Musicians: this we know for sure . . . today’s the day. There’s a clear choice. For many, the choice was made long ago. Because no matter who or what you’re for, we all vote our values. We vote our beliefs, our conscience, our intuition. We vote our hope for a better future.
I like the ritual of walking to my polling place and seeing others there, so I’m doing it in person. I go to a nearby elementary school where elders greet you, take your name and address, and check you off as OK to vote. In pre-pandemic times, there’d be kids and moms with cupcakes and brownies in the lobby. You could check out the bake sale goodies on your way to the gym to put democracy into action.
Voting always gives me a burst of energy: it helps me feel like I’m doing the honorable thing: participating as a citizen. And it reminds me of how good it feels to take action. To show up and do my part.
In a cynical world, voting reminds us that what we do as individuals matters.
But most of life isn’t like voting
The clear either/or choices are rare. Instead, we get uncertainties, too many options, and incomplete information. We end up doing the best we can with what we’ve got. And there’s no sticker for showing up and doing our part.
Unfortunately, the lack of clear choices and paths leaves many musicians with “half assed” projects. Ones we say yes to but then don’t give them our all.
Any of this sound familiar?
You say you’re committed to a project. Maybe it’s recruiting students for your private studio, creating a website, or launching an online course. And yes, you work at it. But somehow, the necessary project tasks you find most difficult to do—the networking, re-writing your bio, getting new photos, or asking for referrals—that’s exactly what doesn’t get done.
And because it’s essential for your project, you’re stuck in limbo. And life intervenes with too many other demands and you let them take priority. That’s how Resistance works to sabotage and undermine your goals. You end up spinning your wheels, going nowhere.
Been there, done that. I’ve been guilty of letting Resistance run the show, too. Lately, as I’m working on a new book on finding your voice as an artist, I’ve had an extra-subversive version of Resistance showing up. I catch myself “backing off” in my writing. I censor myself with warnings not to “go too far”—that no one needs that much truth telling. Even though my rational goal is to write with more candor and vulnerability.
That’s the siren call of Resistance, telling me to keep playing small in life. To not shine my light or become who I’m meant to be.
Resistance gets us to avoid making ourselves and our own work a priority. So we procrastinate or we half-ass our projects. And that’s how we default on our dreams.
The challenge for the week
To vote is an assertion of our rights. It’s a way of saying to yourself, “I matter,” and “I am here.” It’s a way to proclaim proudly, “Listen and hear my voice.”
So how about, to honor our right to vote this week, how about we all choose to show up for ourselves and be “all in”?
Here’s what I mean: to prioritize whatever’s most important (as opposed to urgent) on your to do list. I hope this includes the next step needed for the scary project you’ve been avoiding. And I’m hoping you’ll vow to yourself to do it this week.
Musicians: this we know for sure . . . it’s time to stand in your light and be who you are meant to be.
There’s more to this than doing the scary thing. Picture the week ahead. That in your conversations with loved ones and colleagues—and in the next lesson or class you teach—that you choose to be fully present. That’s another way of voting for yourself. Because what you do—the big and small actions your take—does matter.
And in your next practice or studio session, you can “vote” by bringing your whole and complete self, Shadow and all, to the work. Instead of sleep walking through life, let’s choose to be intentional and get more of our best work out into the world.
Won’t you join me in diving into the work that most needs to be done? This will mean we both have to get outside our comfort zones. It’s worth it to create the better future we can build together one step at a time.
Musicians: this we know for sure . . . voting is a privilege and an investment in your future self. Let’s do it!
Hop on our MusiciansMakingIt FB group tomorrow at 12 noon ET for a FB Live on mindset tools to get and stay on track.
And if you’d like to find out how getting expert coaching can help you bring more of your best work into the world, let’s talk.
Dream Big, Plan Smart, Live Well