Don’t judge yourself!

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Don’t judge yourself!

In my last blog I wrote about the importance on how to build knowledge as an important principle of effective learning a skill. As you see I use my examples of learning the guitar as a metaphor for all the skills we need and we want to learn. I can use this learning experience for every kind of ability, from swimming to leadership skills. My guitar learning is my challenge, I dedicate many hours of my week to it and I like to discover new principles, new exercises, and new things.

Read here my first blog about my story.

Today I want to share with you another principle-challenge for a lot of “perfectionists” among us. Don’t judge yourself!

Some people think that to be a perfectionist is positive. Being a perfectionist can cause headaches, sleepless nights, and negative emotions.

If you tend to be a perfectionist you know that it will never be enough what you do and deliver, as perfection doesn’t exist. Perfectionists are never ready, they lose time to recheck stuff many times, are not happy with results, it doesn’t matter the positive feedback from others. Being a perfectionist can turn your life into a torture.

Let’s turn this “perfectionism” into something positive and useful, as I believe that there is a lot of potential in it. Can we change this and transform it? Oh yes: I had to learn it myself in order to be more proactive and creative.

Let’s talk a little bit about performance and I will get to perfectionism later.

When it comes to performance the rule

Performance = Preparation – Disturbances

could be an important guide.

Let’s have a look into it. Performance is a result of preparation, and the preparation can be reduced by disturbances. When we talk about preparation, we talk about the knowledge that you have gathered before the time of your “perform” (concert, guitar exam, playing a song for your family, presenting if front of an audience, leading a team, etc.).

Disturbances are all the noises you notice during your performance, and they can come from outside (a WhatsApp coming in, noises on the street, someone in the audience talking, etc.) which are relatively easy to turn off.

The hardest disturbances to turn off though are the one coming from “inside”, while you are delivering: all the judgements about yourself!

Do you remember your internal voice talking to you telling you should do better? You are not good enough? You did not learn enough? You have no talent anyway? Getting sad and frustrated after a mistake is another type of judgement…

Now: how can you make that voice shut up? Don’t judge yourself! Not easy…

You can:

1.     focus on something else, and letting another voice speak. There are several other things you can focus on, more related on what you are doing. Find the flow staying mentally and physically with what you are doing.

2.     Let you mistake fly away. If you make a mistake while you are playing, just let it fly away and forget about it until next rehearsal where you can analyze what happened. Don’t do it during the concert! Your mind will stay connected with the mistake and not with your playing!

3.     Train how to be thankful for your mistakes and learn from them. every time that you do a mistake while you are practicing stop, reflect, learn, and practice.

4.     Practice with an open mind, be open for new things, make short but intensive practices, observe your fingers, get feedback, record yourself and review it. Be critical, but optimistic.

5.     Find your strengths and be aware of them. Put them in what you are doing, train to be unique, it doesn’t matter what you are doing.

And you: are you a perfectionist? Or an “excelentist”?

I will be happy to read your experiences here.

I leave you a video of one of my songs… not perfect, but with personality!!!