Independent Rockstar

Insight for Independent Musicians

How to Think Like a Rockstar – Part 1

How to Think Like a Rockstar, Part I: Knowing Your Negative Thoughts

Criticism can be a tough pill to swallow. Especially if you’ve just poured your heart and soul into creatively expressing yourself and your experience. For songwriters, vulnerability comes with the territory. But what about the toughest critic of them all – that voice that lives inside your own head? As creative people, we can be both our best and our worst critic.

Have you ever doubted yourself or your talent? Been rattled by a comment someone made that led down a rabbit hole of negative thoughts? We’ve all been there. The good news is there’s a way to quiet that inner negative voice and bring out the confident rockstar you are meant to be.

The first step to changing those negative thoughts is to identify how you tend to think. Below are some common negative thought patterns. See which one (or ones) ring true for you.

  1. Overgeneralization: You come to a general conclusion based on a single event or one piece of evidence. For example, if you make a mistake while recording, you expect to make that same mistake over and over again and cannot even entertain the possibility that you might just do it better the next time. You may use the words “always” and “never” if you think this way.
  2. All or Nothing Thinking: You think in extremes. It’s either THIS way or THAT way, with no in-between. There’s no room for errors, so if you make just one mistake while performing, the entire show is ruined.
  3. Personalizing: You think that what people say or do is a reaction to and reflection of you. For example, if someone doesn’t come up to you after a show and tell you how much they liked it, it means they not only didn’t like the show, they don’t like you.
  4. Minimizing: You exaggerate the negative and trivialize the positive. For example, if after a gig, a hundred fans come up and say how awesome your show was, and just one says one of your songs sounded better at your last show, all you can focus on is that one negative comment.

You may see yourself using one or more of these types of negative thinking, not only in your creative endeavors, but also in your life. But what do you do now that you know what it’s called? Just start catching yourself having these thoughts. You’ll be surprised at how often you think this way. Awareness is always the first step.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of How to Think Like a Rockstar where we’ll explore how to challenge those negative thoughts.

About Krylyn Peters

Krylyn is a songwriter and a licensed psychotherapist. She has developed a therapeutic technique she calls 'Songwriting Therapy™'
Krylyn Peters

2 Responses to “How to Think Like a Rockstar – Part 1”

  1. Nate Davenport says:

    this is similar to training we got in graphic design school. “tough skin” is a must in any creative field!

    • Krylyn says:

      That’s great to hear that other disciplines (besides counseling and psychology) are teaching this. It’s so important! Not just for creative types. But then again, I think we all got some creativity in us. Thanks for sharing, Nate!