Thursday, August 15, 2013

Shoelaces tied together

It’s almost a cliché to hear someone say that they’re their own worst critic, but that doesn’t make it any less common.  However, how often do you really acknowledge what needs the most work and then work on it?  Maybe it’s easy to admit to yourself what you have trouble with, but then what?  Have you gotten complacent with the things you need the most work on, simply because it’s “comfortable”?

Would you run a marathon in shoes that had the laces tied together?  Of course not, you would stop running and untie them.  What if the knots were really complicated and took some time?  I bet you'd take the time then get back in the run, rather than keeping them tied, run funny, and take 10x longer to finish the course.

Make a list of the 3 things you most need to work on.  Maybe you keep getting told to fix something, maybe you have trouble with a particular song, maybe it’s technical, maybe it’s presence, maybe it’s too much of something, maybe it’s not enough of something else.  Just write out 3 things.  They don’t have to be all equal in terms of importance, you just have to be honest with yourself.

If you keep getting told to stop doing something, list that.  If you keep messing up a solo, list that.  If your hands have trouble keeping up with the group, list that.  It’s not fun admitting what your weak spots are, but I’ll tell you – everyone has them.

When I was newer to the group, I got told my competitive nature was a liability.  I didn’t feel I was all that competitive, but you know what?  When the people in charge keep telling you that it’s a liability, it’s a liability!  I didn’t protest it so much at the time, I just didn’t think it was a big deal…but it was, and it kept me from being more accepted by and integrated into the group.  In one of our songs that has a lot of solos getting passed around, I would often play dense, complicated stuff that made it really hard for the person following me.  It was easy for me to laugh it off, but ultimately it meant I was being selfish and making myself look “good” at the expense of the group.

It was never really hard to figure out what I needed to work on, because I was being told.  Odds are that it’s the same for you.  Even if it’s not that easy to figure out what to work on at first, the more honest you are with yourself, the easier it’ll be to not only identify those areas, but then deal with them.

It may not be easy to accept that your laces are tied together, and it may be even harder to work out the knots, but once they’re untied, imagine how good it will feel to run full-stride!

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