Your Story: If you were to tell your life story with a focus on your strengths and successes, what would be the key chapters? How does reframing your story in this way alter your view of your past and future?
  • Crafting Your Soundtrack: What songs or pieces of music resonate with your life's journey? Create a playlist that represents the various stages of your career and personal growth
  • Setting the Stage for Future Hits: Envision where you want to be in the next year. What achievements would you like to add to your list? How can you start working towards these goals now?
  • Your Encore Performance: Imagine you're giving an interview about your biggest accomplishment to date. What would you say? How would you describe the journey and the impact it had on you and others?

Step No. 3

Set the Stage for Future Encores: Now that you've celebrated your past hits and turned them into compelling stories, it's time to write your next chart-topper. This step is all about looking forward and setting the stage for the future successes you're yet to achieve. Imagine you're planning your next big piece of work — what do you want the announcement to say? What achievements, milestones, or breakthroughs are you aiming for? Write these down as your future headlines. They are your goals, aspirations, and dreams, waiting to be turned into reality. This isn't just daydreaming; it's setting the intention and tone for your next big hits. By visualizing where you want to be, you’re taking the first step in making it happen.


That’s right, you get to skip the line and sashay into your very own exclusive, red carpet experience every time you receive an email from me. These gems are guaranteed to be roped off from general admission and lawn seats, so you know they’ll be posh!

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