Resilience—Bouncing Back, Pt. 2

In Resilience—Bouncing Back from Setbacks we discussed what makes performers able to recover quickly from mistakes, setbacks, auditions that don’t go well, or performances that are considered unsatisfactory or  as failures.  In your effort to be the best performer you can be, you may often lose sight of the fact that the mistakes and setbacks you have are something every performer experiences.  Take a minute to think of a performer you have always admired.  Successful performers  are known for their successes, but their ways have been paved by a number of mistakes, setbacks, and lessons that have pointed them down the path of their success.

In Part 1 we looked at four behaviors that resilient, successful performers possess:

  1. Ability to Build Positive Beliefs—Confidence—In Their Skills
  2. Ability to Identify Their Long- and Short-Term Goals
  3. Ability to Develop a Strong Support Network
  4. Ability to Embrace Change

The following are four additional behaviors or characteristics that resilient performers possess when they view their mistakes and setbacks as stepping stones so they can maintain strong, stable confidence in spite of adversity:

5. Be Optimistic

Staying optimistic during down times or performing plateaus can be difficult, but maintaining an optimistic mindset is an important part of resiliency.  Positive thinking does not mean ignoring the problem in order to focus on positive outcomes.  It means understanding that setbacks are transient and that you have the skills and abilities to face the challenges you experience. What you are dealing with may be difficult, but it is important to remain focused on solutions rather than lament your present circumstance.

6. Recognize Your Needs and Nurture Yourself

When you’re stressed and working or practicing diligently for an upcoming performance, it can be all too easy to neglect your own needs.  Especially when you are feeling anxious or fearful, you may lose your appetite, ignore exercise, and lack the ability to get enough sleep—all common reactions to a challenging situations.  Remember to focus on recognizing your needs and nurturing yourself.  By taking care of your own needs, you can boost your overall health and resilience and be fully ready to face performing challenges.

7. Develop Your Problem-Solving Skills & Take Steps to Solve Problems

Performers who are able to focus on and implement solutions to a problem are better able to cope with performance anxiety and other performance challenges than those who cannot.  Whenever you encounter a new challenge, make a quick list of some of the potential solutions.  By practicing your problem-solving skills on a regular basis, you will be better prepared to cope when the next challenge emerges.

Some performers want to avoid challenge at all cost.  Simply waiting for a problem to go away on its own will only prolong the issue. While there may not be any fast or simple solution for every challenge, you can take steps toward making your situation better and less stressful.  Focus on the progress that you have made thus far and plan your next steps, rather than becoming discouraged by the amount of work that still needs to be accomplished.

8. Keep Working on Your Skills

Resilience is an invaluable quality to have while developing new skills or while improving your ability to take your performing to the next level.  Any change in behavior or development of new skill takes time.  Work to be patient with yourself while you work to improve your mindset and your performing.

Although most resilient performers possess these skills, the ability to bounce back from setbacks can vary widely from one individual to the next.  In order to perform well, remember to build upon your existing strengths and focus on practicing some of these common characteristics of resilient performers.

Let me hear from you—leave a comment about how you deal with adversity and the ways you have found it easier to bounce back and keep growing as a performer!

If you haven’t already, sign up today to receive my monthly performance tips by downloading my free mp3 program, Mental Strategies for Peak Performance in Music:  CLICK HERE.


Cherry, K., (2010), The everything psychology book:  An introductory guide to the science of human behavior, 2nd ed., Avon, MA:   Adams Media.


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