Why Your Fear of Self-Promotion Is Holding You Back

Imagine how it would feel if you were actively sought out to perform.

How good would it be to have people pursuing you (instead of you always having to hunt down new opportunities)?

Until you reach that point in your career, you must consistently promote yourself and convince presenters and audiences of your talent.

But self-promotion is a big stumbling block for many performers.

How can you promote yourself without being pushy?
How can you feel confident that people care about what you’re doing?
How can you stand out from the competition?

That’s exactly what we’re going to help you with today.

How to Overcome the Fear of Self-Promotion

There are lots of debilitating thoughts that can keep you from promoting yourself. Thoughts like…

So-and-so is a better musician than me.
I’m not saying anything different from everyone else.
Does anyone even really care that I’m making this new album?
Nobody’s paying attention.

These thoughts are debilitating and they hold you back. So it’s time to let those go, and shift your mindset.

Next time you shy away from promoting yourself, remember these affirmations.

You are unique

Sure, there might be thousands of other piano players or composers in the world but your way of looking at things is completely unique.

Think about the things that make your performance or your personality different from others’. How can you highlight that difference?

For instance, perhaps you see music as a way to heal people’s wounds. Or maybe you see it as a celebration. Or a spiritual experience.

Use your inner motivation to stand apart from your competitors and infuse your brand. If music is a celebration, how does that affect your headshots, your fonts, and the projects you take on?

Your talent isn’t the only thing that makes you stand out, so play up the other things that make you different. Doing this will help you feel more “at home” when sharing your passion with others because it will come from a place of truth.

Do you have trouble thinking about what makes you unique? Try creating your mission statement (more on that below) to discover your true message.

You can handle it

As humans, we sometimes believe that if we have to do something uncomfortable, we will melt into a blob of goo.

You have gotten through challenging things in the past: important auditions, tough teachers, big life lessons… And self-promotion is no different.

So what if it’s uncomfortable at first? So what if it’s scary? It doesn’t mean you should back off or shy away.

Access the creative, experimental side of yourself and take on self-promotion with gusto. You have the strength and tenacity to overcome your fears. Go for it.

You are not a fraud

Many musicians have an inferiority complex, which makes them feel like they’ll be “found out.”

Sound familiar? Then you’re in good company.

“Imposter syndrome,” as it’s commonly called, effects celebrities, CEOs, authors, and about 70% of the population.

Maya Angelou has said, “I have written eleven books, but each time I think, “Uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.'”

Even though it’s a prevalent fear (especially among high-achievers), it can lead to burnout because you might try too hard to prove that you’re “good enough.”

Remind yourself that you have been practicing your butt off (for years!) and you have something valuable to offer the world.

You have a mission

If you’re like most of the musicians we work with, you’re pursuing your passion for more than just a paycheck. You are on a mission to connect with people, influence the future of music, heal the world…

You have BIG goals.

When you’re promoting yourself, you’re not just promoting a project or an album or your skills. You’re promoting your mission.

If you remember what’s really driving you, it will feel natural and easy to communicate it to the world.

What Are Your Hang-ups Around Self-Promotion?

Do you shy away from promoting yourself?

Have you been able to overcome your fears around self-promotion? How?

Leave a comment below.

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