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Why you should stop looking for validation (on socials)

In a world that often measures success through the lens of followers, likes, and accolades, it's all too easy to lose sight of the authentic journey that lies at the heart of any artistic pursuit. The pursuit of perfection can often overshadow the joy of progress, leading us to question whether our efforts are "enough" or worthy of acknowledgment.

But here's the revelation that lies at the core of this week’s blog: Stop looking for this validation. This also encapsulates the essence of our philosophy at Rudimental Drummers – a philosophy that not only redefines the notion of an artist but also challenges the traditional metrics of success. We'll delve into the profound impact of seeking external validation and discover the transformative power of community involvement. You don't need validation to be an artist; you need passion, dedication, and your courageous self who believes in your own journey.

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Daan Cornelissen from Rudimental Drummers playing on his special Royal Marines RD Pad and recording himself.

The profound impact of external validation

In an age where the glow of screens illuminates not just our lives but also sometimes our self-worth, the quest for external validation has become an alluring yet treacherous path. It's a journey paved with likes, comments, and shares – metrics that have somehow evolved into modern markers of ‘approval’. The number of followers and the tally of thumbs-up icons have the power to make us feel like the champions of our craft, but they can just as easily strip us of the joy that our own artistry should and can bring.

The allure of these external measures is undeniable, yet the pitfalls they conceal are equally profound. When our worth hinges on the number of followers or the approval of strangers, we set ourselves up for a cycle of perpetual dissatisfaction. The relentless pursuit of more can lead to feelings of inadequacy even in the face of substantial accomplishments. The fear of criticism becomes a constant shadow, haunting every creative endeavor. This fear can evolve into a paralyzing force that robs us of the spontaneity and authenticity that defines our true artistic expression.

The number of followers and the tally of thumbs-up icons have the power to make us feel like the champions of our craft, but they can just as easily strip us of the joy that our own artistry should and can bring.

Some years ago for example, I created an Instagram account to showcase my drumming skills. At first, I found myself entranced by the numbers – the views, the followers, and the comments. Each new notification felt like a validation of my talent. However, with the highs came the lows. Negative feedback and critical remarks struck deep, unraveling my confidence and leaving me questioning my passion.

It took me years to realize that I had been looking at the wrong measures of success. The turning point came when I recognized that the true essence of my Instagram account wasn't in the numbers – it was in the process. The act of making videos, the commitment to practice, and the dedication to the craft were the real treasures. The account had inadvertently become a mirror reflecting my growth and perseverance, rather than just a spectacle for others' approval.

Redefining artistry - we are all drummers

Similarly to likes, comments and followers, skill levels and years of experience matter less than the commitment to one's craft and the willingness to embark on a journey of self-expression. It's time to shift our focus away from narrow definitions of what we call ‘real’ artistry and embrace the idea that every individual engaged in the act of creation is, by definition, an artist. Whether you've just picked up the drumsticks or you've been tapping out rudiments for decades, your dedication to the process makes you a part of the artistic tapestry.

The label "drummer" isn't a title exclusively reserved for those who grace big stages or command applause from the masses, have thousands of followers. It's a title that belongs to anyone who experiences the rhythm, who feels the beat deep within, and who allows their heart to synchronize with the cadence of their percussion instrument. The community of rudimental drummers thrives not because of its collection of virtuosos, but because of the diverse range of individuals who contribute their unique energy, creativity, and passion.

"The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried."

– Stephen McCranie

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Checking the stats of a social media post of Rudimental Drummers

The power of community involvement

However we shouldn’t be searching for external validation, community is the fertile soil in which the seeds of artistry flourish. The significance of active involvement in a supportive community cannot be overstated. Being part of the rudimental drummers community (online) offers more than just a chance to connect with fellow enthusiasts; it's an opportunity to be part of a growth-centric ecosystem. Each interaction, whether it's sharing a tip, discussing a technique, or celebrating a small victory, contributes to a wealth of knowledge that benefits everyone involved. The collective wisdom that emerges from our shared experiences forms a dynamic foundation for growth and learning, which is equally important as your own dedication and passion.

Within this environment, the emphasis shifts from seeking validation to fostering self-expression. The fear of judgment dissipates as members recognize that their artistry is valid, irrespective of external measures. This newfound freedom ignites creativity and experimentation, encouraging artists to explore their boundaries and redefine their limitations. The community becomes a canvas upon which members paint their narratives, a platform where raw passion evolves into refined skill.

The collective wisdom that emerges from our shared experiences forms a dynamic foundation for growth and learning.

And again, at the core of this transformation lies the value of consistent practice and improvement. The act of picking up the drumsticks day after day, regardless of external validation, is a testament to the commitment and love for the craft. At Rudimental Drummers, we celebrate every small stride towards mastery, recognizing that improvement is a journey with no defined endpoint, but more importantly, no defined startpoint. Every note struck, every rhythm mastered, and every challenge conquered is a victory in itself, a testament to the unwavering dedication of each artist.

As we collectively beat out rhythms of progress and unity, we remember that the essence of artistry is found not in the grand applause of an audience, but in the quiet satisfaction of personal growth, endorsed by a supportive community. It’s just about the act of drumming. The power of community involvement amplifies this satisfaction, reminding us that the journey of an artist is not solitary but shared, and the act of creation is as valuable as its outcome.

In conclusion, in a world consumed by external measures of validation, it's vital to recognize that true artistry stems from within. The pursuit of perfection can overshadow the joy of growth. Remember that your artistry isn't confined to stages or screens, to followers or likes. It's an intimate dance between your passion and your courage, between the rhythm of your heart and the cadence of your creation.

True artistry is the pursuit of self-mastery, the commitment to growth, and the profound realization that the journey itself is the masterpiece. As you’re part of the community of rudimental drummers that nurtures growth and unity, let go of the quest for validation and embrace our shared passion for the wonderful percussive arts.


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