June’s book club pick is Mindset by Carol Dweck. I have begun reading it and I’m really enjoying it. I love all things personal development, so this book is right up my alley. These concepts are valuable to everyone, but especially musicians. Music performance is such a mental game, and we need to make sure our greatest asset (our brains!) is in tip-top shape.
“The view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life.”
It is truly amazing how much our thoughts affect our lives. Our thoughts create our feelings, and our feelings direct our actions which bring our results.
Here’s an example.
Let’s say I performed a piece in a my studio’s recital recently, and I really didn’t prepare well. It was rough.
I could choose to think, “I’m a terrible violinist. That was so embarrassing. I’m a failure. What’s wrong with me?”
Or I could choose to think, “I didn’t prepare as well as I could have, but I did the brave thing and performed anyway. My students were probably inspired, and appreciated my performance.”
The first thought makes me feel ashamed. Guilty. Hopeless. These feelings do not lead to better practicing in the future. They lead to never performing again.
The second thought makes me feel determined. Proud. These feelings lead to better preparation, and more performances.
The thoughts are proved by the actions they lead to. If I think the thought “I am a terrible violinist,” I feel crappy, and do not practice. Which leads to me becoming a terrible violinist. I guess I was right.
If I think the thought “I didn’t prepare as well as I could have, but I was brave and performed anyway,” I feel determined and proud of myself, I practice smarter, and become a better violinist. I guess I was right.
If you are interested in a more in-depth discussion of the way thoughts affect our feelings and actions, and how that creates our results in our music teaching business, check out my Music Teacher CEO Community here.