There are three commonalities I’ve noticed in people who quit and give up trying to play the guitar:
1. Deciding Not to Be Successful- Every time I’ve encountered a new student who wants to just “try it out for a few months” to see if they like it quits shortly after buying their first guitar.
They decided beforehand that they would only do it for a few months. “But,” you retort, “They weren’t sure if they were going to quit after a few months or not. They didn’t decide, yet!”
Oh, but they did. If Plan A is to succeed and Plan B is to not succeed, then as long as Plan B exists, it will prevail. Plan A only works when Plan B has been totally annihilated from the mind. When you decide that Plan A is the only course of action, you will find a way to succeed. Allow the doubt to exist and it will eventually take over.
It’s a self-defense mechanism that people subconsciously use to prevent disappointment in themselves. It says, “If I quit after a few months, it’s ok because I was only trying it out. I wasn’t fully committed anyway, so no real loss.”
2. Under-Committing. How does one under-commit? By not fully committing.
Take, for example, a diet (Ah yes, the ever-present diet analogy). If you kind-of commit to going on a diet to lose weight but allow yourself to compromise by eating just a little bit of that thing you vowed to never eat again, you’ll never quite get to where you intended to go, and, more than likely, you’ll soon be right back to where you were before you started.
Students under-commit by not being willing to invest more into themselves. One example of this is how frequently they attend lessons. The under-committed student says, “I’ll start with just the once/week lessons. You know, to make sure it’s going to stick first.” The fully committed student says, “I want to come as much as time and my budget will realistically allow, because I know that to be successful, I must go all in!”
3. Negative Self-Talk- Most people like to consider themselves positive people, myself included. But when you really analyze your behavior over time, you’ll see that you likely speak very negatively to yourself (again, myself included).
So begin to pay attention to what you tell yourself when you practice guitar and when you think about yourself as a musician. Watch out for thoughts like:
“Why did you make that mistake again? You are no good at this.”
“Come on, Self! Why can’t you just do it right for once?”
“You’re never going to get this…”
“Really? Everybody else seems to have no trouble with this!”
“Of course he can play well- that guy’s a natural.”
The solution? Do the opposite of points 1, 2, and 3. Decide to be successful, no matter what. There is no Plan B. Over-commit. Do more than you think is necessary and you’ll probably begin to walk the correct path. Speak positively to yourself. Remember that every great guitarist was once exactly where you are now. They all had to decide, commit, and stay positive, no matter the circumstances.
Ready to fully commit? Call us at (817)420-6462 to get started today!