I just started out as a professional singer playing gigs and singing on small-budget studio projects (mostly backgrounds but some leads on song demos). Whenever I hear that other singers (friends or not) get work that pays more or is high-profile, I’m ashamed of this: I feel jealous. Like why wasn’t it me? I try to chillax but it’s so hard…any advice?
Yep, you’re jealous, my friend. Oh, that green-eyed monster…
But here’s what ELSE you are, L.: HONEST!
You’re also: COURAGEOUS! Why? Because you’re admitting to feeling this way even though it doesn’t show you at your finest moment.
But let’s be real: most of us–dare I say ALL of us singers–have felt this way at least once in our musical lives.
Jealousy is having an interesting run at this particular moment in history. Envy has become culturally acceptable.
We read about celebrities and their too-fabulous lives and put them on pedestals, consciously or unconsciously wishing we had what they had.
In ridiculously popular TV shows, singers are judged and pitted against other singers, while the audience gets to weigh in and judge some more.
Furthermore, we singers drool over the opportunities they get, and wish WE were standing up there. We’d kick butt and take names and blah blah blah….
When I feel jealous of someone, I feel more focused on them than on myself, and not in that good, kind and nurturing way, mind you.
I imagine their experiences and I think, “Man, my life s**ks compared to theirs!” Now listen up: thinking this way is very interesting because…wait for it….
THERE IS NO WAY TO PROVE IT’S ACTUALLY TRUE.
So basically, I’m telling myself a story and believing it, whether it’s true or not. And who winds up feeling really crappy hearing that story? Not the other person, believe me. Ouch.
Do I KNOW that Gwen Stefani isn’t lying in bed crying over bad news about her Harajuku Lovers perfume?
Okay, fine, let’s hit home a little closer: do I KNOW that my friend with the great singing gig is having a better life than me? NO! It’s just the story I’m telling myself. So instead I try to…STICK TO WHAT I KNOW:
I’m singing low paying gigs RIGHT NOW.
I want to be singing MORE PRESTIGIOUS GIGS.
I have no idea if Gwen Stefani is HAPPIER than I am.
Just the facts, ma’am….
This way, I can focus on myself and doing the things I can do in order to get the gigs I want.
And the best news is: jealous feelings will diminish the more I stick to the facts and focus on myself…in that good, kind and nurturing way, mind you!