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Breaking Self-imposed Rules

Coaching Corner


Welcome to coaching corner - a space encouraging discussion about the not-so-musical part of being a musician. Let's talk.


As we learn from our experiences we unconsciously and consciously make rules for ourselves. These are called self-imposed rules. Self-imposed rules aren't all bad, in fact, they are necessary. The issue arises when the rules become a hindrance instead of a benefit.

Society has romanticized the notion of the "starving artist," perpetuating the belief that struggling financially is an inevitable part of a musician's journey. Many musicians fall victim to self-imposed rules that dictate they must suffer for their art, sacrificing stability and financial success. This mindset can lead to a lack of business, neglecting opportunities for financial growth, and ultimately stifling your musical progress.

I had a humiliating performance experience. After which I made a rule that I will simply not perform until I feel everything is perfect. Guess what? This rule made me miserable, and not only that, I ostracized myself from the music community. Nothing is perfect, therefore I stopped performing. I worked through this and now I get to help musicians do the same.

Many aspiring musicians fall into the trap of believing they must master a certain instrument or technique before they can truly achieve musical genius. While investing time in perfecting one's craft is certainly important, overly fixating on technical prowess can limit artistic growth. It's important to remember that great music is not born from flawless execution alone but from the emotional connection created through the raw expression of artistry.

Try this

  1. Questions your thoughts and actions, and make a serious effort to understand Why you keep doing something.

  2. Ask yourself is this truly benefiting me? How?

  3. Take conscious steps to break the rule(s)

Self-imposed rules usually have the words "must', "have to", and "should", make yourself aware of these words as they will help you recognize negative self-imposed rules.

Negative self-imposed rules can be a suffocating weight on our shoulders. However, recognizing and challenging these detrimental beliefs is the first step towards liberating yourself from them.

Candace - Happy Musician Coach


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