My last blog post on how to adopt the attitude of success introduced the 6 different levels of energy– the different attitudes that you might have about your career– showing the thought that is associated with each level:
Level 1: Worried
Level 2: Frustrated
Level 3: Managing
Level 4: Service
Level 5: Opportunity
Level 6: Flow
Here is the benefit of working with the energy levels:
Once you become aware of your thoughts and attitudes, you can then change your stress-inducing thoughts. Over time, that will help to change your perspective on your career so that you can embrace more positivity and improve your career prospects. Since having a positive attitude is at the heart of being a successful music entrepreneur, it makes sense to see how you can adopt that attitude of success!
The good news is that you have a choice: you can choose to change your thoughts and tap into a higher energy level. And when we have choices, we feel empowered and in charge. In face, this is one of the best ways to take charge of your career.
The key is to find the areas that you can control. You cannot control other people: you can only control yourself. And that’s the beauty of using the energy levels: your awareness leads you to diagnose the problem and change the level. Over time, your attitudes and perspectives will shift, which will raise your energy levels.
Let’s take a closer look at 7 steps you can take to help you feel in charge of your life and develop a more positive attitude towards your career.
1. Notice Your Thoughts, Feelings and Actions
The first step in effecting change is to gain awareness. That means noticing the thoughts that arise when you think about your career.
When I ask musicians and arts leaders how they feel about their careers, I hear a range of answers including:
- I’m doing fine and I feel content about where I currently am and where I am headed.
- I’m scared that I am not doing enough and that I will not make it.
- I’m frustrated that I am not further along in my career.
- I am determined to get ahead and will figure out what I need to do.
Spend a few days pausing and collecting your thoughts. Notice the situations that trigger negative thoughts and those that lead to more positive thoughts. You may find it useful to journal about these thoughts, write them down in a computer file or even sending yourself an email or a text message!
Once you are aware of your thoughts and feelings, the next step is to see how these thoughts and feelings affect your behavior.
For example, if you are worried that you will not be able to do what it takes to be successful in your career, you probably feel scared. You may be angry at those whom you perceive are doing “better than you”. (Level 2). You may even go so far as to think that there is no point in even trying (Level 1). If you are a musician with those thoughts and feelings and you walk on stage that way, you are not likely to give a good performance.
On the other hand, if you are in the flow of your music (Level 6), with thoughts like “I am sharing my music with people who mean a lot to me.” (Level 4) or “I am excited about making music with a great group of people and when they succeed, we all succeed.” (Level 5), you feel empowered and excited. With these thoughts and feelings, your performance is likely to be much more powerful and successful.
No matter what career you are in, your negative thoughts will lead to negative behaviors, whereas positive thoughts are more likely to inspire you to be your best and act at your top level.
So spend a week noticing your thoughts and feelings and how they affect your behavior.
Then, try some of the following strategies to help cultivate a positive attitude.
2. Set an Intention
What attitude do you want to have around your career?
One helpful technique is to set an intention around the energy that you would like to have towards your career. For example,
- I want to feel of service.
- I want to create opportunities for others and myself.
- I want to be in Flow as much as possible.
By setting an intention, you are raising the bar and aiming towards a higher goal.
What level of energy do you want to bring to your career?
3. Fill in your Gaps
With this goal in mind, what would it take for you to achieve that particular energy level?
As you notice the situations that set off Level 1 or 2 attitudes, take a step back and think about what actions you can take to raise your energy and improve your attitude.
Let’s say that you are worried that you are not doing enough to advance your career prospects. What might be the problem?
- Perhaps you lack the necessary performance or professional skills, in which case you can isolate the skills that you would like to work on.
- Maybe you need more professional experience and it is a matter of creating a plan to acquire the type of experience that can move your career forward.
- If the problem stems from financial insecurity, how about ramping up your financial management skills so that you can create a solid financial plan for yourself?
- And what about your network? Perhaps you can focus your attention on connecting with the people with whom you are in sync.
After you analyze the problem and pinpoint what you need to do to fill the gap, set some goals and take the necessary actions. Once you begin to see some positive results, you will feel a lot better about your situation.
Your problem, then, is a skill gap, not a moral failing! And a skill gap is something that you can work on and take control of. Again, it is another way to change your perspective by changing up what you do.
4. Choose to embrace a higher energy level
Another way to increase your energy level is to embrace a higher energy level.
If you are frustrated or worried about your career (Levels 1 and 2), imagine yourself at Level 3:
I can manage and take responsibility for my career.
What does that look like?
Reflect on the times in your life when you have been able to manage yourself at an audition or a job interview or another stressful situation.
What did you do that worked?
Perhaps it was a practice technique or a new skill that you learned. Or maybe you reached out to a mentor or teacher for help. Or maybe you used meditation, exercise or some other stress-management technique to help you feel at ease.
By focusing on what works, you are reminding yourself that you can, in fact, take control of your situation, which is at the heart of feeling positive. The more you practice this technique, the more you can adopt a positive perspective on your career.
If you feel that you are already at Level 3, challenge yourself to go to Level 4 or 5:
Look for ways to be of service to your fellow musicians, to the composer, to the audience, to your co-workers or your organization.
Then, think of ways to create opportunities for others that will also help you.
That’s how to increase your energy and build a positive attitude of success!
5. Use your Flow Affirmation
Since Flow is the highest energy level (Level 6), it makes sense to tap into Flow as much as possible. Flow represents your state of optimal performance and embracing Flow is one of the keys to authentic leadership and success.
Get to know yourself at Flow. Call up a time when you experienced Flow, generate a few words that represent what you are like at your level of optimal performance and create your Flow Affirmation.
Since this affirmation represents an instance of when you were at your best, it is something that you can believe in.
Now, it’s time to use that Flow Affirmation!
- Choose to change your negative thoughts
When your negative thought of fear or worry crops up at a performance or a job interview, substitute the negative thought with your Flow Affirmation. Then see how it impacts your performance. Students and clients report that they see a huge difference, especially when they routinely practice this technique.
- Embody one Flow word per day
Another way to cultivate your Flow self is to select pick one word from your Flow Affirmation every morning and make it a goal to embody that trait throughout the day. This can remind you to focus on what you are like at your best and can lead you to take actions that align with your Flow self.
For example, if one of your Flow words is “confident”, look for ways to be confident throughout your day in your work, in your relationships and in your performances. And remember what it took to be that person so that the next time, you can replicate those steps and solidify the behaviors!
6. Spend more time in Flow
Another great way to bring more Flow into your life is to notice the situations when you feel at Flow. Flow can happen not only in the big moments like a major performance but also throughout the day in small and subtle ways.
Perhaps you feel at Flow when you are performing or generating new ideas or in your creative life. You might also experience Flow when you are leading other people. Flow can also arise when having a conversation with a trusted friend or loved one or having a quiet moment when you are feeling utterly connected to a creative activity or other outlet.
Make it a point to do more of these activities so that you feel at Flow as often as possible.
7. Document your successes
Changing your perspective means adopting new habits and it is important to capture your learning. One way is to keep a success journal where everyday, you write down one thing that you succeeded in doing. Read your success journal when you need a boost to remind you that you have in fact experienced success. This too can help you to change your perspective.
Be sure to note what it took for you to be successful so that you can create a reference point for your particular method of creating success.
It is amazing that by harnessing your thoughts and making a choice to change them, you can change your behavior! And over time, it is these change that can lead to an more positive perspective over your life and your career.
So why not start today so that you can embrace the positive aspects of your life and shift your perspective to adopt the positive attitude of a music entrepreneur!
Copyright: roboriginal / 123RF Stock Photo