How does an artist measure her level of success?
Is it by society's status-driven definition: big house, exotic car and owning other such objects that signify status to others?
Is it by external markers of recognition: your song is on the radio, you win a Grammy and/or you sell a million singles?
The problem with both of these is that they're tied to external outcomes, outcomes that are beyond your control.
When you tie your self-worth as an artist to these outcomes, you give away your power.
A better definition of success is of success as a process, not a destination or an outcome.
Success is a never-ending process of actualizing your potential, of working each and every day at becoming better and better - the relentless pursuit of the expansion of your capabilities.
While all artists want recognition and external validation, a truly empowered artist doesn't depend on such things to feel worthy as an artist.
An empowered artist works tirelessly toward achieving mastery without being attached to outcomes.
There will be times when you will be recognized for your work and times when you won't.
My self-worth as an artist (or as a human being) isn't tied to how well my latest song is received or how many records I sell.
I put my head down, each and every day, and get to work, learning from my mistakes, trying to become better and better.
And the ironic part is, the less you care about external measures of success and the more internally driven you are, the more likely you are to eventually receive recognition and all that comes with it.
Tying your self-worth to how well your latest project was received or how much money you have in your bank account is a recipe for constant stress, disappointment and heartbreak.
Success is all about the process of becoming all that you can become, not whether or not everyone loved your latest song, how much money you made last month or what kind of car you drive.