The Happy Musician Coach
In my early years, I relied on my gigs and performing to make me happy, and it almost killed me.
The way my mindset was operating, I wasn't happy unless I had the most and best gigs. If my music stand and calendar were overflowing, so was my self-worth. What was wrong with that? It's what I love doing right?
On top of all the performing I was teaching (or trying to). I started running late for lessons and double booking. It was hard for me to ignore, but I tried. When things got stressful I would just look at my packed calendar and music stand for a quick confidence boost. It was during one of these boosts, I was contracted for a well-known Christmas Concert. I thought, oh my God It's a privilege to be contracted by this group, I would be crazy to say no. So, I didn't. I convinced myself, that I just needed to prioritize.
At the first rehearsal, I was completely exhausted. The rehearsal went ok but, not well. So, I worked even harder. the second and third rehearsals were great. I never made it to the fourth rehearsal. I had pushed myself so hard, that I ended up in the hospital. I had strep throat and pneumonia in addition to being an asthmatic I ended up in the ICU.
My (very concerned) parents had to deliver the news to the director that he lost his harpist, and cancel all my holiday performances (there were a lot). I have never been so sick or scared in my life. I was out of commission for four weeks. During those four weeks, I was forced to take stock and understand how I got to this point. Ironically it ended up being a really great Christmas spent with my family.
The problem was, that I didn't know what my purpose was. I had wrapped up my self-worth in my instrument. I realized I wasn't living my life, I was chasing it at mock speed in every direction. It wasn't sustainable and I was forced to really think about what type of musician I wanted to be. For the first time, I thought about my happiness outside of gigs and performances. It took me some years to figure things out. but, the first thing I did when I got better was to say no. In fact, I took 6 months off from performing and just taught and played my harp. I learned to be happy while figuring out my purpose.
If your self-worth with is wrapped up in your gigs and performances and you have no real direction; hit the pause button. Don't wait until you are in the hospital requiring medical assistance just to breathe. Figure out what you really want, seek out guidance, and make a plan.
Discovering your purpose is the most significant thing you will do in your life, and you, your loved ones, and the world will be better off because you went on this journey
Musician, Coach, Educator
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