Chris Boardman Music Blog: Getting past the dreamer stage

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Getting past the dreamer stage

In some shape or form our fears will appear when we begin a project. It's inevitable and everyone goes through it. Even Frank Sinatra was terrified before every show.  If you wish to achieve ANY goal you have to know if you are you a dreamer or a doer?

Dreamers fantasize. Don't get me wrong, having dreams is a good thing. Dreams can lead to action or can paralyze you...keeping you in a perpetual state of "what if". On the other hand doers seem to magically be able to make their dreams a reality.

To do is a choice. Why is that easier for some than others?

Doers are capable of, and comfortable with, looking at themselves with a critical eye regardless of the joy or pain it may cause. Doers learn that being honest about themselves and their abilities enable replicable results.  Do I feed my ego? Or, do I grow?  Do I wait for a happy accident to occur (the dreamer's mentality) or do I make a conscious choice to improve?  It is a choice to make. Over the years these seemingly simply (but daunting) ideas have served me well...especially when I try something new.

1- What are you afraid of?

Fear has been used to motivate and control people for thousands of years.  Fear sabotages our relationships, pushes nations into war and most importantly for the artist, can lead to self-doubt.

Self-doubt may well be the most common obstacle you face and prevent you from moving forward.  Our fears become palpable whenever we venture outside of our comfort zone. But, truthfully, unless you are dealing with hand grenades and bullets, what is the worst that could happen?

2- Examine-

Acknowledging your discomfort, that you are actually uncomfortable, will enable you to move past the invisible walls that are preventing you from achieving your goals.

3- Articulate-

Take time to understand exactly what it is you are afraid of. Is it rejection? Is it money? Once you have identified and can articulate what specifically makes you uncomfortable write it down on a piece of paper and shove it in a drawer. In the future whenever you start to feel afraid you can a) remind yourself that you have dealt with the fear and b) your fear has a home- in your desk drawer. Leave it where it belongs.

4- Understand the word no.

The fact is the older you live the more you realize that some things work out and others do not.  It has taken me years to come to this conclusion but I now believe that "no" is a good thing and only a starting point towards achieving my goals.

Now when someone says no I  assume I am talking to a person who either isn't interested in what I am asking or can't help me. In neither case does the word no a judgment about the worth of what I am proposing nor is it a reflection of the value of the person I am talking to. It only means that there isn't an opportunity with this person for what I am offering. In fact- hearing the word no is a good thing. You won't waste your time...or theirs.

Get used to hearing the word no. You'll hear it a lot.

If you are an artist it is impossible to avoid butting up against your comfort zone. It is unavoidable.  The path past your fears (and become a doer) is to become familiar with your process. Acknowledge and use it. This is your muse. It is there to help you...not prevent you.