How to overcome fear and just play?

Since parting ways with my music partner nearly a year ago, I have been reticent to pick up any instrument and try my hand at solo composing. Fear is what holds me back. Pure and not so simple fear.

As with so many seemingly insurmountable challenges I have experienced in life, I know that I can overcome my fear by taking small, tenable steps.

I tried creating a daily schedule that included practicing my ukulele and writing a short song. However, each day seemed to come and go without a single musical note ringing out in my central Arizona home.

So I ask the question: How do I take a step when I now have only myself to hold me accountable?

The answer is to just start. Maybe, I only play a scale and for less than five minutes, but the feeling of knowing that I taken a tiny step will help me take another and another.

It is a mixed blessing to have a gift. My whole life, I have been told that I have a musical gift and that I can do anything I want with music.

So what I have done?

I have spent a lot of time paralyzed with indecision of what I might do and whether I might fail. Then, when days, months, and years go past, I reprimand myself for wasting so much time. Had I been playing for five minutes a day all of these many years, imagine how well I would play today?

I have tried several instruments and found two that I love: the piano and the baritone ukulele. I love them for different reasons, and I do not play either nearly enough.

I have also spent time comparing myself to other successful musicians and wondering what they have that I lack. I can tell you that this is a complete waste of time, as it only instills more fear of failure and does nothing to lift my confidence.

Why write all of this? Well, I have this funny notion that you might be able to relate. I have found that much of what I struggle with is not unique to my own lived experience.

Why stop writing? Well, I think I should go and play some music.

Stay tuned for more stories from a startup songwriter!



3 Comments Add yours

  1. 5 minutes a day … I could … should do that!! OK, I will! Thanks! Miss you already!

    1. marieke says:

      It’s easier said than done! I am still working on getting into a rhythm of practicing every day. You can do it! We can do it! 🙂 Miss you, too!

      1. we’ve had a hard time getting Gene reengaged with his harmonica and we decided that perhaps having an audience would do it. This week we go with Meg to Margared T. Morris (Alzheimer’s Home) to perform. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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