4: From Fear to Courage with Tiffany Chang

Show Notes:

๐™ƒ๐™ค๐™ฌ ๐™™๐™ค ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ช๐™ง ๐™›๐™š๐™–๐™ง๐™จ ๐™–๐™›๐™›๐™š๐™˜๐™ฉ ๐™๐™ค๐™ฌ ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ช ๐™–๐™˜๐™ฉ?

Once I assisted conductor Jun Mรคrkl when he guest conducted Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. We chatted about becoming a professional conductor as I was still a DMA student back then. He told me that it is such a lonely profession. There are only you and your scores in a hotel room, trying to figure everything out from whether the ensemble will like you, whether you’ve done a good job, or how you are going to improve tomorrow.


His words stayed with me many years after our conversation, and I have learned, matured, and experienced many restless nights self-doubting while trying to figure things out. Sometimes I did better than other times.


That’s why I really look forward to today’s conversation with conductor Tiffany Chang on managing your fears, and how this can impact your well-being, your live, and your career.

Links Mentioned in Today's Episode

Website:ย https://www.tiffanychang.net/

Instagram: @outatime123

Email: outatime123@gmail.com


Instagram:ย @theconductorspodcastย /ย @tingchaowen

Website:ย www.chaowenting.com

Facebook:ย Chaowen Ting

Tiffany: 0:00
Aiming for outstanding perfection is a good thing; expecting human perfection is not. Waiting for the time to be excellent actually sabotages our chances at making little steps forward. In order to encourage people to feel safe about taking risks, we need to actually treat failures differently.

Chaowen: 1:18
Hey there, welcome to The Conductor’s Podcast. I’m your host, Chaowen Ting, a conductor with over 20 years of experience working with professional symphony orchestras, opera houses, new music groups, and vocalists. I’m also founder of Girls Who Conduct and have mentored hundreds of conductors from across the globe. I created The Conductor’s Podcast to share all the behind-the-scenes secrets with you while I interview conductors, musicians, and business gurus from around the world. This is a space created for conductors, conducting students, musicians, and non musicians who are curious and interested in learning more about the profession, craft, industry, and business. Shy away from the real talk? No way. Money, hardship, growth, and the roller coaster of a conducting career are all topics we discuss here. I will give you simple, actionable, step-by-step strategies to help you take action on your big dream, move through the fear that’s holding you back, and have a real impact. Now, pull up a seat, make sure you’re cozy, and get ready to be challenged and encouraged while you learn.

Chaowen: 2:40
Well, hey there. Welcome back to Episode No. 4 of The Conductor’s Podcast. I’m your host, Chaowen Ting, and I’m so glad that you chose to join me here today. The job of a conductor often feels glorious and gratifying. But we are often dealing with anxiety and sometimes even fears; we just don’t talk about it as often as we probably should. I’m a little embarrassed to tell you that I, too, have a lot of worries. When I conduct a new ensemble for the first time, I worry if we will click right from the beginning. I worry if they will approve of my artistic choices, and I worry if the musicians will respond to my conducting as I had imagined in my room while studying the scores. Even with my own ensembles, I worry if I missed something in my score study process if that’s a new piece for me. I worry if I have chosen the right repertoire for the group that is engaging and challenging, and I worry if I’m being the best version of myself while allowing them to be the best versions of themselves. Being a conductor is hard. It’s a really difficult profession. We are always being judged by hundreds of eyes and ears, and a lot of times, we are working with highly experienced, accomplished, and skilled musicians who have mastered their instruments or voice [for] way longer than our conducting training. It’s totally normal. And my friend, you’re certainly not alone in having all these worries, anxieties, and fears. And this is why I’m so excited to introduce today’s guest to you, conductor Tiffany Chang, as we’ll be discussing strategies to manage your fear, and how to better cope with anxiety when self-doubt rises from time to time. Tiffany is the author of the blog Conductor as CEO and also Associate Professor of Conducting at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. She is also a fellow alumni of the Dallas Opera Hart Institute for Women Conductors, and I am so looking forward to speaking with her today on this topic, as she has been advocating better leadership skills for conductors.

Chaowen: 5:21
Welcome to the show, Tiffany. I’m so thrilled to welcome you to the show, and I can’t wait for you to share your story and experience with my audience. So before we get started, though, will you give everybody a brief intro–just a little bit about your background and how you got to where you are right now?

Tiffany: 5:38
Sure. Thank you, Chaowen–it’s a really great pleasure to be here talking with you and sharing my experiences. I am an orchestral and opera conductor currently based In Boston. I’ve been in Boston for the last 10 years, and my path to conducting has been kind of winding. And so a little bit about how I got to where I am now: I am a cellist, and I went to school for cello performance and music education. And I always thought that I wanted to teach and teach in schools and teach orchestra. And in college, I got interested in a bunch of other things. So I got really interested in composition, I did a little bit of writing music and orchestration, and I just kind of fell into conducting as the activity that could encompass all of my passions for music: the teaching, the performance, the analysis, and all of that stuff. So that’s how I became a conductor. I didn’t set out to be a conductor at first when I started out in music school. And what also really interested me in conducting is the fact that I can make an impact and that I could be a leader of people. So where I am right now is I have been in academia for the last eight or so years. I currently teach at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, and also the Oberlin Conservatory, just outside of Cleveland, in Ohio. I kind of fell into academia right out of graduate school, and now I am wondering, what is next? And what else is out there for me to explore and for me to do? A little bit about how I got here: I really think that it’s based on circumstances. I was in the right place at the right time. I knew the right people. And as I experienced life more, I’ve realized that those circumstances really govern both my successes that I’ve had, as well as my failures, the things that didn’t happen the way that I wanted them to.

Chaowen: 8:03
That’s really interesting. I did not know that you were a cellist.

Tiffany: 8:07
Yeah, well, I haven’t played cello in a really long time. And I don’t want to go out and announce that I played the cello because I haven’t played in a really long time.

Chaowen: 8:17
Do you at least still have your cello?

Tiffany: 8:19
I do have my cello. And I do miss it when I think about oh, well, what I really love is like playing chamber music. And I love playing with people and being engaged in the act of playing music, which is different than a conductor because we work with sound, but we don’t actually play anything, which is, I think, different.

Chaowen: 8:40
Yeah, we don’t physically produce any sound. That’s like a huge difference from the performers than, say, conductors and composers. And I was wondering if you could tell us a little bit about your blog that you started, Conductor as CEO.

Tiffany: 8:59
Yeah, absolutely. So I, for many, many, many, many years, I have been really interested in leadership ideas in the business industry. Particularly, I love listening to talks and listening and reading books written by CEOs about their experiences leading companies in the business and tech industries. And I realized that all of these people, they are talking about improving work culture, increasing psychological safety in the workplace, and building/creating in an environment where there’s a great sense of purpose and fulfillment in the people that work there. And in reading about and listening to all these people talk about the things, I realize that we’re not really doing so much of that in our own music industry. And then I started to wonder why that was. I came across a study from the mid 1990s about survey of job satisfaction rates for many industries, and orchestral musicians were ranked fairly low in the ranking. They were actually ranked below the job satisfaction rate of prison guards and flight attendants. And that was just really mind blowing for me. But I was thinking about my experiences as a conductor and as a cellist, and I thought, well, I could see why that is. I could see why people might not be as happy as they can be in the orchestral context. And granted, this study is from almost 30 years ago, in the mid 1990s, but I really do feel like we haven’t made a lot of strides, because we just haven’t focused on that aspect. We focused on other things, like expanding our repertoire and diversity in our people who are playing in the orchestra and working in our organizations. We’ve also worked on solidifying our financial structures, our organizational structures, and building our audiences. And I feel like that in that process, we’ve kind of neglected the musicians and the fulfillment of the people doing the work. In most studies that have talked about job satisfaction rates or low job satisfaction rates, they’ve always talked about three things that cause low job satisfaction rates, and I think that’s true in orchestras as well. Number one is that there’s no control over the work environment. You don’t usually get to choose when you have rehearsals, how long the rehearsals are, where your concerts are, when they are, and things like that. Number two is that there’s no autonomy over how we do work. For an orchestral musician, you are not just being told by what’s on the page how to play the music, but you’re also being told by another person, like the conductor, how you should play something, so there’s not a lot of autonomy. And number three, there’s no ability to speak up. And I find that really prevalent. In the orchestral culture, as orchestral musicians, sometimes we don’t feel like we can say we disagree with a conductor; that’s really scary and kind of frowned upon. And if we have ideas about how something can be better, we usually don’t speak up, because we’re afraid. So, I was not really surprised about the statistic itself, but I was most shocked about how there were no recommendations about what to do. So, I wanted to apply these ideas that I’ve been listening to and reading about from various business leaders to my own artistic work as a conductor and a leader. And so for a long time, I’ve been thinking about this. And during all that time, I thought that I couldn’t really do anything about this problem until I got a job as a conductor in the industry. And I felt like I couldn’t do anything about it and couldn’t implement my ideas for change until I was conducting a professional organization. And that job just never came; I’ve been waiting for that job to come. So, I’ve been feeling stuck. I felt that my hands were tied, and I just became more and more anxious. During the pandemic, I had a lot of time to think. And I finally decided, in February of 2021, just about six months ago, to start writing about it. I called it Conductor as CEO mainly because I was reading a lot about what CEOs did. I was like, Well, you know, conductors can do what some of the CEOs are doing. So, I thought, “Conductor as CEO” makes sense. Once I started writing, I realized that it’s true that if I don’t share my ideas, nobody knows that I have them. And that was one of the things that I didn’t realize when I was so scared. And, you know, I was also scared about the fact that ‘Oh, I have to be in a position of authority’ or ‘I have to be in a position within the professional organization as a conductor in order to implement the ideas.’ And I just realized that writing about it is another way of implementation. I didn’t have to be on the podium in order to share the ideas, try to make an impact, and try to make change. What was really, really surprising was that once I started writing, I felt immediate relief from the anxiety and the stuckness that I felt. I immediately felt like I had motion. Then I thought some more about how being scared of writing about these ideas was actually similar to a lot of other things that I was scared of in my life. I was also scared of applying to conducting jobs and doing things that helped me overcome a lack of confidence that I have. I was hiding from those things as opposed to [facing them]. It just made me crystallize the fact that I am actually passionate about helping professional musicians feel more satisfied and fulfilled at work. I’ve discovered that that is one part of a really big mission of mine as a conductor, but also as a person and as a professional in the industry. So my hopes for the future of this blog: I’m just going to keep writing blog posts. I’m now at over 30 blog posts. I write one every week. I post on Thursdays because that’s when the first one came out, and I just thought, well, I gotta keep routine. So I was like, Okay, well, I’ll just write one every Thursday.

Chaowen: 16:19
Yeah, consistency.

Tiffany: 16:21
Yeah, so the consistency is, again, out of circumstance. My first post was on Thursday, so I kept posting on Thursdays. So my current plan is just to keep going. And it’s become a way for me to not only share my ideas and inspire change, but also for me to continue building my confidence through feeling like there’s motion in the work that I do, and as a way to confront my own fear.

Chaowen: 16:48
I think that’s kind of like, the recurring theme of this podcast from the people that I’ve talked to and interviewed: you really need 30 seconds of courage to just go ahead and do it. And then once you start doing it, you’ll have it figured out. And as Tiffany was just saying, I wanted to put it out there for all my audience and also for myself, as a reminder: we don’t need to be an expert in something; we don’t need to be an authority or have 1000 followers to verify that our opinions are worthy. But we really need to find a way to get our ideas out, because if you don’t, people don’t know that you have these ideas. I’m really glad that you brought up the fearful part, because we all have some fears in our professional life, in personal life, or about our career, feeling stuck. And I know you’re here to share some tips about how to manage those fear and how to maybe move on or move along with those feelings. So could you start with some of the things that you wish you had known or things that had worked for you?

Tiffany: 18:06
Yeah, I can’t agree more with what you just said about how by speaking up, we allow others to speak up or others to feel the feelings that we feel. And one of the things that I wish that I had known is that other people were feeling the stuckness that I felt, or the fear that I felt. And once I started to share my ideas, I was surprised at just how many people had the same feelings. It made me wonder why we hide those feelings from the world and even from ourselves, you know, where we just try to not think about it, because we think that we either can’t deal with it or we shouldn’t deal with it. So one of the things that I really wish that I had tackled earlier in my career and my life is trying to figure out how to manage perfectionism and my fear of failure, for I believe that excellence, once we achieve it, and perfectionism, once we achieve it, it will lead to all the good things: it will lead to the good job, it will lead to the good salary, it will lead to the recognition that we want, or you know, all those things. But sometimes waiting for the time to be excellent, or be perfect, actually sabotages our chances at making little steps forward in our career early on. And I feel like I was standing still a lot because I was waiting and waiting and waiting for the moment in which I was perfect. And of course, that just never came because you are never perfect, I am never perfect. So I’ll share four different ideas and thoughts that I’ve been thinking about that have helped me rethink failure and perfectionism, and to encourage me to be more courageous. So the first one is simply rethinking what perfectionism is. I think that when we are training to become professional musicians, we always thought that there’s some honor in perfection, that that’s what we that we strive for, and once we achieve it, we are amazing. So we keep striving for it, and we don’t reach it. And when we’re not perfect, we hide our work, because it’s not perfect; it’s not ready for people to see it. I heard in a podcast with Seth Godin, who was a marketing guru, entrepreneur, thought leader–he said that perfectionism is actually a way of hiding. He said that, you know, we feel like we can’t share our work because it’s not perfect. So as a result, we’re actually hiding from the potential of being rejected; we’re hiding from the fear that maybe people don’t resonate with it, and this leads to our not taking action. And I thought that as a conductor, we expect perfection from the people that we work with. That’s something that, you know, we often pride ourselves on, and it’s very black and white: you’re either perfect or not perfect. I’ve had so many friends who are instrumentalists who just are devastated by the audition process for orchestras, because they feel like they have to be perfect, and that is the only way to win an audition. And that makes them often not perform as well, or makes them not share something that they think is not perfect. But it may be just good enough. I think aiming for outstanding performance is a great thing, but expecting human perfection is not–whether from ourselves, or the people that we work with. And that’s actually a quote from a book that I’ve been reading recently by Hubert Joly, who is the former CEO of Best Buy. It’s a book called The Heart of Business, and I cannot recommend it enough. So this quote, again, is that aiming for outstanding perfection is a good thing; expecting human perfection is not. As a conductor, we have been taught to be right all the time and be perfect all the time, and I’m not a good conductor if I’m not perfect. And that has really damaged my self confidence and made me not want to try for things and be scared of things.

Chaowen: 22:27
Do you feel that this pursuit of perfection comes more from ourselves or from the imaginary others watching us? Yesterday, I was watching an audition video, and because of COVID, a lot of times auditions are now done by submitting a video of your playing. And I’ve heard musicians who really wanted to put the best out so they re-record, re-record, re-record so many times until they get so burned down and so burnt out, and they can’t find the best one. So I was watching it–it was a youth orchestra audition–and the girl said something at the end of the video, she said, “I’m still not happy with what I just played. But I promised my teacher I would only do it two times. And this is the second time so I’m going to stop there.” And I felt so good. I just wanted to praise the teacher beside you really shouldn’t beat yourself up for something that is not possible, like being perfect or flawless, which we are trying to do as musicians a lot of times. Like, after a performance, we were thinking, Okay, this went wrong; that was not great. We forgot to feel how joyful it was to make music.

Tiffany: 23:47
I do think that the fear comes from within. I think that we often misunderstand, and we often miscalculate what other people think of us. We think we know what they think of us. But it’s actually sometimes a projection of our own insecurities, of how we feel about ourselves. You are never going to know what somebody thinks of you or your ideas until you ask them, and we often stop before the asking part. And then we don’t grow because we don’t ask and find out what they really think. And if they really think that we have room to grow, then I would actually like to know that I have room to grow. You know, maybe I have room to grow in XYZ ways. But I’ve been working on growing in ABC ways. I’ve been growing the wrong way. But having that feedback from others–it’s so important, but we are often afraid to ask it.

Chaowen: 24:45
So moving on to rethinking perfection, and also accepting imperfection as part of the norm…What would be your next tip to share with us?

Tiffany: 24:59
Yeah, well, I think we often connect the quality of our decision with the quality of the outcome, because why are we striving for perfection? We think that being perfect, or our decision to be perfect will lead us to the great outcome. Sometimes we think that a good outcome, or getting a job or doing a great performance are because we made a good decision. So if we end up somehow playing a really good performance, we think that it’s a good decision that we tried to be perfect. On the contrary, when something bad happens, like we have a really severe mess up or we have a memory slip, we think that, Oh, all the decisions that we made and all the work that we did was bad. We made a bad decision because it was a bad outcome, so we shouldn’t do it again. This idea of confusing failure with wrong choices or bad choices is something I’ve been coming to think a lot about. What I’ve learned is that our expectation of the outcome biases how we make the decision or what we decide to do. I think instead of focusing on the projected outcome and whether a decision is right or wrong in going for that outcome, it’s so much more important to think about how to evaluate and improve our thinking about why we are making the decision in the first place–even if we failed–to evaluate the quality of that decision to do it based on what we got out of it, rather than the outcome itself. It’s something that I’m currently working on, but I think it’s worth sharing.

Chaowen: 26:45
Yeah, and I think as you say, it’s actually a two way street. Because we associate bad outcomes with something that we did or we shouldn’t have applied. Or maybe I was not good enough, I was not worthy, I was not a good fit or some other things. And also, we do it the other way around, because we anticipated getting a bad outcome, so we don’t do the actions. While you are saying we should really focus on the journey, because the majority of things are out of our control. But if we focus on things that we have control over, such as what we have learned through the experience and through this journey, it will be a much more desirable way of tackling our fears.

Tiffany: 27:36
Yes, this is super super important. And it’s not often how we’re taught. I think, you know, we’re taught on–and outside of music, too, we’re taught on focusing on the grades. Did you get an A on this test? Did you get the certificate? Did you get the degree? And we’re aiming for those outcomes. And I do think that that’s sometimes why people become dissatisfied. So I do think that, actually, a lot of it is not our fault, because it’s the way that we were brought up through the education system, and then through the way society works.

Chaowen: 28:07
Yeah, so so far, you’ve talked about first, to rethink about perfection and assess the imperfection as part of the norm. And the second one was to not associate bad outcomes with our initiatives or our efforts, and do not anticipate a bad outcome so you don’t do anything. So what would be the next one? I’m so excited.

Tiffany: 28:32
Yeah. So I think this is again, something that we don’t think a lot about. I was listening to this presentation by a psychologist called Amy Edmondson, who was talking about failure. There are actually two kinds of failures: there are praiseworthy failures and there are blameworthy failures. Now, we don’t often differentiate how we treat those two. So the praiseworthy failures are failures that happened because you were experimenting, or because of the complexity in the task itself, versus a blameworthy failure, which is simply because of inattention, or incompetence. So I’ll give you an example. So a praiseworthy failure could be, you know, a flute player making a mistake playing a wrong note, because they were trying to try out a new breathing strategy, versus something that would be a blameworthy failure, which is just simply that they were not prepared, they did not practice. We see those two kind of as the same thing: we just see the mistake, we just see the missed note, we just see the correct note, we just see the not-togetherness in an ensemble. And we treat those, we respond to those two, in exactly the same way. In order to encourage people to feel safe about taking risks, we need to actually treat those failures differently. And that brings me to the beginning of our conversation when we were talking about the low levels of job satisfaction rates. I think this contributes to that, in that people kind of mute musicians and ensembles. They feel kind of complacent, just sitting there and allowing other people to tell them what to do, so we end up just kind of being okay with where we are because it works. It’s safe. We don’t have to have conflicts with anyone, and we don’t have to fail.

Chaowen: 30:32
I felt it’s an industry thing because as you were saying, I remember I was once in the conducting workshop, where the first moment of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 was on the repertoire and the majority of other conductors started in the middle of the movement and then take the repeat, to avoid the beginning because a lot of people you know, like after the bum, bum, ba-da-ree-re, it’s very easy that you’d lose tempo or you something happens. And I thought, Okay, this is a workshop, I’m here to learn, and it should be the perfect place for me to experiment with things. So I insisted on starting from the beginning, and I said, I’m going to try a few different things so I can get a feel of how I can push this a little better. But then I was immediately eliminated from the workshop at the end of the day. So that workshop was structured as mini competitions, even though they said they were not. So they have three different rehearsals, and you have to advance into the next rehearsal. And I was viewed as impotent by the teachers or the reviewer, that I couldn’t conduct it, even though I was just wanting to improve myself, but I felt that was happening a lot of the times because the industr wanted you to show up being perfect. Well, I hope that our conversation and then also your blog and writing, could encourage people to rethink the environment we’re creating. Why are we only praising the same types of actions because it’s safe? We should actually be promoting creativity and risk taking.

Tiffany: 32:27
Yeah, and in that case, you were actually not praised for taking a risk. I resonate with that, I’m sure that a lot of your listeners resonate with it. We’re just not, we’re just afraid to share that we feel that way. Thank you for sharing that story. Because I think it’s so powerful for other people to hear.

Chaowen: 32:45
So we talked about rethinking perfection, and do not associate that outcomes with your actions, and the third one, to differentiate praiseworthy failures. So what would be your next tip?

Tiffany: 33:01
So the last thing that I want to share. The fourth thing is this idea that fear actually makes us feel good. And it’s actually a biological thing. So when we are scared, when we feel fear, our natural biological response is we fight, we flight, or we freeze. So you fight the fear, you fight the thing that puts you in danger, or you flee, you run away from it, or you freeze. And actually freeze is not that you’re not doing anything, but actually freeze is the oscillation between deciding whether you want to fight or flight. So that’s why you freeze. It’s a very quick oscillation. But there’s this idea that when you decide to step into the fear and fight the fear, you actually get a hit of dopamine, which is the biological chemical that makes you feel good, gives you pleasure. And so when you decide to fight the fear, you get a hit of dopamine, and that is your body’s natural response to confront that fear. And it gives you more of that feel-good chemical to make you keep going in that direction. And what it also does is it triggers something called the courage circuit, and it takes you from a place of being scared to a place of being courageous. When you are courageous, again, you get that hit of dopamine. What’s interesting is that when you don’t have fear, when you don’t feel fear, you don’t get that hit of dopamine; it doesn’t matter what you’re doing. And if we think about when we are in a performance, when we feel like we’re in flow, what happens? Well, we are doing something scary. We take a step forward into that fear, we play the first phrase and then it goes well. Okay, so we actually feel good, we feel that dopamine of confronting that fear, and then that gives us the energy to move forward and play the next phrase, and then maybe that goes well too. And then we get another hit of dopamine. That’s why I think we get into the state of flow in the performance because we are latching on, we’re using that natural biological creation of dopamine to keep working towards our fears, to keep pushing towards our fears. As a result, we end up being able to accomplish something and confront and overcome our fear. You don’t have to achieve the big milestone in order to receive that dopamine. Simply taking one step forward toward the fear makes you feel good. When you recognize that feeling in yourself, you should take the next step, and then the next step, and then the next step. And it will encourage and help you to do the thing that is scary. When you do more of the scary and hard things, the quantity will actually lead to more quality. So here’s an example. If I choose to perform 100 times in public, I will have a higher chance of 10 of those performances being successful. So it’s 10 out of 100, that is 10%. Odds are likely that I probably get that 10%. Now, if I only choose to perform 10 times, is really hard to have all 10 of those, or 100% be successful. So it’s a statistics thing. So I really believe in that just doing more of the thing that you find scary, whether it’s performance, or whether it’s sharing your ideas, or whether it’s having conversations or whether it’s trying something that maybe is risky–doing more of it will increase your success rate. I think it goes for, you know, myself sharing my ideas and my blog: if I write a blog every week, odds are if I wrote 30–I’ve written about 30 blogs so far–I’d probably say like five of them probably are good. And that’s okay, it’s the other 25 are not as good, but I’ve got 5 out of those 30 that are worth something. And if I keep doing more, I will get more of those good ones come out. In order for the good work to come out of me, I need to allow the bad work to come out of me as well. And the quantity allows the bad work to come out.

Chaowen: 37:36
Yeah, things like what just say it is really interesting because I was listening to a podcast hosted by Tracy Ahsoka, she has this podcast called ADHD for Smart Ass Women. And she’s a lawyer, she learned much later in her life that she actually has ADHD. And that’s the condition that helped her be so active and have the energy to do all the initiatives. And she talked about how to achieve things by breaking them into very small but successful steps. So I love what you said to kind of really focus on really small thing, like okay, this phrase was great. Now I feel good about it. Now we can move on to the next phrase. And focus on the positive things so that you can continue working towards an end goal or continue to enjoy the journey. Just like great tips for tackling fear. You’re already kind of making peace with your fear in a way.

Tiffany: 38:45
Yeah, absolutely. It’s definitely making peace because the fear will never go away. I think I’ve made peace with the fact that I will never not be scared. And that’s okay. As I’ve shared more of my work, I realized that everybody else is scared of sharing their work. We’re all in the same boat. Maybe if I decide to do it first, sharing my work even when it’s not ready, other people will be inspired to do the same thing. And that’s, I think, really how change starts to happen.

Chaowen: 39:24
So Tiffany, I’m so glad to have you here on the podcast today. And we’ll link everything in the show notes, but I wanted the audience to hear it from you. So can you tell everybody where they can find you?

Tiffany: 39:36
Yeah, sure, thank you. The easiest way to find me is to go to my website, tiffanychang.net. And it’s got links to my Facebook, my Instagram and my LinkedIn, my YouTube channel and you can find everything on tiffanychang.net. And I can’t thank you enough Chaowen for having me here and allowing me to have this conversation and for me to share my work. So I really appreciate this. Thank you.

Chaowen: 40:06
Thank you so much. There you have it. I hope you loved this chat with Tiffany as much as I loved it. I thought it was so inspirational because of all the tips and strategies. Pick one to start your action today. Perhaps accept the imperfect version of ourselves and treat yourself as you would treat your best friend. And if you were listening from the car or at the gym, you can always find all information in the shownotes at chaowenting.com/4. One final request: If you’re listening to this podcast and are loving it, can I ask you to please share this podcast with just one friend, a fellow conductor, a musician, or even a family member that would be interested in knowing more about this profession? You can send them a text or DM or tag me on social media to tell them that this is something that you’ve been enjoying listening to, and I would greatly appreciate it. There you have it. I’m looking forward to diving into next week’s episode with you, which is all about tips for writing a killer cover letter. Want to hear all the secrets of how I got from all rejections to being a finalist for three positions and winning two in three months? Make sure you subscribe to my podcast so you won’t miss any new episodes. Okay, folks, I can’t wait to see you again next week at the same time, same place. Thanks for being here. I’ll talk to you again soon. Bye for now.