Have you ever struggled to do what you wanted to do, but couldn’t find the motivation to even pick up the guitar?
Has practicing guitar begun to feel like a chore even though you knew you really wanted to practice?
Have you ever felt like you just didn’t have it in you to actually reach your guitar playing goals because you doubted you ability to practice consistently?
If you’re like me and everyone else who has ever played guitar, then you answered yes to all three of these questions. This is a very common struggle, but when you are in the middle of it, feelings take over and self-doubt floods in. I want to help you get past this sticking point and find the strength you need to do what you really want to do. Keep reading to find out more…
The good news is we all go through this. More good news is that if we all go through it and some people overcome this struggle, then you can too! If you feel the struggle it is partly because you really do want to get better and succeed. It means you have a drive to be great which is the very fuel that will get you there. But why does this still happen? There are many reasons. One is expectations. In the beginning(or middle) of working towards something there are multiple points where we question whether we can actually do it. These stages will come. And more than once. A simple solution is to keep in the very front of your mind that you are not responsible for anything but what you can do today. Carrying the weight of every single day in the future and all the practice you will need to do is going to crush your spirit. Today is today. Focus on practicing today. That’s it. When tomorrow comes, focus on practicing for that day only. Keep this up and you will get very consistent in your practice and see much faster results. But there is more…
How To Make Practice Exciting Every Time You Pick Up The Guitar
This is what I really want to talk about. If something does not feel exciting it is because we do not have anything attached to it that is exciting. Why are you doing what you do? Why are you practicing guitar? To get better? Yes, but that’s way too vague of an answer. Get as specific as you possible can. What made you pick up the guitar is the first place? To be a songwriter and impact peoples lives with your music? To be able to have tons of fun jamming with friends, strangers, in a band, or on stage? To tour the world and make lots of money? To play a romantic song at your wedding or for an anniversary gift? Whatever your reasons are I am sure they are meaningful to you or you wouldn’t have started playing in the first place.
These reasons are like gold. This is what makes anything exciting and special. When you associate practice with something really special to you, then you will not feel negative about practicing guitar. You will start looking at any progress even if small as getting closer to your goal(s). When negative feelings get a hold of our mind it makes progress seem like not enough. We start to expect instant results and beat ourselves up over even trying. This is a terribly unpleasant way to live.
You don’t have to lower your expectations. In fact doing so will cause you to not strive for excellence and to settle for mediocrity. No one is ever proud of being mediocre or giving up. This is why any progress should be celebrated. I’m not saying throw a party because you can play a scale 5 beats per minute faster than yesterday, but to just feel good about it and even give a good shout, “YES”! You are on your way. You are better than you were yesterday. Don’t deny what progress you’ve made. Don’t let you feels dictate you future. Progress can be measured and when it is, it is a fact not a feeling. It is truth and not fickle emotion rooted in nothing.
The analogy that comes to mind is running. Running in itself appears to be silly. Runners appear to be running from nothing. They spend money to get running shoes and clothes. Get dressed each day and leave the house to spend a bunch of time running in a big circle and sweat like crazy just to be back home. They shower, drink a protein shake, and feel sore for the next 2 days. But they have a reason. It may be health or vanity or maybe just to prove to themselves that they can do what seemed impossible. To beat their own feelings of self-doubt. The majority of marathon runners aren’t running to win, they are running for fun and for personal reasons.
A note to those who just want to play for fun and play your favorite songs. Don’t feel like your goals are too small. This is a mistake I see many people make. What matters is that your reasons and goals are meaningful to you. Playing music is a journey and it is tons of fun, if you let it be. Enjoy every minute of it. Don’t let a single day of practice go by that you don’t enjoy. It may be hard work, but it is rewarding and worthwhile. History has proven it. Music an musicians have been around as far back as we know. The reasons are many, but overall it is because music in itself is a great thing and always will be. Don’t let it be anything less.
If you need help defining your goals, knowing how to practice effectively and positively, or just need help knowing what to practice, we at Seattle Guitar Mentor are here to help. If you aren’t taking guitar lessons and want to get help to make life way easier on yourself, contact us today to get started.