Grrrrr. For some reason, it took me ages to film today’s vlog. It was too long. I stumbled over my words. I strayed off topic. Trial and error.
For the past five weeks in lockdown, every Sunday, myself and three friends have challenged ourselves to a pencil drawing of a different subject which we then submit for judging. My dad’s an artist so, growing up with the benefit of his knowledge, I thought I was pretty good at drawing. I’ve consistently placed second, with one win, which suited me just fine. But yesterday I thought I’d created a masterpiece. I was so pleased with what I thought was my best effort to date.
I placed third.
Grrrrr. I’m genuinely gutted.
I generally have a pretty healthy relationship with failure though. Goodness knows, in live performance you have to. Something recognised by the authors of The Inner Game of Music. Taking principles from earlier books about golf and tennis – both played in front of a global audience with immense pressure and focus on individuals at decisive moments – the Inner Game is a methodology that aims to help you control and remove the interrupting, doubting and inhibiting part of yourself, leaving a reservoir of untapped potential based on childlike abandon, bold derring-do and unbridled creativity.
Specifically, the Inner Game cites permission to fail as the key to success.
One of the most effective Inner Game exercises is all about failure. You’re asked to select a passage of music that you find particularly difficult. You should first practise it while focussing on trying to get it right. Then reflect on how that went. Did you make any mistakes? I normally do. Now play or sing it again but actively try to get it wrong. It’s weirdly almost impossible. Pretty much every time I try this with a difficult phrase, it works and I get it right.
The original books were written in the 70s and the music version was published in 1986 so it’s possible that other methodologies, on which I’m not well-versed, have superseded it, but I’m always tripping out the nuggets of wisdom and exercises since they’re so useful.
Go. Spread your wings. Fail like you’ve never failed before.
Until tomorrow, stay cheered, stay healthy and lots of love xx