If we analyze the people around us, we will notice that some of them seem to be struggling in their careers or their lives in general. At the same time, others are happy and successful without even trying too much. Why is that? The answer lies in the psychological principles that many of us would have to incorporate in order to feel the benefits. For everyone else, a lot of these principles just come naturally.
Regardless of the type of person you are, you can make use of the following principles of psychology to become a better and more popular entertainer. They will help you find your purpose and happiness and will show you the road to more success.
1. The Happiness Advantage
“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” ~ Herman Cain
According to Shawn Achor, author of “The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work,” “happiness is the joy we feel striving for our potential.” A lot of people think that they would finally reach happiness once they become successful or famous, but the truth is, it’s the other way around. In other words, we have to be happy first to become better at what we do.
How can you use this principle? Practice mood-boosting activities such as meditation and surround yourself with positive people. Equally important, keep working on your skills. By excelling in your field, you will have greater satisfaction and will avoid getting depressed. As a result, you will feel happier, and success will be inevitable.
2. The Tetris Effect
If you have ever played Tetris (or any other video game), you know that after spending many hours in front of the screen, you start seeing the game wherever you go. That’s called a “cognitive afterimage.” What’s more interesting is that playing the same game for a long time actually changes your brain – it enables creating new neural pathways.
Having a pattern of images stuck in your brain may be unpleasant, though you can use this principle to create a “positive Tetris effect.” Train your mind to get fixated on a positive afterimage by consistently doing beneficial activities. For example, give yourself a task to make a list of three good things at the end of each day. These can be general things you are grateful for or accomplishments related to your work. It can also be big stuff or as small as receiving a pleasant comment from a fan on your Doodeo profile. This practice will train your brain to scan for positive events and push out the negativity. The best effect of this exercise is that you’ll become very skilled at noticing good opportunities and act on them. That’s paramount for professional growth.
3. Falling Up
Here is another example from positive psychology, and it’s a very interesting one. It explains why some people are crippled by failure, and others rise above it.
Imagine you are on stage performing a stand-up comedy act. It seems the audience is not warming up to your jokes. You say the best one you have saved for last, and yet, you get only a few giggles here and there. What do you do?
- Option 1: You leave the stage mortified, and you can’t imagine climbing up there again.
- Option 2: You do nothing. This is normal.
- Option 3: You think the audience tonight might have been a bit distracted. It’s probably got to do with today’s disturbing news.
If you chose the third option, you are already on the right track. The ability to create positive scenarios in negative situations is typical for people with so-called “adversarial growth.” They achieve success because they keep a positive mindset. Whenever they find themselves in a difficult situation, they make up “counterfacts,” a term coined by psychologist Richard Wiseman which he introduced in his book, “The Luck Factor.” These counterfacts are thoughts with an alternative point of view that come to our minds to make sense of what happened. This practice helps in handling unfortunate situations better, and that is key to improvement.
4. Principle of Reciprocity
If you give something to someone, they will want to return the favor. This explains the concept of reciprocity, which was first introduced in Dr. Robert Cialdini’s book, “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.”
The principle of reciprocity is very simple, but it has a fascinating effect. We enact it in various situations in life. It’s the reason why we are prone to leave bigger tips in restaurants who give us complimentary mints or digestifs after the meal. It also works in compliment giving. Try giving a compliment to someone. You will likely receive one back.
As an entertainer, you can make use of this principle in two ways:
- By giving something to your fans
- By offering something to your peers
In the first case, your gift can be anything from a free sticker or a background with your face to a free song or an exclusive video you have created for your most loyal fans. This will make them feel grateful, and as a result, they might leave you a positive review or comment on your social media profile. If your gift is something they really liked, they might even share it on their profile, which may cause a viral effect.
Similarly, you can be the one to post a review on some of your peers’ profiles. For example, find someone in your industry you like here on Doodeo and tell them that publicly. You can imagine they will want to return the favor. Do this regularly, and you will end up having many positive comments on your profile. That will attract both fans and clients. The key here is not to ask for a favor. Just give one.
5. Social Proof
According to the social proof theory, we rely on other people’s decisions before we act on something we are uncertain about. In other words, we accept their choices as right.
What does this mean for you? Let’s say you have a show coming up soon. Of course, you did everything you could to promote it on social media. But the poster of you holding your guitar with a little information about the event might not be enough. Highlight the names of some influential people in the music industry who have RSVPed. Dig up some past positive reviews about your music and make them prominent in quotes. Ask your friends to like and share your post. It seems like a lot of work, and it is. This shouldn’t be surprising as you probably already know that you have to be more than your talent to become a successful entertainer. You have to know how to sell it (if you don’t have someone else doing this for you). But it’s worth it. People will likely buy a ticket for a show which has gathered hundreds of likes. We can’t guarantee the same if there’s not much buzz around it.
6. Ben Franklin Effect
This principle is about making people like you, and who doesn’t want to be liked? The Ben Franklin phenomenon states that if you do someone a favor, you will inevitably start liking them more. This is because you need to justify your action – if you’ve done something kind for someone without getting anything in return, then you must like them.
You certainly can use this principle smartly in everyday life. However, it can be particularly useful for attracting new and loyal fans to your brand as an entertainer. Even though your fans won’t often just turn up doing you favors out of the blue, it’s nothing a little push can’t fix. Ask your audience to leave a comment if they liked your new video. Be a bit more creative, and ask them to contribute ideas about your next song or show. Connect with influencers and ask them for a review with their honest opinion about you. People will likely help you out if you ask them nicely, and once they’ve done you a favor, they are hooked. That’s how you build a network of supporters around you. This is an integral part of growth.
7. The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon
Have you ever seen a TV ad that struck your attention, and then you began noticing it everywhere? It might feel like someone was watching you, but actually, that can be explained with the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon. Also called the “frequency illusion,” this principle explains why we sometimes see information about specific products, music artists, or anything else wherever we look. Ready for the big revelation? The answer is “selective attention.” Whenever a new idea or thing captures your attention, you subconsciously keep an eye out for it. That’s why it seems to appear more often.
As a professional in the entertainment industry, you can utilize this fascinating phenomenon. Whenever you have a new project to promote, consider adding unique and memorable elements that will make your ad pop. But then, don’t just wait to start appearing everywhere to your fans. You have to actually be at all those places for them to be able to meet you. Make sure you get asked for interviews, think about possible collaborations with other entertainers or brands, offer free advice on Quora, or create online lessons.
Self-efficacy refers to the confidence we need to achieve a goal or an outcome. In order to be confident, we need to believe in our capabilities. Sometimes that can be a difficult job, especially when we feel down after a failure or a rejection. Luckily, there are steps you can take to build confidence because without believing, simply, there is no achieving.
- The best and hardest step you can take is to actually build successful experiences. They will encourage you to keep doing what you are doing because you have already got the proof that it’s working.
- The next best thing is to observe others in your industry and find inspiration in their success stories. True, sometimes, their accomplishments may seem unreachable. So, compare yourself with entertainers you can relate to. Observe projects that seem doable, but still challenging. Then get inspired and move forward.
- Ask for encouragement from those around you. That might be your parents, friends, manager, or anyone else willing to support you and criticize you when that’s what is needed. Valuable feedback will make you improve. That is even more important than being persuaded that you are good at what you do.
- Finally, you have to be in a good emotional state. That’s crucial for any kind of success. Professional success is absolutely not an exception. You can find ample resources to help you in this matter: books, TED talks, articles, courses, quotes. We provide a couple of ideas in this article as well.
9. The Zorro Circle
Achieving small meaningful goals is better than setting one big goal and risking failure. Most of us want to accomplish big things in life. The secret to succeeding is to use the right approach. Like in Zorro’s case, when he needed to master his skills one by one, it’s better to set smaller achievable goals that will lead us to big success.
By practicing this method, you have control over the situation. First, take the time to analyze the idea you have in your mind and start realizing the smaller aspects of it that seem doable at the moment. This trick works not only because achieving smaller goals takes you closer to your final goal but also makes you feel good every time that happens.
10. The 20-Second Rule
You might have heard this one before. It’s another principle from Shawn Achor’s book, as many are on this list. The 20-second rule makes creating habits more efficient. According to this principle, if you want to adopt a new habit, you have to remove the obstacles. You do this by decreasing the time (by 20 seconds) it takes you to get something done. All it takes to make a long-term change is to work on your habit for 21 days.
“By adding 20 seconds to my day, I gained back three hours.” ~ Shawn Achor
If you want to cut down on sugar, don’t buy chocolate. You want to be more productive? Don’t leave your email app open. This rule is so universal you can implement it in almost any situation. Career-wise, the “magical 20 seconds” can help you to finally start the project you’ve been thinking about for ages, but never had the time to begin working on. Once you begin devoting yourself to it, you will make it a habit. Of course, it will take more than just 20 seconds to reach the end result. Still, every 20 seconds you haven’t waisted on bad habits will bring you 20 seconds closer to your goal.
It might feel inspiring, but also overwhelming to learn about all these principles of psychology. They apply to anyone, but specifically to entertainers. If you want to make use of them, start slow. Reread them again, think about any possible uses and write your ideas down. Once you have ideas, turn them into goals. Keep following the principles every step of the way. After a while, revisit your goals. You may be surprised by the achievements you have already made.
We suggest that one of your goals is strengthening your profile on Doodeo. There are several ideas throughout this text on how to do that. Doodeo is a professional networking platform for entertainers, supporters, and entertainment-seekers with a vision to create better opportunities for everyone in this industry. You can create your profile for free, build your professional portfolio, and promote and find gigs in just a few minutes.