Online self-esteem can be a daunting thing. For once, not everyone is born being confident to share posts and pictures via social media.
Next, musicians can be shy. Without a doubt that is not an automatism. However, if you find yourself to be particularly shy when it comes to all things online you are not alone.
This is crazy, many people and especially musicians deal with the off-side of social media. Surely, it can be crazy to think of the vast space the internet displays.
Many times in my consulting work I hear anxiety like ‘What if I make a mistake and everyone sees it?’. Also, ‘It scares me to put out my work for scrutiny, somebody will surely hate it!’.
Important to realise, releasing music has always come with some form of scrutiny by society. No matter if you were Johannes Brahms who had to deal with the constant comparison with Richard Wagner way back in the 1800s. Or if you are Lady Gaga today dealing with judgement over her choice of clothing.
Like most things, self-esteem has a lot to do with the way you think about yourself. Are you oftentimes cheapen yourself? Do you have a hard time taking on a compliment?
Here’s the thing: your mind is yours for the taking! Want to know the best part? By all means, you can actively change the way you think about yourself. In fact, self-esteem can be learned!
How can you boost your online self-esteem?
#1 Don’t wait for other peoples affirmation
Now: this might sound terribly hard to do. However, it is imperative that you use social media for what it is. A very affordable marketing solution.
As soon as you are looking at social media for affirmation of yourself you are set up for other peoples inspection. This can only lead to disappointment and frustration.
However, make sure to use social media as the marketing platform that can help you find new fans. What is more, social media can be a great way to keep communication with your fanbase.
Especially in times of lockdowns and global pandemics where you can’t meet fans after concerts at the merch stand. This is crazy, the only person who can really tell you that you are great is yourself!
Perhaps positive sentences can help you get into the right mindset before using social media. For example, you could write down a mantra that helps you. What about ‘ I use social media in order to communicate with my fans’? Perhaps this can help you to keep a professional distance.
Also, do not use your professional social media channels in order to talk about personal things! You wouldn’t tell personal stories to a journalist, would you?
Having a professional mindset can really help to establish boundaries. What is more, you can log out of those professional accounts when your work is done.
Keeping your spare time free of (professional) social media can be a great way to keep sane.
#2 Make sure to relax and unwind for online self-esteem
This tip may sound counterintuitive. Surely, when you are trying to get better at online self-esteem I must work on yourself tirelessly? Well, the answer is clear, no!
On the other hand, make sure to have plenty of relaxation planned ahead and regularly unwind. Why does that matter?
Working on your self-esteem may push your boat out frequently. By all means, being brave and stepping up to ones shortcomings can be quite an exhausting task.
Make sure to be kind to yourself. Rome wasn’t built in a day either! Rather give yourself permission to unwind when it gets too much.
Be honest with yourself and don’t overwork yourself. Otherwise, you might feel a sense of burnout or even close up more. Expecting too much too soon is not what self-esteem is about. On the contrary, being able to acknowledge your own needs is the fist step towards more online self-esteem!
#3 Dress for success!
Disclaimer: I don’t want you to go and shop for tonnes of new clothes. However, the way we dress has a huge impact on how we feel. Here’s the thing: you need to upload a new YouTube video and you are scared?
Make sure to wear something that makes you feel confident. Perhaps you have a belt that can become your magic online self-esteem belt? Make sure to practise this first.
First, make sure that you only put on your belt when you feel like a million. Perhaps you can have a little dance to your favourite tune?
Make sure to connect as many fond memories with your clothing item as you can.
Now, put on your belt, for example, when you are simply working on the computer. Still, being able to feel the good vibes? Great! Take it a step further and wear it when you are in dire need of self-confidence.
Don’t be embarrassed to use little tricks if they help you to gain online self-esteem
Another important thing especially now in home-office is to wear comfortable clothes. There’s no sense in wearing your very fashionable skinny jeans when you are alone in front of the screen, right?
Being comfortable in your clothes can be a great trick to feel great overall! Before you do a live stream that may scare the shit out of you, you can always do a test drive.
Record yourself with the exact same clothes at the exact same time in the exact same corner of your space. Now rewatch the material. Is the contrast strong enough? Do you like the way your skirt ruffles?
Being sure that everything has sunk in can relieve yourself of worry. Important to realise, there is no perfection in music. You will always have a human component in it, and that is amazing! If your fans would like robots they would get some.
However, here they are listening to your live stream. Make sure to appreciate the nature of music can also be a boost for self-esteem.
Make sure to seek help if you feel in danger or not mentally well
Here you have it, some ideas on how you can improve your online self-esteem. For once, this is not an endeavour where you can simply pull a couple of tricks and all will be well.
However, making a start can already be the biggest hurdle. Don’t let yourself down and think that it’s a good given that you don’t have the self-esteem you wish you had.
What is more, there are great resources out there if you feel that it’s a little bit more then just self-esteem. Mental health in music is a huge topic right now, even more so with the corona pandemic. Don’t wait and seek out help before things get too dire.
Here are some resources that might help you: