The truth is that the skill musicians need most now is . . . Courage
Between the pandemic, the economy, the social justice outrages—and the uncertain future for the performing arts—we’re living in a fear-based culture. Anxiety is running rampant throughout social platforms and news sources.
The time we’re living through requires courage.
Brené Brown, author and vulnerability researcher, reminds us that the word courage comes from the Latin word ‘cor’ meaning heart. In a conversation with Oprah, Brené explained that courage originally meant “to share all of yourself, to share your whole story with your whole heart. So an act of courage was an act of storytelling.”
Ask yourself: what’s the story you’re telling yourself and others about the time you’re living through now?
And what’s the story you’re attaching to your own music-making during this time?
What I’ve noticed is that we’re seeing daily examples of people responding out of fear, stress, frustration, and anger. There’s so much to grieve—and so many of us feeling powerless, creating a scarcity culture.
And there are consequences. Brené warns . . .
“The number one casualty in a scarcity culture is vulnerability. You shut down.”
And when we shut down vulnerability, Brené says, we shut down the very source of “everything we’re hungry for: creativity, joy, faith, innovation”—and artistry.
Courage is essential—both for artistry AND for maintaining perspective and hope through this extended Covid season.
And let’s be clear: courage isn’t an inherited trait—it’s not a “gift” you’re born with.
It’s something we ALL have the capacity to activate in ourselves.
Now’s the time.
Specifically, you need courage to stop . . .
- Scrolling through news feeds for the latest scary reports
- Having the same fear-based “gloom and doom” conversations with family and friends
- Telling yourself that there’s nothing you can do so why practice, plan, or get involved
As a musician, ask yourself:
Do you have the courage to . . .
- Explore performing and teaching outside your comfort zone
- Learn how to get your music out safely to those who want and need it in your community
- Choose resilience and hope over fear and despair
And to . . .
- Clarify your goals and assess where you are now so you can
- Do the scary work you’ve been avoiding and
- Take consistent action steps toward those goals
Are you courageous enough to re-commit to music?
Will you . . .
- Lay bare who you really are in your music and in life
- Find and hone your artistic voice
- Speak your truth through your music, your actions, your words
Courage is not about being fearless. It’s about feeling the fear and moving into and through it—to your better self and better future.
The skill musicians need most now . . . requires a willingness to tolerate discomfort. Isn’t your artistry worth it?
Bring it on!
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