John Ellis

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Two Paths Diverge

Wow, almost two months since my last post!  It was not for a lack of ideas that I did not write anything, but rather a lack of taking a moment to reflect and put my hands on the keyboard.  Time passes very quickly and we often don't recognize that without some type of marker like a major life event or remembering how long it has been since a significant event occurred.

I used a walking metaphor in my previous post, pointing out that it's up to you to decide what is good or bad about the things you undertake, and how something that is called bad by some actually leads to something good.  Part of getting to good things is to set aside fear or doubt once in a while and take a turn that you may typically avoid.  Overcoming fear, self consciousness, self doubt and moving toward the places that intimidate us can be a turn on the path to discovery.

Recognizing when fear is only self doubt or actually unjustified terror, is important.  And actually part of getting to the point of overcoming fear is to find the skills to deal with it before you overcome it.  A lot of our fear is just internal anxiety about doing something new.  Yes, we may not succeed at a new venture, but rarely is it life altering, or physically dangerous.  Emotions can be overwhelming in these moments, though, and make us feel that what we hope for is now over.  But we also have experiences where we finally tried something that caused us great anxiety only to find out there was nothing there at all, but our fear, once we've finished the task and seen the results.

Putting yourself out into the public with your own creation or your own performance adds that public layer onto your fear of failure.  Failure in front of others is compounded by many degrees as opposed to private failures.  But even with the looming threat of social media multiplying the public effect, your failures will not likely hold attention for long and you will find that even you forget rather quickly if you move on to the next adventure and don't allow yourself to dwell on one event.

I often find myself in this position performing live.  Performing at a new venue, or performing at the same venue where they changed something about the stage or the sound, can be dramatically different for some reason.  Your mind has to make adjustments to the new feel of the venue, so even though you've played a particular song a hundred times, the venue has made it a new experience and sometimes the song won't come off the way you want.  It doesn't always make sense, but that's how it goes.  So you have to mark the evening up to doing the best you can, move on, then hope for the best at the next opportunity.

But no matter how bad things are going, you have to keep moving forward, keep trying new paths and learn to deal with the situations.  It's only through those struggles that you get to the sweet moment where everything works the way you want and you get satisfaction - at the end of one road, ready to start another journey.

Well it's time to wrap up this entry.  One of my reminder alarms is going off.  Time to make a decision and see what lies beyond it.

 

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