In our society, there’s a pretty clear idea of what constitutes a happy life: a hot partner, a beautiful home, a red-hot career, and lots of money. So why are so many people who have these things still so sad? My guess is that it’s because they think negatively and don’t monitor and control their own thoughts before they are incapacitated by them.

I used to get frustrated when I’d hear celebrities say “Follow your dreams. Believe in yourself. That’s how you achieve all your goals in life.” “BUT HOW?!” I’d shout at the TV. “WHAT DO YOU ACTUALLY HAVE TO DO TO ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS?!” I always thought that saying “Believe in yourself,” was a quick, mindless answer to that question until I realized what it really means. Believing in yourself and thinking positively are not passive activities. To believe in yourself, you must actively think positively and monitor your thoughts so you realize when you are being negative and putting roadblocks in your own way that don’t really exist outside of your mind. Think about all the negative things you’ve thought about yourself. “I’m too fat.” “I’m not smart enough to do that.” “I should have done that, but I was too lazy.” And on and on and on. What if you took notice of every time you thought something like that, and actively stopped yourself and thought a positive thought instead? What if every time you thought “I’m too fat,” you stopped yourself, and said to yourself, “I work out and try to eat the right foods. There are parts of my body that I love and find beautiful. No one is perfect. My body is an incredible instrument that performs incredible feats every day to keep me alive and let me do the things I love, and I appreciate it.” You may notice that “I’m too fat,” is just an opinion, whereas the positive thoughts I suggested are all facts. I don’t know about you, but I find that really, really powerful.

When it comes to music and pursuing my dreams, it’s incredibly important that I monitor my thoughts constantly. If I let myself think “I’m never going to make it,” for too long, eventually there’ll be no motivation to keep going. So whenever a thought like that pops into my head, I am sure to counter it with thoughts such as, “Careers can take a long time to build. I’ve accomplished a LOT since I started out. I believe in my music. I believe in myself. Hard work pays off, so I should keep working and not worry.” Again, the negative thought is impossible to prove, whereas the countering thoughts are pretty much facts. So the positive thoughts are always far stronger than the negative thoughts.

If you can get in control of your thoughts, you’ll get faster and faster at stopping your negative thoughts in their tracks and replacing them with positive thoughts that disprove the negative ones and make you feel better. The faster you feel better, the less time you will have wasted being sad. The less time you waste, the more time you have to use productively. Using time productively leads to accomplishing goals. And there you have it! Believe in yourself, have more productive time, accomplish your goals! It really does work!

I’m a pop star. I’d say “aspiring pop star,” but doesn’t that sound pathetic? It does. So I’m a pop star. A tiny, relatively unknown pop star making her way up the ladder one rung at a time, but a pop star nonetheless. I make pop music. I have fake blonde hair. I dance. I have music videos. What other credentials do I need?

Anyway, even before I started on the journey of making pop music my career, I always wondered: HOW DO POP STARS BECOME POP STARS??!?!!? How does a normal person become Britney Spears or Madonna or Janet Jackson? How do you get from rural Louisiana or Michigan or Indiana to Madison Square Garden with 20,000 people screaming your name? On all the E! True Hollywood Stories and artist bios, they always skip over the few moments or months in a person’s life that led to them reaching the level of success they have reached. It’s always “Britney Jean Spears was born on December 2, 1981 in Kentwood, Louisiana…then she took dance classes…then she was on Mickey Mouse Club…then she had a number 1 album!”

I don’t know about you, but I’m interested in what happened between Mickey Mouse Club and the number one album. Whom did she meet? What did they tell her? How many times did she fail before she succeeded? What did she have to change about herself to get where she was going? How did she feel about it? With whom did she work, and what did they bring to the table?

The purpose of this blog is to demystify the process of becoming a pop star. Not as it was for Britney Spears, but as it will be for me. My biggest dream in life is to make a living making music people love, and to do it in a big, big way. If people with no parents, no money, no support, and no connections can do it, then so can I.

Along the way I’ll probably get pretty self-helpy as well, simply because it seems that every time I doubt something about myself and my prospects, I find a reason (or ten) not to, and I want to share that.

But mainly, I’ll detail every aspect of what happens to me along this journey: who I meet, what they say, what I learn, mistakes I make, how everything feels, my successes, my failures, dreams fulfilled and hopes dashed and plans changing.

By reading this blog, you’ll learn a lot about how to make progress in the music industry and what you can do to further your own career and life. Whether you want to be a pop star or not, you’ll realize you really can do whatever you want in your life and there is simply nothing holding you back, because you’ll see me put those ideas into practice before your very eyes.

So buckle your seatbelts. Prepare for takeoff!