July 23, 2014

Take it slow

Why are we so impatient with ourselves?  We are always sure that other people are having an easy time of it, but really, we all struggle from time to time – with a technique, with a phrase, with a tune, with reparation for a gig.  

But really – why are we in such a hurry? You might think we’d rather slow down and enjoy the time at our harps, but instead we pressure ourselves.  We can really work ourselves up.  Sometimes we pressure ourselves right out of enjoying playing!

So, how can you tamp that impatience just a little, and in the process not only learn more and play better but also enjoy your time on the bench more?  Here are 5 things you can do to be more patient, take things more slowly, and likely play better:

  1. Set a goal.  I know, you’re probably tired of hearing me say that, but it really does help.  Goal setting will allow you to make a schedule (even if it’s notional) and then you can be sure that you have enough time to meet your goal.
  2. Part and parcel to the goal setting is to write it down!  In addition to capturing your goal, you can capture your progress in a journal.  Your journal can be written or audio – the form is not as important as being able to gauge your progress.  In addition, reviewing your journal will help you get through those times when you are only focused on how far you have to go rather than how far you have come.
  3. Be positive – you will get there…how long and how easily is directly related to the time and effort you put into getting there.
  4. Practice patience!  Like everything else, becoming more patient with yourself, allowing yourself to take the time you need to attain your goal, requires practice.  Don’t be disheartened if you slip, don’t give up if things don’t look like they are going well.  Enjoy the journey in anticipation of the destination!
  5. Be kind to yourself.  Talk to yourself as you would a good friend – give yourself encouragement to continue and permission to develop.

Spend the time you need to become the harper you want to be.  Be patient.  Take it slowly. Do the work…and reap the reward in good time!

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