Hi I’m Vi Wickam and this is myTalentForge.com‘s Quick Tip of the Week.
Excitement and nerves are the same thing.
Now, I have fiddle students all the time that say, “Well I get so nervous when I’m on stage or I get nervous when I play in front of people.” Or, “I get nervous when I am playing in a jam.”… or whatever the case may be.
They’re experiencing nervousness.
Now, physiologically, nervousness and excitement are the same thing.
When I’m excited about doing something, my heart rate speeds up. I start sweating a little bit – I’m excited.
Now, that’s the same physiological reaction as when I’m nervous. My heart rate speeds up, I sweat a little bit, maybe my pupils dilate – same physiology.
The difference between excitement and nervousness is how you frame it in your body. So if you just say to yourself, “Boy I a sure am excited to be getting on stage right now!”, or “I’m excited about this jam!”… And you change the dialog in your head, you will change how you play.
You will change that anticipation to be a positive anticipation, rather than a negative anticipation.
When you think, “I’m nervous!”- automatically your mind starts thinking of, “I’m going to screw this up.” “How am i going to make this wrong?”, “How am I going to be bad at this?”
Whereas, if you’re excited, it becomes an anxious anticipation in a positive way.
“I’m excited because I have a new opportunity here- I have an opportunity to play music with people I’ve never played music with before. I have an opportunity to meet new people, I have an opportunity to have a conversation musically.”
“I have an opportunity, I am excited about this new opportunity- this new thing I’m going to get to experience.”
It’s a whole different conversation in your mind. And your mind is the most important thing when it comes to creating music.
So, try it. Next time you’re going to be performing, or you’re going to do something that normally would frame an, “I’m nervous about this”… Try reframing your mind-state.
“I sure am excited that I get to do this!” And if you start moving into a nervous conversation in your brain, change that conversation again.
As soon as you take notice of it, say, “I sure am excited that I get to do this; I sure am excited that this is going to happen- that I get this opportunity.”
It may take a little while before that comes an automatic response to be excited.
And I’m not saying you’ll never be nervous. But if you can consistently check yourself when you feel that nervous physiology- that excited physiology- reframe it, turn it around, and all of a sudden, you’ll still have that energy in your playing that you had before.
But you’ll maybe have a little more control over it. You’ll have the experiment of joy in your playing, instead of the experience of fear.
And who doesn’t need a little more joy in their lives?!
Nervous and excitement are the same thing. It’s all in your head.
I’ll see you next week!