The gig went south last night? The next day you keep thinking how things could have been better. Missed cues, lack of focus and the distraction that caused the melt down. It was like a game of dominoes, the mistakes fell from one player to the next.
Crowd response was lousy because the band blew it, which carries over into your personal life.
Then there is the nagging feeling your own proficiency is lacking. You tell yourself you are not that good.
The next day all you can think about is the previous night’s disaster. The audience response was terrible. You start thinking that its always like this. You have put in all this effort and hard work, for what? The more you think how bad the performance was the more you think it is carrying over into your personal life.
Welcome to the Merry Go Round. I have been there, and you have been there, we have all been there. What are we going to do about it?
I have an internal dialogue. Wandering around the house a person might catch me yammering away to myself. That’s self talk.
The subconscious mind shows its influence and reveals our thought process. Things our self talk shows us includes our beliefs, questions and ideas. All of us deal with the positive and negative.
The way we think and talk to ourselves is dependent on our personalities.
You are the source of your creative power. Why bring yourself to dark places when you have control?
Often times self doubt and despair are based on our presumed belief of the judgment of others. What is it you think they are judging? If they are judging you, which they are probably not, then they can only assess outward circumstances. There is no way they can understand what the truth of your situation is; they are not living it.
Why do we put so much credence on what others think of us?
Faith in yourself gives free reign to your imagination.
Mental real estate can become clogged with the concerns of other people. If we have worry about their needs, desires and preconceptions, there may not be room for you. The goal is to be the person you need to be. By being that person then you can help others.
One of my good friends, Billy, spent studio time recording his originals. The engineer told him that his tunes were not marketable.
My opinion? First, what business does the recording engineer have voicing his opinion? An unsolicited judgement on his part is not warranted; that’s not what he is being paid for. Second of all, in the long term, aren’t we writing these songs for ourselves? Regardless of the money that will, or will not come, we would still be there, doing it.
Billy’s inner soul is his creativity, first and foremost.
Tomorrow, the doubt we experience today may not be there. Listening to the negativity that others heap on us can reinforce our self doubt. The only thing that changes from confidence to lack of confidence is the story we tell ourselves.
One reason people dump their opinions on others is because their own self talk is terrible. They feel better because you are not as good as they want to see themselves. Those people are afraid to face the truth.
I catch myself slipping into the habit making fun of folks who do not see things as clearly as I do. I need to be careful and guard myself against that. This sort of presumption is dangerous and can lead to an overblown ego. I am not interested in being condescending and patronizing. Been there before and I don’t like that Bryan.
Respecting others is a better way to live.
Then there is self-respect. For a lot of people this is fleeting. Some of my friends have had this challenge. The isolation of the pandemic hasn’t helped.
At times they focus on the negative and ignore their achievements. They start believing others are better than themselves. They become self-critical, don’t accept compliments, feel sad, depressed and ashamed.
I can relate. Been there, done that, stood in line and bought the ticket.
How did I climb out of it? I don’t know if it ever really goes away. There is always that edge of self-doubt. Is what I’m doing really helping to build my self-esteem?
Part of it may be biological in nature. Depression can be a major component of low self-esteem. Depression runs in my family. I have seen its effects first hand.
Any time I have dealt with being depressed it has always been situational. My solution is the analogy of a cup coffee in a gallon jar. You poor the coffee into the jar and it is dark brown. By adding clear water, little by little, the coffee color becomes more and more translucent. With enough space and time, the evidence of coffee will all but disappear.
The clear water is analogous to activity and association. Who are we hanging around and what are we doing? I hate to say it, birds of a feather flock together.
Time spent getting nothing accomplished is time wasted. That can’t help you feel good about yourself if you are a goal oriented person.
Don’t be fooled. You bring more to the table than than you might think. Some of the most talented and able artists I know have these feelings of inadequacy.
It’s amazing. How can this person, with superlative skill, feel this way about themselves?
It comes down to self-talk. I have been there. To be honest, it still nags me a little. The challenge is to stop comparing ourselves to those who we perceive as being more talented. As an artist, we pursue our own voice. Self-doubt inhabits the validity of our self-image.
Imposter syndrome haunts some of the most successful people you may know.
I know amazing individuals, at attainment’s highest level, who feel this way. Some of those folks use their feelings of being an imposter as a motivator. The inadequacy drives them. The motivator is the insufficiency their self-belief.
I get it. It is an engine of my drive to competency. I know this motivation well.
What are your friends telling you? Are they supportive? Are they being honest? None of the nose up your ass bullshit. It is super important that your friends are supportive and forthright.
I trust my friends. I love them. Our friendships go back for years. I am fortunate in that we have myriads of bands and projects under our belts.
What we don’t do is lie to each other. We judge each others strengths and shortcomings with out the influence of ego.
This is critical in relationships. The purpose of our friendships is to build one other up. Iron sharpens iron, as the adage goes. We purpose to be there for each other, being a support where weakness prevails. When strength rules, we all succeed.
We all need our friends. Tearing each other down does nothing to strengthen relationships.
All I have to do is pull my head out and take a look around. There is a lot to be thankful for. How about the simple fact that I woke up on this side of green today. That’s pretty basic.
I’m pretty sure all of us know someone going through some sort of health challenge. For me, so far so good, knock on wood.
The older I become the more it surrounds me. Life and death situations abound. Some of my friends and acquaintances are on the cusp. As much as I want to whine, it’s a good idea to step back and acknowledge there are people who have it a lot tougher.
There are friends very close to me, suffering. I mean suffering, real pain. Loss of bodily functions. Close to death experiences. There is no sugar coating any of it.
Today is a good day. Thank you.
I’m not missing many meals. I got that going for me. It’s summer and I average a hundred miles a week on my bicycle. My skills are increasing on a daily basis. My olfactory is pretty tuned in. That’s good; very important for a sommelier.
Let’s not forget, I’m not living on the street.
I try to surround myself with as many inspiring people as possible. Right now, as I write, I am listening to Lizst.
I’m a basic drummer. I’m still learning music theory. That’s why I hang out with people smarter than me.
Franz Joseph Liszt – talk about inspiring. Virtuoso pianist, composer, music teacher, conductor, organist, as well as a Franciscan Tertiary. Talk about a guy whose discipline was a lifestyle. Woof!!!
A couple of days ago I put on Moon Flower by Antonio Carlos Jobim. And Miles, Birth of Cool. I am never going to be one of these guys. But I can be the best that I am going to be. I can live with that.
Realize this – Don’t be the best, be the only!
We want to understand the world around us. It is a basic foundation of our survival instinct. As hunter/gatherers, there was a lot of uncertainty. There had to be reasons why one person survived and another did not. To this day, we need explanations why things happen. If it’s not plainly evident, then we create a story so we can move on. The explanation may not be true, but at least we can understand, then continue.
This is a narrative fallacy. Cause and effect details, whether true or made up, help us negotiate life. The world is a random place and we want to make sense of it. An unpredictable future is not a comfort.
Belief in presumptive assertions has roots in uncertainty. As time goes on, the narrative becomes established, and then it becomes part of our truth. It becomes difficult to see around it.
I’m guilty. I am working on it.
Can we help you?
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