Self-Esteem For Musicians

You hope you don’t make any mistakes.

Why? What’s so bad about making a mistake?

What will happen if you totally mess it all up?You will feel like a failure, right?

But, what’s so bad about feeling like a failure? Where did you learn that being a failure was a bad thing?

What would performing be like if you didn’t care about how well you performed? What would you care about instead?

I know, you’re going to tell me that you don’t like feeling bad about yourself. That’s perfectly understandable. But, my point here is not to say that you shouldn’t care about that.

My point is to ask you: why is it that your self-esteem is based on how well you perform?

Where does that come from?

What does it do to the way you perform, and the way you practice?

I want you to imagine for a minute that as a young child, you were never criticized for failing at anything. Would you now be saying “I feel badly about myself because I didn’t perform well”?

Let me be crystal clear about what I’m asking you to consider: Your self-esteem has nothing to do with your performance. That’s just a crazy story you’re telling yourself. It could easily have gone another way.

Of course, you can’t change the past. But, you can change the present.


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