Lies of Perfectionism, Part 2

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In Lies of Perfectionism, Part 1 we examined several misconceptions perfectionists have and the stories perfectionists keep telling themselves.  If you feel like what you accomplish is never going to be good enough, or you often procrastinate engaging in important tasks like practicing or preparing for events, or you feel you must impress others or you set standards that are impossible to … [Read more...]

Lies of Perfectionism, Part 1

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Many of you may have seen the recent psychological thriller, The Black Swan.  In this fictional portrayal of perfectionism, Nina, a promising ballerina, pushes herself beyond the bounds of her mental and physical health to be perfect.  It is very tiring, discouraging, and often destructive to continually attempt to impress others, avoid making mistakes, and perform perfectly all the time.   … [Read more...]

Trust and Play

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As youngsters we are in the habit of being creatively engaged.   This is the experience of play.  Dr. Stuart Brown, the author of Play:  How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul, explains that “when we play, we are open to possibility and the sparks of new insight and thought.” This sounds very much like the definition of mindfulness.  Leading expert on … [Read more...]

I’m Practicing, So What’s Missing?

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Musicians and performers, in general, spend hours, months, and years of their lives diligently working on technique and skills that are necessary for success in performance.   We spend much more of our time practicing than we ever will performing on stage.   Because of this we get really good at practicing—monitoring ourselves for correctness, at self-coaching, and at analyzing cause and … [Read more...]