It happens at least once, if not regularly in every musician's career. I see it regularly in my most diligent students. When they are working on a concept and it just isn't happening, they feel like they're not making any progress. In reality, they're progress is imperceptible in real time, but it's part of a larger picture. These students are working hard, practicing all the things they need to get where they want, but they feel stuck, with no discernable improvement week to week.
And then it happens in a moment. Something clicks. All of a sudden, they're performing a lot better and able to execute whatever concept they'd been struggling with.
Sound familiar? Do you feel like you're struggling day after day and getting nowhere? Feeling stuck?
Keep wanting, trying, experimenting, and living.
The answer is just around the corner. The trouble is that you don't know which corner and you can't see it coming!
This is what I call “going through the hard.” It's putting one foot in front of the other and suspending judgment. It's easy to become obsessed with progress at this time, so get perspective by doing things you enjoy outside of work and trying new things.
If “the hard” gets hard enough, that's often a type of breaking point that forces you into actions you normally wouldn't take (but apparently need). That's turning a corner right there.
If you are lucky enough to go through this period with someone you can trust, you'll most likely create a lifelong bond. It's all part of the journey. You can't have flowers without rain.
Dr. Nancy Williams is a musician, educator, and leadership coach for musicians and creatives wanting more joy and empowerment and less imposter syndrome and overwhelm.