Have you ever been mindlessly scrolling through social media, hypnotized by the lulling stream of memes, relationship updates, cat videos, and then suddenly….BAM! Your friend of a friend of a friend made an announcement that they just won a position with the Awesome Symphony/Fantastic University/insert other cool opportunity. You’re immediately happy for them, but you can’t fight the quiet jealousy lingering at the back of your mind.
Does that make you a bad person?
Musicians are prone to a unique emotion – audition success envy. Part jealousy, part crippling self-doubt, audition success envy is the confusing feeling you get when somebody you know wins an audition (or achieves some other awesome musical endeavor).
Instead of wallowing in bitterness and broken pride, here are some proactive steps to adjust your attitude and become a better musician in the process:
- Realize that somebody else’s success is not your failure. It’s so easy to feel personally affronted when one of your friends lands an awesome job, but their success does not diminish yours. Music is not a competition to win the best position or become the youngest principal player. Every musician must find their own path and their own timeline, and we should all boost our colleagues by celebrating their successes.
- Congratulate them! Offer a heartfelt congratulations. Music is an intensely competitive field, and you’re not doing anyone any favors by withholding hard-earned respect and admiration.
- Pick their brain. Buy them a coffee or dinner and ask for any advice they are willing to share. Ask about their audition preparation process, how they calm nerves, how they structure their practice routine, and anything else they have to offer.
- Evaluate your goals and strategies. Learn from your friend’s success and update your goals and career trajectory. Create a gameplan and make sure that you are implementing effective strategies to reach your goals.
- Schedule a lesson or a mock audition with them. Ask for a lesson or organize a mock audition so you can improve your own skills for your next audition.
- Use these feelings as motivation. Instead of wondering what you’re doing wrong with your life, make a plan and hit the practice room! Let others’ success motivate you to work harder towards your own. Sometimes the best kick in the butt to get me in the practice room is just thinking about everyone else who is practicing when I’m not.
- Remain grounded. Remain true to who you are. It’s easy to become jealous of success, even if it’s something we might not have necessarily wanted for ourselves. Reinforce your own musical philosophies and beliefs.
- Keep practicing! Music is a wonderfully diverse and creative field, and there are countless opportunities to share your art if you just keep practicing and think outside the box!
As always, happy practicing!