When pondering ways in which one becomes successful in the music world, the most common assumption is that being a talented guitar player or singer comes first and foremost. A factor that often gets overlooked in the quest to make it big in the music industry is mental toughness. Being mentally tough not only involves being able to roll with the punches as they come at you, but it also requires that one has unwavering belief in their own abilities.

If there is one thing in common among all presently or previously famous musicians and artists, it’s that they all experienced rejection in their professional pursuits.  What sets these musicians apart from other talented people is not how good they were at their instrument or how well they performed, but rather how they all developed the mental toughness that is needed in order to keep on reaching for your goals, even when it seems like nothing is working out and the odds are stacked against you.

It has also been noted on several occasions that people who experience more obstacles in life are quicker at bouncing back from setbacks. As musicians pursue their careers and expose themselves to rejection, they are increasing their extent of mental toughness that will help them remain persistent in attaining their goals.

What Makes Musicians So Mentally Tough

Want to see just how mentally tough you really are? Here are a couple of things one should work towards when trying to hold up in the not always nice world of music.

Being able to thrive under pressure

Pressure is not always something that one has to be crushed under. A mentally tough person should be motivated by moderate levels of pressure to push themselves and get results. A world in which no one is ever pressured to do better can very quickly result in complacency. No one ever made waves by being complacent.

Stay focused on your goals

While LeBron James and John Lennon don’t seem to have very much in common at first inspection, they actually have quite a few similar personality qualities. Both were dealt a tough hand of cards in the beginning of their lives and ended up making it big purely due to their ability to follow their dreams no matter what.

Don’t let unanticipated setbacks bring you down

The cliché ‘mind over matter’ isn’t just an anecdotal phrase your middle school PE teacher used to get you to run the mile every year. There are many Psychology studies that show that positive thoughts produce positive behavior just as negative thoughts promote negative behavior. If something doesn’t go as planned, don’t let that pull you down into a spiral of self-perpetuating destruction. Accept challenges as they come, and move on knowing that things can get better.

Don’t let competition scare you away

There are two types of competition. Healthy competition and not so healthy competition. Healthy competition involves respecting those with similar interests as you and thus, striving to push each other to be better. Competition becomes destructive when you become handicapped by the fear of others being better than you and not being able to compare. Everyone has the right to have their voice heard and no one is more worthy than another.

Have unwavering belief in your own abilities

This attribute comes last on our list but this is not indicative of its importance. Being able to have full faith in your talent is vitally important if you want other people to believe in you as well. A big part of being successful in any field is being able to encourage other people that you are as great as you know you are. Confidence is not the same as arrogance.

Keeping it short and sweet

If it seems like you are swimming, and sometimes drowning, in the music world trying to find your place, just remember that focusing on your dreams and believing in yourself are two of the most important tenets of mental toughness that will keep you afloat.