Here's a quick question for you. What's the one biggest thing stopping you from becoming the guitarist that you truly want to be? Is it lack of time to practice? How about lack of money to get guitar lessons? How about a spouse who doesn't support your guitar playing endeavors? Or what about having to work long hours to support your family?
If you're like 97% of guitarists, you said the wrong answer. The right answer is YOU. Everyone is their own biggest obstacle to their guitar playing progress. Before you get offended and abuse me, let me explain further...
I believe strongly that our reality is based not on our circumstances but our PERCEPTION to our circumstances. This means that you could have two guitarists in exactly the same situation who react completely differently to that situation. I'll give you a real life example...
I have a roommate who works a nine to five job. Nothing unusual there... a lot of people do. Unfortunately this roommate uses his job as an excuse not to practice. He says that when he gets home from work he's always too tired to practice. I suggested to him once that he could get up an hour earlier each day to practice. This comment caused him to look at me like I was insane. Bottom line? My roommate isn't willing to make a VERY small lifestyle change to pursue his musical dreams. Most likely he'll go to his grave lamenting the fact that he "never had time to practice". How sad!
Luckily, not everyone has this loser perception. I have students who are just as busy (or busier!) but perceive the whole situation differently. They see their nine to five job as a challenge. They meet this challenge by getting up early to practice. They also make sure that they exercise regularly so that they have the energy to practice after work as well. Bottom line? They are steadily progressing towards their musical goals and dreams!
Can you see how the different perceptions of the same circumstance caused two different sets of actions?
Let's now look at a simple way that you can perceive your "negative circumstances" differently. Please follow the following steps...
Write down a circumstance in your life that you feel is slowing down your guitar progress.
Write down exactly HOW the circumstance prevents you from progressing.
Write down at least ten action steps that you could take to overcome the circumstance. Don't stop until you have at least ten.
Just do it! Take action and DO the action steps. Do what ever it takes. Remember...your musical development is at stake!
One last thought. I believe that for EVERY excuse you could ever have, there are guitarists in the world who have overcome exactly the same excuse.
Thank you to Craig Bassett.