This is a difficult time for performers. There are still no symphony, opera, or other musical performances. Businesses are operating but at a lesser degree because the economy is shut down. Movies and television shows are not being made. It’s not great for those of us who want to watch or listen, but it’s devastating for musicians and performers themselves. How do you stay motivated when there are no performances on the horizon?
On any normal day, you lose a job and think, “Oh no, what’s next?” During the current pandemic, you might feel like there are no options, and that’s what makes it so hard.
Whoo-eeee! Change at any level can be hard, but change at the level we are at right now is distressing!
Humans don’t like change which is why we do everything we can to avoid it. We plan. We prepare. We write lists and set goals so change doesn’t catch up with us. Sometimes it doesn’t, but that’s usually because we stay stuck without changing, growing, or moving forward.
Change is generally unexpected which is why we don’t like it. We are unprepared for it. Or are we?
What is it? The desire to do something. One problem with desire is that if your desire comes from a coach or teacher then you don’t have it inside yourself. Someone else has it for you. To be motivated you must develop the desire for yourself.
Due to black and white thinking, most of us react by doing nothing or trying to do everything at once. We do nothing out of fear of doing something wrong and everything because we’re trying to be perfect. Working on nothing gets us nowhere. Working on everything at once also gets us nowhere.
How to Stay Motivated During the Unknown
Change is here. You can either stay stuck in where you were and what you were doing or decide what you want right now and develop ways to make that happen. For example, one of my musician clients was supposed to play a live show but because of the pandemic is now making plans to do concert(s) via Zoom. It may not be clear-cut for you, but what if you pivoted in another direction?
Steps to Take
- Think about now. What do I want to do now?
- Develop your internal motivation. Do not rely on your coach or teacher. Trust yourself!
- Don’t try to do everything at once.
- Pivot. Change direction from what you have been doing or try something new.
- Adjust your mindset. Accept there are things you can’t control and think about what you do have control of.
A Look Back
Most of what I’ve written has come from client case studies. Resisting change leads to doubt, fear, frustration, confusion, and anger.
We don’t have a lot of answers right now. There are a lot of questions. Ask. Answer if you can but also learn to let go. Not having answers can be nice! You can work on coming from a place of curiosity!
When I bake bread, I stay focused on measuring each ingredient. If I stay present, I measure correctly, and at the end I have a loaf of bread. The pieces add up to the whole. Think about what you want to do now. Get specific. Be realistic. Work on one small piece at a time.