How classical musicians fight anxiety by building trust with themselves
For years my intuition had been elusive. She was something I longed to connect with, yet seemed completely out of my reach.
I had abandoned myself so many times, in so many different ways, that my intuition had hidden herself away. It is like she was bound and determined to only peak her head out when she knew her environment was completely and utterly safe.
Frankly, I don’t blame her. I had spent a lifetime berating myself, blaming myself, pouring on the judgement and criticism.
That is far from being fruitful soil for someone as pure and vulnerable as Intuition to pour forth her ideas and dreams.
We Can Tune Our Ears to Intuition
It wasn’t until years later, once I had learned to honor myself, hold space for my story, and heal the wounds of my past that I started hearing her.
She started small … like, go lay on your back and look at the clouds, or reach out to that friend, or stay in and watch a movie with the kids.
And as I listened and acted, she got bolder. Go play for So and So, take that class, take that audition. And I listened and I acted.
Sometimes I ignored her. Maybe it was too hard a thing she wanted me to do. Have that tough conversation, draw that boundary, believe in myself. And she forgave me because she knew that I was trying and doing the best I could.
Give Yourself TIME to Build Trust
It takes time to build trust with yourself. It’s a joint effort between you and your intuition - you are not alone.
Your intuition is the truest, most imaginative part of yourself. She knows you. She knows what you need, what you are capable of. She doesn’t follow a playbook, some manual for how to live a true life.
Intuition simply takes you one step at a time more fully into yourself
As musicians, we are endlessly striving for excellence, to refine and polish and perfect. It’s like we want to remove the technical shortfalls that would inhibit our music making so we can play a phrase exactly the way we hear it in our heads.
What if we also spent time creating a safe space for our intuition so that she can sing, too?
I had an truly amazing teacher in college and grad school. She was one of those teachers who didn’t pump out dozens of identical players. Every student was perfectly unique. She had this gift of pulling out our truest voice.
She created a safe space for Intuition, praised her, elevated her above technique, told her was worthy and beautiful.
Just as my teacher has this ability to see Intuition’s gifts inside each of her students, so too must we develop that for ourselves.
Because most days it is just you and your instrument in a practice room.
Make it a safe space for yourself.
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.