Confidence issues? Then read this! Part 2

Hey guys,

thank you for reading part one. It was actually a post from Facebook, as it wasn’t only directed to audio creators. The message was universal. I had a great conversation with someone who replied to my first one talking about “fear” specifically. Fear of rejection.

I think that those topics just come too short in my option. We as creators like to talk about all those awesome techniques, software, plugins, libraries, tools, etc. but I think that oftentimes we forget about some things that might be even more important as they are connected to being a “human being”. So let’s talk about “fear of rejection” for now.

I will talk about my personal experiences again. I share what I have experienced and run into. Everything is again very transparent as an open book. I will not share concrete names obviously. Everything is true. So keep on reading if you are interested in what can happen in the industry out there. It can be brutal and cruel. But it is how it is…so…fear of rejection…

Fear can be experienced in different ways. It has more than just one stage. Fear can be very exciting, think of scary video games like “Last Of Us” or “Resident Evil”. We play because of the “excitement”. Some people like it, others don’t.

Another stage of fear can cause mental instabilities. Your body and brain can’t do anything about it. Something very unexpected happens…you hear the alarm during a cruise on a ship…it’s not an exercise…(I hope no one will ever experience that, it’s just an example…). As I have experienced that myself twice I know how different people react to it…some take action…others switch off every part of their body and hope that it’s just a dream. You can’t “train” it…it’s just the way it is. No one should blame others for how they react to very unexpected situations.

The last form that I could think of for now is the fear that we have already experienced – so a situation that we have already lived through once. Which is the case of “fear of rejection”. We applied for a job, for an opportunity, that we thought is really cool, and we got this message back (if ever) after a few weeks: “Thank you for your application, however, we have decided to work with someone else. We appreciate your efforts and wish you all the best. Kind regards, XY.” …something like that…

This is very annoying. This is not very encouraging. This is shit as in most cases we never know what the “real” reason was…we never get a real answer. And if we ask…which I have done before you get something like this back: “Sorry, I can’t answer that question. Kind regards,…”. Seriously, you took your time to look after my application, but you can’t find one minute to reply to what I can improve in the future? Yeah…they got hundreds of emails and applications but how many really ask “Why not me? What was wrong with my application?”, I think because most of them never want it too serious and just give up quickly. I think there is absolutely nothing wrong with it to re-ask why my application wasn’t what they wanted…you have NOTHING to lose. You only tell people…“Hey, I do fu%$ing about it…I’ve invested a lot of time…”. But this is just a part of my story…

So now, we come to a very interesting part. To an awkward part. To a part where after going through all of this I had to ask myself…do I really want to experience this once again?

Back in 2019, I saw a great opportunity to switch my part-time job into a full-time job as an engineer – once again. I already had some personal meetings before where I have applied to, but I wasn’t “wowed” by the companies (in town) and the conditions. My situation at that point was nothing I could complain about. Part-Time working in the industry…more or less “safe” job. Part-Time doing my own stuff as a freelancer.

However, then I saw that opportunity in another town. 500km away from where I live now. Full-Time engineer studio. Sounded all cool. I’ve applied more or less for fun, just to see what will happen. No expectations. It happened during the off-season in the theater where I work, so no shows at that time, but I had to be there to prepare the technical stuff in the control room that I was responsible for most of the time.

But before that, I was invited to the studio that I have talked about. I took my wife with me. Felt like a short vacation. Took three days off. Reserved a hotel room. Booked the train tickets. We went there. Everything was really nice. Location. People. Team. The studio. I even had some sessions with the engineers there which was great.

Before I had a talk with the manager, I’ve talked to the main engineer. Seemed down to earth. Full of knowledge. But a little bit “quit” to my personal liking. It seemed like I had to talk all the time as he didn’t really know what to ask me. He wasn’t really prepared. That’s how it felt. I mean he was responsible to hire me, at least telling the studio manager what he thinks about me. But whatever. If I really would start working there, I will have my own studio. My own stuff to do. So it’s not like I need to work with him 24/7 in the same room. But a colleague is a colleague. You have to like most of them, otherwise, you will have a very different time.

After that, I had a talk with the studio manager. I really liked his attitude. Very dynamic. Full of energy. He told me his way “from the bottom to the top”, haha…yeah very encouraging…I didn’t need that extra push or motivation. But at least I got some more information about the team.

After that, we have decided to jump on a call to decide when I could potentially start working – at least doing the first two weeks of test-work, so both parties can still decide after that – yes or no.

The problem for me was that I couldn’t just jump off my current work, because the off-season in the theater is extremely hard and saturated work. The team needed me. So I had to make a decision. What to do…because the head of sound (theater) told me that it’s almost impossible to take a vacation at this time…obviously. So basically I had two “fear of rejections” here at the same time. Telling my head of audio that I need two weeks off due to another potential work…

“Hello? Who the hell likes to hear from your team-member in that time period where you have plenty of stuff to do that he wants to leave?” and second…telling the head of audio (studio) that I could do the test-work in a roundabout six weeks. The position was starting in 4 weeks.

It was not easy for me. What will both head of sounds think of me? Telling the first one that I want to leave because of another job, and the second one that I can’t because of the current situation. Really awkward. The problem was of course…I had no idea how both will react. What will they say? But I had to try although it was very risky. I was definitely under pressure, as I knew that if I will miss this opportunity it will never know what would have happened if…you know…

So I said to the theater head of audio that I have applied for a new job and they can only do test-work in the next following week, as they have a deadline. His reaction was not what I wanted to hear and see of course. I felt awful, as he was shocked that at the most important stage of pre-production I wanted to leave. But I had to act as professional as I possibly could at this point and I told him that it’s my life, and sometimes we need to do things that are not what others want to hear aka. just being honest. As I have mentioned as well that I could easily “lie” about that I just don’t feel good…and stay home because I am sick or something else. I asked him if he wants to work with honest employees or with people who lie in front of him. That was basically the turning point in his reaction and he admitted that I was totally right. (I think I have managed that situation pretty well. Or what would you do in that situation?)

So after that, I called the head of audio (studio) and told him that everything is clear at work and I can start working immediately. What I haven’t mentioned before is that I was chosen to test-work from over 30 or 35 people. At least that’s what the studio manager said to me, as he was really impressed with my motivation and dedication. That was maybe one of the reasons why they have chosen me as first. But it doesn’t really matter in the end. You either win or lose. Nobody asks you later “how”?

So I packed my stuff, it’s Friday at 10 p.m., one week after I was there. I’ve booked the train (on Sunday). The Air-BnB is booked (the studio booked for me). I receive an email from the head of audio (studio) which goes something like this…

“Dear Alexey, unfortunately, we have chosen another candidate for the position you have applied for. We wish you all the best.”

First, I thought it’s just a joke or something in that direction. Must be a mistake. Everything was done. All the bookings, all the dates. I thought like “seriously, after all THAT this way???…just wow”.

I’ve called the head of audio the next day. No answer. Tried it a couple of more times. Wrote an email to ask what went wrong and why they have decided to randomly change their mind. A couple of days later I have received another very strange email that it’s not my fault but they’ve again randomly found a guy who was “much more experienced than the whole team itself”, yes, this is what they have said.

During the call, I’ve said that it’s totally okay to change your mind about someone, telling him or her that he is not the chosen anymore…whatever…but acting this unprofessional and this irresponsible to people who had to do more than what was expected to get there and actually risking the current job situation is out of my own belief.

That’s one of my favorite questions that I like to ask people: “How would you feel if I would have done this to you…or someone else? Please tell me.” That’s exactly the point where most people don’t know what to say and feel so embarrassed. But I am not sure if they were. Whatever. In the end, I just told them that I will charge the studio for the time that I had to took off because of them and risking good relationships with my current team. After two months or so…after numerous follow-up emails, they’ve paid. Wow. That was a big surprise.

Now you ask yourself, well, how does that connect to the topic “fear of rejections”. Well, what I can say now, after being in that kind of situation you have no other choice than keep trying. Don’t be disappointed that you didn’t get a job or opportunity. Tell yourself, that it’s THEM who missed a great team-member and a hard-working employee. I truly believe that at some point you will find the right team and project for yourself where you meet people who are on the same wavelength. Because otherwise what’s the point of keeping hiding behind the tree? If you want to grow and want more for yourself, then staying in your fear-hiding-zone or better known as “comfort-zone” will never do the edge.

Today when I applied for new things I try to be direct. Like…“Hey there, let’s hop on a Zoom-Call, so we discuss some things in person.” And if you see and feel that it works out fine, ask for a contract especially for “testing-phases”…so it doesn’t happen that you have similar stories to tell like me here.

When I hear the word application I’m like: “Haha, what will happen this time?” You know? I’m far more relaxed going into this, as I already know how “low-bottom” you can hit and get punished. So I am already prepared for things.

I think the best way to try it out is stupidly writing PNs on Facebook, Insta, or LinkedIn, and ask people if they need your music. You don’t need to care about all of those filmmakers who don’t care about you. You will for sure find new people and new projects there and you never know where it all can end up. The same with libraries. Make research and write why that library you think is right for you and your music and how YOU can help THEM. You will be rejected ALL the time ALL your life EVERYWHERE. No matter how good you are. It’s just how it is as we will always deal with people who either…

1.) Have no clue
2.) Just had a bad day
3.) Their dog died and they didn’t like your writing font
4.) Think of thousands of other reasons (I was invited to a private meeting with music supervisors from Disney and Warner, and that’s exactly what they have said.)

Always remember how “Adele” started out…always remember how once Beyoncé was told she could not sing…how J. K. Rowling had to fight for her story “nobody” wanted to hear…there are thousands of other examples out there…all of them have something in common…fear of rejection is not an option. Imagine just one of them giving up after trying five times. We would have no clue who those people would be, right?

Of course, “LUCK” is involved – no question. But as Ed Sheeran has described: “Luck is what happens to you when you create yourself opportunities that you are prepared for.” I personally think there is no better explanation than this one. It’s just true.

Keep on grinding, keep on fighting, keep on believing in yourself, as if you don’t and others do it for you, you are far away from what you want for yourself. You want to have it? Believe in it and you will get it after many times trying and pushing and if you have achieved it, you will look back to “how you have started” and no matter how big or small that achievement was…you will be proud of it. And that’s exactly the feeling you need to have every single day when you struggle. You need to re-create that feeling, as it’s the only thing that is pushing your inner self to achieve even more than you have already done by now! :muscle:

Thanks for reading.

Alexey :slight_smile:


Sorry to hear that this happened to you, but you make great points and sharing your experience can hopefully help some members in here avoid the same “mistakes”.

I hope you will make amazing progress on your music career next year Alexey, I think with your dedication and hard work you will make it big! :slight_smile:


Thank you for your kind words Mikael! :slight_smile:

Well, I wouldn’t say that I did any significant mistakes in the story I have shared. The main reason I have shared it is about the fact that it doesn’t make any sense to hide behind your fear of not trying after having a “bad” experience. They will continue being everywhere and it can happen anytime – there is no guarantee at all.

From what I have heard from others is that many guys and girls out there seem to hit this wall and it very difficult to get over it if you find yourself in that same situation where you have failed before or very rejected…kind of saying like: “Why should I try if the out-come will be probably the same…”.

There is a so-called “Galatea-Effect”, that describes the scenario where people think of something so badly that it will happen most of time. But the fact is that it works both sides – positive and negative.

So if you are stuck with your “negative” mind about something, it will happen again. Think of it like … “Ah…I failed in my first driving exam…I hope that I will not fail in the second one…”. That thinking sticks so badly inside your brain that it’s exactly very hard to not to fail in the second one…however, if you tell yourself, “I will do it…all will be fine…”, and you repeat that a lot of times before the event, your brain does exactly that…

When you read this it sounds kind of awkward but I have personally experienced that Galatea-Effect many times and as I have said that in most cases the outcome is what expectations you have set before.

I think what many of us come across where it gets very hard is when you don’t have supportive people around you…people that tell you that you’ll make it and they truly do – so no fake people.

And what I have realised too is that the more I tell someone what I want to do or achieve, the more I see people who don’t understand what am really talking about. They say they do but in reality I feel like there behaviour is kind of off. So in this scenario it’s often times better to try to not talk to those types of people – even your family or “best friends”. What you need more is people who are on a similar path than you, as they can truly understand what you are going through.

I think that this forum is one of those placed where you can definitely find people those people that can relate. There is a reasons why many of the so-called “Mastermind-Groups” exists. Of course there are some fake out there, that you need to spot (talking about some Facebook Groups too here)…but many of them still seem to have people who relate and feel your struggles.

That’s why I really like sharing my experiences, as someone who never went through something similar instantly knows how to handle those situations…:slight_smile:


It is true indeed, we can never protect ourselves from bad experiences, and we can never control what actions other people take.

We can always control our own choices, actions and also to some degree our mindset! :slight_smile:

It might take 10 actions to achieve 1 win, while 9 being various degrees of “failures” or as more like “learning experiences”. But still that means you take one big step forward. We need to learn from our bad experiences as well, and to never let them take us down. The main problem I think most people have when trying to achieve their goals and dreams is they let the bad choices, experiences and letdowns get to their heads. And it creates a downward spiral for your confidence and perhaps even ambitions.

I am not that interested in sports, fitness etc. but I have so much respect for all those fields because they share that super high focus and dedication to their tasks and goals.

And I think that developing strong and focused mind, and knowing your strengths and your value, is incredibly important to succeed in any field. :slight_smile:


what if its not rejection always but sometimes , you’re not just ready right now, situation.

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Well, it’s a famous one for sure. Haven’t mentioned it, thank you!

Look, I would say this…

Normally, people will never feel “ready” for anything, as we never know what we can expect. It will always come different. And even if you think you are, you will most likely be very disappointed of the result – at least this is how I felt when I thought I feel I am “prepared”. Let me give you some examples…

When I have participated in the German Championships back in 2011, I wasn’t prepared for them as others. Due to college I barely had time to practice. People who played there and made the top ranks are people who played and trained a lot. And I knew it, and that’s why setting a goal of “I will win it”, was out of question. Of course, I had almost everything in my game to win it, but at the end you will never know how it will go. The level of play was so tight, that you just need luck as well, as this game is at some point not like “tennis”, where if you have great fitness, you will most likely win 90% of your matches. In pool billard the margin is extremely small at the highest level. So I went there with any expectation and just said to myself: “I play for the fun and enjoyment of game, and I will just try my best.” Later, I lost in the semis against a world-champion. And the game was very tight at the end. I was still happy, as I knew I wasn’t prepared like the other guys, but the result still was more than pleasant for me.

Another example…when I have finished my engineering school, I had to start earning money and applied for many jobs. If you look at the job descriptions, it’s most likely not what you can already do. There are almost some points that you just can’t know after finishing school – you don’t have any real life experience. But not applying to a job that you can’t do now, doesn’t mean that you can’t do in two weeks without assistance.

Especially when we look at the application process today, I see more and more unrealistic job descriptions that doesn’t make any sense. For example: You need to have like the same experience in “years” like someone who is in the industry for 25 years, but you need to be like 20 years old. You can’t take those jobs too serious. So when you apply you say that you can do them, and later you figure them out somehow. Otherwise you will not get the chance to show yourself. It’s not about not telling the truth from the start but just giving you a chance to prove others that you are “worth” it if you know that you are “worth” it.

When I got my first job, I wasn’t ready at all. I had to earn money, and nobody cares about what you already know or care. Your only job is to do what others want from you. That’s it. Everything else you figure out yourself on the way. Of course, you need to have the basics, without a question, but waiting for that “perfect” scenario, that “perfect” job description that was only made like for “you”, you will wait your lifetime without giving YOU the chance to show the world what YOU can do already by now.

Remember this phrase: “The longer you wait, the less you get.”

One of the biggest issues what all of us have is how much we do procrastinate. It basically decides how much we achieve and how much we step forward. But on the other hand you need to be honest with yourself and see yourself from an objective point of view like others do. It’s one of the best exercises to improve yourself every day. You need to know your weaknesses and work on them if you think they stop you to achieve what you want. Nobody will ever do it for you. It’s only on you to decide how far you want to go with something.

There are so many things I suck at that I want to improve, and the first step is to know what those things are. After you have that list, you start to do very small steps to better them out, otherwise you will quickly realise how hard it really is to better them out. It’s always a long process and unfortunately there are no such shortcuts what everyone want to have right now.

Back to being objective…for example: You want to write music for AudioMachine or Position Music…those big trailer music houses…

If you started to produce music last year, of course you can forget to write music for them. The chances that you are Mozart are very low, that you figured out how to make awesome mixes is most likely not possible yet, but if you feel you are ready already, then write an email and wait for feedback if you really want it. If you don’t ask, you will never know, right?

I always suggest finding people who are about the same level as you are now, so you can grow with them. You can’t expect working with big names instantly. Not because it’s not impossible, it’s just very unrealistic, because the expectations of those people are very high which they got after many, many years of working in a specific area. Another example that covers exactly that…Naughty Dog…

I played “Last Of Us” the last couple of weeks, to understand what is going inside the game, how music and sounds work together, what typical trigger points there are etc. I got even more into the game, so I started to watch the making of. Naughty Dog had a lot of troubles in the last couple of years, as employees weren’t satisfied with how the “work-life-balance” is. The culture of that company has extremely high expectations and it’s very hard to work for months and months and seeing that your work is not good enough or you worked for nothing because someone decided that a particular scene will not be there anymore.

So a lot of people left Naughty Dog. And the company had to get new people in, otherwise we wouldn’t have LoU2 today. And of course most of the new employees were “newbies”, had no clue how it’s like to work at Naughty Dog. It takes a lot of time and effort to get those people to a specific level that the companies expectations are reached. So of course, after a short amount of time some people left the company again. It’s not particularly the fault of the new guys, it’s just the way it is. You either eat “dirt” and are fighting for results, or you start with something that you are more familiar with, so you can slowly grow there. It oftentimes depends on the character of yours too.

When I worked as an engineer on board of a cruise ship, I saw people succeeding and having amazing results, but I saw people totally failing too because they couldn’t handle the immense pressure that was put on their shoulders. And that’s totally okay. You can’t expect that everything goes just right from the very beginning. But your job is to find out, because otherwise you will never know where you could end up. :slight_smile:

@que10musx If you don’t want to make it public, you can write me a PN and tell me what the situation looks like exactly, so I can review it and give you my opinion about it. :muscle: