Earlier this fall I was introduced to a concept that has revolutionized (I kid you not!) many areas of my life including my:
journey as an entrepreneur;
personal growth and goal setting.
The concept is this - It’s all an experiment.
In those four words, we are released from perfectionism, from having to have all the answers, from knowing exactly how to improve, and even from knowing the right next step.
Because the truth of the matter is that we don’t know what to do most of the time, especially when we are trying something new. Not knowing feels Very uncomfortable. And that discomfort becomes rumination, becomes fear of failure, becomes inaction.
Inaction is where growth and dreams go to die.
As classical musicians, we are diligent. We are high achievers who are smart, dedicated, and precise. Many of us thrive on executing tried and true systems and unknowingly box ourselves into our own excellence.
What if, instead, we release our tightly grip on control and … experiment?
An experiment might succeed, or it might fail. The result of the experiment says nothing about the quality of the scientist, it simply provides concrete evidence about what does or does not work.
What happens if you:
Take 2 minutes to deep breathe before you practice? Does that change your stress level? Your concentration? Try it for a week or two and see!
Mix up your warm-up routine and start with a slow melodic piece? Does that affect your overall music-making?
Turn a technical section of your excerpt into the foundation of an improvisation? Does playing with it help you find something other than frustration?
Maybe it helps, maybe it doesn’t. Either way is fine, but you Will come out of your experiment with more information, probably more ideas to try, and a more growth-oriented mindset.
I encourage you to experiment (see what I did there!) with the idea of experimenting. Especially if something comes up in your playing and you don’t know what to do. Run an experiment. See what happens!
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!
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Schedule your call with Katie. It’s free. It’s my pleasure. And it’s the first step to releasing stage fright once and for all.
Founder of The Musician's Mindset
Katie is a certified life coach 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.