As an artist or performer it can be difficult to put yourself out there. There are so many talented artists and the Internet has millions of people who aren’t too shy when it comes to sharing their opinions on any material that ends up online. You can try to shield yourself by blocking comment features on your YouTube channels and social sites, but without feedback, it’s hard to gauge where you’re at (plus you can’t block comments on material that others post).

Comments can be one of the best ways to learn how to grow and improve if they are positive and honest, but they can also become an easy venue for discouragement and hurt.

When it comes down to it, you are unique and no one will ever be able to do what you do the way that you do it. If you are getting something out of the way you perform music, it doesn’t matter whether or not other people like what you are doing (as long as you aren’t hurting anyone with what you’re doing). Music is an art and art is intended to be a means of self-expression, so keep that in mind! Share what you’re doing, find your voice on your instrument and within the music community and if you are coming from an honest place (that of doing what you really and truly love), then positive feedback will come.

It’s easy to get sucked into worry about whether other people may or may not like your music, but you have to remember to create music for yourself first. Worry about what everyone else thinks later. If you are creating music that you don’t like because you are trying to appeal to a wider audience, it will show, so be sure to do something you are passionate about.

No matter how hard you may try, you can’t please everyone and there will be people who don’t like what you’re doing. And it isn’t worth the energy and misery that comes with trying to make everyone happy. If you’re going to spend the time and open yourself up to criticism, make sure you spend it doing something that is worth the effort. Understand that you can’t make everyone happy and that you need to learn to get past that – especially if you take on a public position like that of a performer.

If you’re looking for some great tips on how to get past any insecurities regarding your ability as a performer, here are some of our suggestions [1]:

1. Be brave enough to ask for things – you never know who might say yes. Showing initiative can go a long way.
2. Perfect is impossible – think of what you create as a “snapshot” of where you are at in your life. You can always do something better later on, but with that mentality, you’ll never accomplish anything. Do what you can now, but always seek to improve for the future.
3. Laugh at your own expense – when you make a mistake, laugh about it and then move on. You’ll get it the next time, so don’t worry about it.
4. Discover who you are and what you are passionate about and then figure out how your voice into that mix. Don’t try to become a copy of someone else.

Want to learn more about the music business? Check out our popular FREE eBook – Advice for Young Musicians: From Established Music Professionals.

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Published by Shannon Kennedy

Shannon Kennedy is a vocalist and saxophonist living in Southern California. She is author of "The Album Checklist" and the founder of Teen Jazz. She has been contributing articles to music magaizines and websites since 2004.