Thursday, January 28, 2016


No one likes being uncomfortable.  That's why the definition of the word is what it is.  Even for those people who like to ham it up and put themselves in awkward positions, there are times and situations where even they will feel truly uncomfortable.

However, it's in those uncomfortable times that we define what kind of artist/person we are.

Some people avoid going there as much as possible, to the point where they don't take any risks.  Whether it's playing the same solo, not testing for a higher rank, or not learning new skills, all of this is risk-avoidance for the sake of being in a safe environment.  It comes at a price, though.

Some people worry so much about being in an uncomfortable situation, whether it's because of their skills or perception of weakness, that when the situation does arise, the output is far worse because of their reaction to it.

Some people seem to deal with a situation just fine, but are spending so much energy and focus on seeming ok that when it's over, the lesson has been lost.  It's like putting on a mask, but when the mask comes off, so does the information.

There are very few people that can truly be happy in an uncomfortable situation.  Laughter is common, but is a coping mechanism.  Frustration is much more common - and I'm no exception to that!

It's not easy to continue doing something that is challenging to the point of vulnerability if you have the option to step out through by making an excuse.  But even if you're expected to "do it" and have no way out, how you deal with it at the time and how you deal with it later say a lot about your character and potential.

Maybe those constructive comments you were getting in front of everyone made you feel really bad.  Do you shut down or do you suck it up?  Do you choose to disregard them later because it makes you feel better or do you see if there's truth to them?

Maybe a new part challenges your skill and you just can't grasp it.  Do you blame other factors for not getting it or do you keep attacking it?  Do you set aside time later to practice at your own pace or do you ignore it, putting it off until the last minute?

Or maybe it's something else completely that tests your resolve.  The specific instance doesn't really matter, but your reaction does.

I'm not about to say that you shouldn't ever get frustrated, that you should jump into uncomfortable situations, or that you should have unrealistic goals.  I just want you to think about how your reaction to these things shapes you and determines your growth.  Sometimes the question isn't "have you grown", but "can you grow?"

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