The Costs of Perfectionism

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Perhaps the saddest statement to read in any biography is that the person fell short or didn’t really accomplish what he or she might have. Well, that’s exactly what I read recently in a brief account of the life of late 19th century French composer, Henri Duparc, “An examination of the life of Henri Duparc often leads one not to explore what he actually accomplished, but to speculate on … [Read more...]

Performance Anxiety and SUPREME Goals

Goal Setting

Setting good goals and working those goals will help performers feel more confident and assured that what they practice will be accessible on the stage.  Goals give performers direction, help motivate them toward success, and increase confidence.  Setting goals will also help performers keep their attention on what’s important by identifying strengths and challenges.  Good goals can improve … [Read more...]

YES Performing in a “Who’s next?” World

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Alternate Title:  Positive & Engaged Performing   A couple of weeks ago we looked at Carol Dweck's view of Mindset and how having a fixed or growth mindset can affect your performing.  Today I want to look at a similar comparison of mindsets—performers with an optimistic view of their performing and those with a pessimistic view.  Now of course, none of us want to admit to being a … [Read more...]

Which Mindset Do YOU Have?

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I have recently read a book that has rocked my world and I want to turn you onto it as well because I think it has HUGE implications for musicians.   I am talking about Dr. Carol S. Dweck's book, Mindset.   Run— don't walk—to the nearest bookstore and purchase it or log onto Amazon and order it today! What if it wasn't our abilities or talent that bring us success, but whether we approach … [Read more...]

Are You Comfortable With Performance Anxiety?

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Last time in What Is Your Greatest Fear?, we discussed the common fears that performers face.  These fears cause you to doubt your abilities and skills and feed your anxiety level as you prepare for performance.  What's more, when you get used to these anxious feelings and fearful thought and behavior patterns, you tend to settle into a place we commonly call a comfort zone.  It seems odd, … [Read more...]

What Is Your Greatest Fear?

Thing under Bed

If you are like most performers, you have experienced some kind of anxiety or fear when preparing for or waiting for a performance to begin.  Many of you find that this fear does not subside once the performance begins.  You may have even put a name to your fear—fear of embarrassment, fear of rejection, or fear of failure.  Once you discover the source of your fear, you can get busy working … [Read more...]

Knowing when you’ve practiced enough!

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Practicing is a way of life for musicians.  Not only are we expected to perform at consistently high levels, we are constantly learning new music, improving our skills, and reaching for new heights.  Let's face it, we want to play or sing well.  We want to make great music and we certainly want to avoid embarrassment, disappointing ourselves and others, and, of course, we want to avoid mistakes … [Read more...]

Decisions, decisions—Worry About Performing or Not?

Choice arrows

Ok, let's talk about worry. . .  How many times have you worried about the weather?  If you’ve ever planned an outdoor event—a wedding, a child's birthday party, a picnic or even when you have been planning a trip I bet you have worried about the weather!  Is it going to be nice?  Is my event going to be rained out? Will all my plans be ruined?  I've worked so hard all year for this one … [Read more...]

Face Your Performance Anxiety or Run?

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In our recent discussions of performance anxiety we have talked about how to identify your fears in Performance Fear—Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire and how to understand our fears in The Key To Understanding Your Performance Anxiety.   The final step in dealing with your anxiety or fear is to take action and neutralize its ill effects.  It’s interesting how when many performers are confronted … [Read more...]

Have You Hugged Your Performance Anxiety Today?

Fear

It was the night before.  I just lay there in bed. I couldn't sleep. I was breathing funny, my heart was pounding, and my thoughts were...well, noisy.  Some of the thoughts that went racing through my head were "I need to sleep.  I need to just calm down and get to sleep.  Tomorrow will be here soon enough." I bet you thought I was describing the night before an important performance, … [Read more...]