Tiffany Chang

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Self-Advocacy

Posted by tiffanychang on August 21, 2020 at 9:50 AM

I was never good at self-advocacy or self-promotion. I found even the thought of doing so very uncomfortable and completely against my nature. It would take so much effort to just say, "hey, here's something I did" and share it with the world. I felt like I had to put the absolute best work out there, and 99% of my work just doesn't cut it (in my opinion). If I didn't think it was worthwhile myself, why would anyone else think so and be interested?

 

Maybe because it was such an unnatural thing for me to do, I was always frustrated to see others do it with such ease. Everything I would write/produce/showcase online, I struggled with and overthought. At the end of the day, I didn't even know why I was doing it and it was giving me so much unwarranted stress. I wanted to be stressed about other "important" things.

 

Here are some things I learned and realized:

 

-If I don't advocate for myself, nobody else is going to do it.

-If I don't believe in myself, who else would believe in me.

-It is never going to be perfect. It is better for something to be out there than never shared.

 

I feel like the last 6 years or so has been a waste of time because I was stubbornly holding on to the unrealistic idea that if I did good work, the universe would make sure that I'd get what I deserve. Well, that is not what life is really like. OK, so my last 6 years were not wasted, and I'm grateful to have been lifted by others' trust and confidence in me. I read somewhere recently that you can't build your confidence alone - it's something that is generated through others' interaction with you. That's a very interesting perspective. I can't work on my confidence by myself, it requires interacting with others. I actually don't enjoy socializing, so no wonder I've not had the chance to gain that confidence.


Once I realized that, I saw now there were so many lost opportunities when I could have done something. Nobody would want to live with that regret, and I don't intend to.

 

I also realized that it was super important for me to connect with why I was doing this very challenging work of marketing myself. Yes, I need to have an online presence, but who am I doing it for--and why was I doing it?? Does it make me feel better? Does it help get me opportunities? How is it contributing anything to the world? That I still need to work out.


Interestingly, I had no problem doing an excellent job advocating my ensemble. It seemed like that it provided me with a front to do what is necessary under the radar. Why can't I be proud of myself? I've always wondered about that.

 

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