One of my favorite comedians, Paul Reubens (AKA Pee Wee Herman) used this tag line for nearly every interaction. When someone would say, “You’re silly,” Pee Wee would reply, “I know you are, but what am I?” When someone exclaimed, “I’m hungry,” his response was, “I know you are, but what am I?” And so on.
When I hear artists and songwriters say, “I’m nervous,” or “I’m anxious,” I really want to reply Pee Wee style, but I don’t because the fact is their statements could not be further from the truth. They aren’t nervous or anxious. It’s just the feeling they’re experiencing at that particular moment. As my friend and advisor, Steve says, “When you think of yourself and your feelings as one and inseparable, you limit your ability to create distance between the two.”
YES, YOU ARE
The best artists get nervous before shows. That doesn’t mean they are nervous, it means they feel nervous, but they go on with the show. That’s why they say – “Feel the fear, but do it anyway“.
The best songwriters get anxious before they pitch a new song or idea. But, again, it doesn’t mean they are anxious. You get the idea.
NO, YOU’RE NOT
So the point I’m trying to make with all of this is that whatever you are feeling (anxious, nervous, whatever), embrace that feeling for what it is. A feeling. It’s not who you are, but a feeling that will pass and not one that will keep you from taking the next step to pursue your dreams.
You are an artist who feels nervous from time to time or a songwriter who feels anxious from time to time. Whoop di doo.
IT’S NOT JUST WHO YOU KNOW, IT’S WHAT YOU KNOW
As I’ve said before, building your team, your network is essential to your career. But so is this kind of knowledge and awareness. I hope you find this helpful.
#TakeTheTwenty is my exercise for artists and writers to assess where they presently are in their career. I hope you will “feel the fear but do it anyway.”
Reach out to me and let’s make a plan for YOUR career.