How To Stop kidding yourself And Eliminate Self-delusion

How To Stop Kidding Yourself And Eliminate Self-Delusion

How To Stop Kidding Yourself And Eliminate Self-Delusion | By Joel Wanasek

To be successful at anything you’ve got to eliminate self-delusion.

… and it’s one of the hardest things you’ll ever do, because self-delusion is a very natural part of the human condition. 

However just because it’s natural, doesn’t mean it’s good.

Self-delusion is a cancer of the mind and must be stamped out before you can achieve the clarity of vision needed to turn yourself into an achievement machine.

  • Jealousy
  • Anger
  • Contempt
  • Excuses

Those are all poisons you can choose to feed the cancer of self-delusion.

For instance, when you see someone that’s more successful than you do you immediately try to tear them down, or do you analyze why they’re successful and apply it for yourself?

Which path do you think will bring you closer to your goals?

And let’s be real for a second, we all have goals.

  • Want to make a living recording bands?
  • Become an A list mixer?
  • Or maybe you just want to record your own music better.
Let me tell you a little story…

One of the biggest delusions I’ve ever had is the belief that getting really good at guitar and developing super sick chops would be enough to sustain my career.

I completely disregarded market timing.

In the 1980’s guitar shredding paid massive dividends, but in the early 2000s? Not so much.

Even though we were all great players, my band paid no attention to image, market trends, market timing, and song writing. We just played hard and thought it would lead us to victory.


It only took me 8 years to finally figure this out, and change my life’s path.


Take that in for a second…

In my heart I knew I was lying to myself, but blind hope and self-delusion shaped my action, and kept me going in the wrong direction for a long time.

Before I could experience any of the success I have today, I had to fail.

And in order to fail, I had to admit to myself that I had failed.

Let’s apply this to audio now:  

The first delusion we need to break is thinking this path will be easy. We need to realize that this stuff is hard work. And to get good, you need to put in the time. Too many young kids I meet just want the fast track or the preset to everything.

There is no fast track or easy mode in audio!

Let me repeat it so it sinks into your head.


Another common delusion is the “how good am I actually” question. Ego always tells us that we are better than we are. It’s easy to make a massive amount of progress and think that you are starting to become hot stuff.

Let me share a secret with you…

I know a lot of very famous producers. Not a single one of them on the A or B list thinks that they’re amazing. They don’t take shortcuts or pump up their own egos. They’re all trying to get better, every day.

The only way to be truly great at something is to commit to being great and then be strict enough in your discipline to actually follow through.

Every. Single. Day.

A final, and very common delusion people have, is that the only way to make serious money in this business is to work with signed bands.

Budgets from unsigned bands alone have helped me purchase over 100k worth of gear while paying my living expenses, insurance, food bills, and supporting my children.

You can actually make out really well not working with signed bands.

Labels have politics, money and inter-office ego battles. These things often clash and sometimes can result in weird situations where you don’t get paid for long periods of time.

Nearly every producer I know that works on signed bands has had at least 1 dispute with a label over money.

While working with signed artists is cool for your cred, it’s a lot easier to get paid recording unsigned acts because they show up, give you money, and go home.

Now it’s your turn to take control of your audio career.

Answer the following questions:
  1. What self delusions do you have? Trust your gut feeling, you know what they are. Admit them to yourself.
  2. What are you going to do right NOW to change that mindset?
  3. What is holding you back from achieving massive success in your career and life?
  4. Do you look at successful people and feel resentment? Ask yourself why? As the great Chase Jarvis says, “don’t hate, congratulate!”

For more awesome tips on becoming a better producer, head on over to the URM Academy blog and subscribe to our podcast.

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