How the musician can carry themselves through fear and into freedom
Being a musician is a painfully beautiful and vulnerable way to walk through this world of ours. We make a living by cracking our chests open and laying bare our most intimate feelings to an audience of strangers in the hope that we can connect to them, that we can connect them to themselves.
We experience our world and our selves with deep intensity to bring authenticity and relevancy to our performances on stage.
I don’t think we truly understand how intense our beloved profession is. Where else do people show up with their most courageous and true selves, and allow judgement? Where the art and the person are so completely linked that a rejection of the music feels like a rejection of the person?
And we do it every day. Every rehearsal, every audition, every lesson, every performance. We bring it all and wait with bated breath: thumbs up or thumbs down?
There is a Better Way
I would like to propose a better way. A way in which we do not build walls or armor up.
A way where we still come to the table with authenticity and vulnerability without our entire identity and value being on the line.
Can you imagine walking on stage and rather than being gripped by stage fright you perform with a deep knowing that you are enough.
Right there, in that imperfectly perfect moment. You are enough.
You don’t need to be any better on your instrument than you are in that moment for your voice to be worthy. Even if you are out of tune and don’t get called to the next round, your performance was just exactly what it needed to be.
Living a life where we believe in our inherent worthiness, outside of any feedback we receive from others, does not come naturally to most musicians.
Because we seek excellence, we are oriented toward seeing our deficit rather than our surplus. We see our missed articulation, our cacked note, our fuzzy sound not how gorgeously we played the opening phrase of our concerto or how we nailed a subito dynamic change.
We need to intentionally counterbalance the critical with the complimentary and build a foundation of worthiness upon which we can ride the waves of disappointment or frustration of a specific performance or practice session.
One Simple Mantra
Breathe In: I Am Enough
Breathe Out: And So Is Everyone Else
Next Steps and Additional Resources
Here at The Musician's Mindset we have some incredible resources for developing and implementing mindset practices that will transform how you perform on stage.
First, check out our Personalized Mindset Tools Quiz to discover the mindset strategies perfect for YOU!
Join the waiting list for my FREE mini-course, How to Stimulate Your Vagus Nerve and Calm the Heck Down.
Founder of The Musician's Mindset
Katie is dedicated to helping musicians overcome stage fright and believe in their own unique artistic voice. She believes live classical music is a powerful antidote for the division, pain, and loneliness pervasive in the culture and strives to support all artists to confidently share their work with the world. She lives in Cincinnati with her husband, three kiddos, a dog, a snake, and a goldfish named Orca.