Back in my college days, I sang and played guitar in the local pubs for some pocket money. I really enjoyed performing every weekend. Unfortunately, I quit playing for close to forty years. Recently, I picked up the guitar and have been practicing for the last two years. However, I only play with some close friends, not on stage. Striving for perfection has held me back and only increased my anxiety about playing guitar in front of people that I don’t know.
A little over a week ago, I finally got up on stage at a local pub near Joliet and performed to an audience of 40 people. I told myself to focus on the music and the audience and not worry about anything else. And do you know what happened? Once I got half way through the first song, I performed with confidence and joy. Each of the seven of the songs I played was well received. In fact, several musicians came up to me afterwards and complemented me on my performance.
I learned a lesson that if you have a passion for something just do it. It takes a lot of practice and putting negative pressure on yourself can only create a negative self-fulfilling prophesy that leads to failure.
In this case, I was able to channel my energy and focus on the music and the audience. And that led to a satisfying performance. Now I feel empowered to do it again wherever and whenever an opportunity exists. In fact, I will be performing with a colleague in the Terrace Café from 11a.m. to 1p.m. on Tuesday, April 25th. I am looking forward to performing some oldies but goodies once again.