The Beauty of Performing—Commit To It!

picassoPeople will be impressed if you play or sing well, but something far more important can happen when a performer combines impressive technique with emotional truth:  both the performer and the listener can be changed.  This is the beauty of performing.

When did performing become about playing perfectly, playing to avoid mistakes, or about something we now fear rather than enjoy?  Musical performance can help us transcend the mundane and can teach us truths about ourselves that we might not otherwise have discovered.  (thank you Stephen Smith)

In order to get to this beauty, in order for art to have the desired effect, the performer must put in a significant amount of effort—sweat and sometimes, tears—to produce the impressive technique and get at the underlying emotional truth.  This effort can be both rewarding and frustrating, fulfilling and grueling.  Sacrifice will be involved and it is very likely you will experience a little doubt along the way.

“The relationship between commitment and doubt is by no means an antagonistic one.  Commitment is healthiest when it is not without doubt but in spite of doubt.”  —Rollo May

Committing to the beauty of performing—the rewards and fulfillment—means committing to all the frustrations, sacrifice, and doubt that can be a part of the journey.  It takes commitment and discipline to achieve this kind of freedom.

Commitment is doing whatever is within your power to do to achieve your goal(s).

Making a commitment to become a performer, is also making a commitment to deal with and learn to anticipate and embrace all the challenges that performers face which include frustration, doubt, and fear.   Are you ready to take the Commitment Challenge?  Let’s see:  read the following and check off the statements you are willing to accept and commit to.

___I commit to believing strongly in myself and my abilities and skills.

___I commit to relying on effort and strategy to improve.

___I commit to embrace challenges to make me a stronger performer.

___I commit to give all of my energy to the things/thoughts within my control.

___I commit to stop mind-reading or caring too much what others think.

___I commit to taking control of my self-talk and use it to help me practice and perform well.

___I commit to rely on my practice and trust my preparation.

___I commit to focusing on the process, not the product (results).

___I commit to unconditionally accept myself and my performing.

___I commit to doing whatever it takes to play and express my best.

 “You cannot make a real commitment unless you accept that it’s a choice that you keep making again and again and again.”


I would love to hear what you are committed to.  Please leave a comment below. If you would like to explore this further, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Would you like to learn how to develop your own unique pre-performance routine and your most effective performance mindset?  Then, check out The Relaxed Musician:  Mental Preparation for Confident Performances.   Download Day 1 of the workbook and audio to see how the program can work for you.  With purchase, you will receive 2 great bonuses—Your Pre-Performance Checklist and the e-book, Letting Go of the Need to be Perfect!


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  1. Rob Saldaña says:

    I feel like being committed in the practice room to perform is one of the biggest challenges a performer could face. For one, we’re in a neutralized area free from thoughts, good or bad, that usually inhibit our minds seconds before a performance. I have realized that envisioning a familiar performance situation prior to practicing performing really helps activate the performing mindset. Visualizing what I have experienced before during performance gives me a great playing field to practice my craft, confidence, and apply what I have learned while actually performing.

  2. I am committed to becoming a powerful, inspired, and exciting vocalist/instrumentalist and even at the age of 66, I feel I am just starting to learn how to access my best voice.
    When I am seeing myself in a fantasy performance, I am performing a duet with Laura Fabian, The Prayer, in my hometown. I suppose I want to show everyone here this part of myself that, up to this point, I have held in reserve until the proper moment. This is a subtle form of waiting until I can be perfect by singing it like Michael Bolton.

    • Dr. Diana Allan says:

      Hi Jeffrey,

      Thanks for commenting. Being committed to becoming a powerful, inspired, and excited performer is an important step in taking your singing/playing/performing to the next level. Simulating performances—even mentally—is an important way of practicing. I encourage you to keep your focus on improving your skills and your ability to perform for yourself. Wanting to “show” others or prove something to someone else can sometimes lead us down the path of caring too much what others think and causing us to become more anxious than we need to be. Keep focusing on how you want to sound as you. What would be a better or more useful goal than being “perfect?” Good to hear from you!

      • Dr. Allen,
        Thanks for your comments, and I believe what you say is true. Yesterday we were in rehearsal for an upcoming concert and I just decided to relax and have fun with the material on which I was soloing. My singing became effortless and I heard that ring in my voice that let me know I was singing from a strong and connected place. There was even some applause from the choir, which totally stunned me. Thanks so much for this very informative and necessary information and service.

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