Taking Performance to a New Stage

#fearlessperformance May 22, 2020

Hi everyone!

Well if we weren’t before, we’re sure online now!

We’ve all been seeing a ton of videos on social media of people sharing their performances, whether it be through music or online yoga classes or…as an amateur magician, I’m watching a lot of magic these days too! 

My favorite word for performance is share.

There has been an understandable rush to the internet in regard to people sharing their stuff, and I think it’s great…much of it is great…some of it is quite good…ok there are some good things out there.  Heh…and here’s the problem. Our quick judgements of other peoples’ stuff can manifest as a performance problem when we ourselves go to share. I call this instant karma. 

Instant Karma: The experience of our choice immediately happening onto our self. 

If we more often see the negative in others, it makes it tough to get in front of people and speak or play and believe it can be well received. It’s a tricky balance.  Critique doesn’t have to be negative. Whatever you’re watching or whatever you’re considering sharing, just remember everyone will have an opinion.  

Fear of negative opinions has often kept me from sharing my thoughts and horn playing.  “Ohhh, the Instant Karma is strong with this one!” I’ve had to embrace the fact that not all opinions will agree with mine, while still working on finding ways of putting myself out there. Gulp!

I share Fearless Performance tools and methods with hopes of helping you be ok with sharing.  Yes, there is more online content than ever, but all that chaotic-chatter still allows for things of value to either bubble to the top, or at least be findable by those who are looking.

Another great reason to share now is that we all have some sort of performance coming up, and the best training for performance is performing.

Whether it be as a musician or a teacher, a business person or a parent, an athlete or a video gamer...on stage, on a court, or in a boardroom...this rush to posting online is literally "Taking Performance to a new Stage!" 

I had this thought today. Just because we think something is hard for us doesn’t mean the thing itself is hard. Wait, huh? Yup…whether you call it easy or hard, those words are emotional and relative choices. “Hard” is an opinion.  That’s why we have come to say, “That’s hard for me.” We can safely say that because it’s true. 

“That’s hard for me” might be an accurate statement, but what if, instead, we lowered our standards?  I often joke, “If you’re frustrated, lower your standards.” Though that’s a joke, it’s funny cause it’s true! Lowering our standards would cure us of frustration. But the actual source of difficulty comes from choosing to ignore reality, and so we end up getting frustrated.

What is actually happening, simply stated and in reality, is that you’re just performing at your level. There is someone in the world right now who would be very happy to have performed the exact frustrating sounds you just played on your instrument. 

…and yes, they might have lower standards, but they might also just be more emotionally mature.  They might just accept that whatever they play is a direct manifestation of their abilities of technique and focus choice, and go about scientifically looking at data and finding ways to improve…and doing the work. Oh imagine if it were that easy.  It’s NOT!!!  But it can be that simple. 

So…if you want a better life, ask better questions.

More importantly, if you want a better life, answer better questions! You don’t have to decide if it’s hard for you if you don’t ask. 

Answer these questions instead:

  • Would I like to do this thing
  • Would sharing it be good for some small part of my world
  • How can I step out of my comfort zone and end up in my learning zone?

I have a suggestion. Perform something somewhere for someone else. Yay!  That’s all.

Thank you.

As I write this, there are 3,579,366 live viewers on Twitch! The world can handle one more performer online.  We need you out here, sharing what you like or what you want to get better at or what you think is funny or cute or…whatever.  When we judge others less, we can dive deeper into our own growth and sharing.  Weeeeee…

See you out here!  Thanks for reading.

Jeff Nelsen

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