Have you ever wondered why a seemingly insignificant thing, like a rude comment or the loss of your keys, can disrupt your whole day?
I’ve experienced and I’m sure that you have.
I started to notice that my guitar students had the same problem as well. After years of working, I noticed that my guitar students (even my best ones) repeated the same pattern. The session would start off great and then a mistake would happen. From that point onward, their performance went downhill as their minds couldn’t wrap their heads over that mistake. Even if I would ask them about them about it, they couldn’t explain it.
After reflecting on it, I started to hone it on a solution. The problem wasn’t the mistake, It was the mind’s excessive focus on that mistake. Because of that extreme focus, they were undermining all of the success they had already built.
That led me to the realization that they needed to stop before they could continue on. They needed to grow into the lesson of the mistake rather than the comfort of ignoring it.
Little by little, I came up with a 3-step framework for them to follow whenever they hit this kind of pattern:
A lot of our precious brainpower is often spent trying to avoid problems or their consequences. As a result, we gain some temporary relief at the expense of future stress. Why not set yourself up to overcome the problem in the first place? This might take some courageous work, but facing what happened will allow you to take ownership of the problem and the solution.
Once you have admitted the mistake, set your focus on why the mistake happened. Why did you fail that task or assignment? What was different about that moment? In the case of my guitar students, it was often just a slight shift, maybe putting their hands in an awkward position because their attention has strayed.
Another situation to think about is money, an area of life that many of us want to improve in. The solution, on the surface, can seem very simple: Make more money. You decide to
work on making money, but find that you’re still having problems. In this situation, the problem wasn’t income, it might actually be how you spend money.
3. Take It In
Once you have an idea about the root of the problem, analyze your options. Don’t just dive into the first solution that comes across your brain. Take a minute to see if this solution will get you where you want to go. For my guitar students, the solution wasn’t to skip over a mistake but to note what happened and correct that portion of their practice.
As a result of taking these steps, my guitar students have a stronger performance because they have a stronger knowledge of how they perform when things go wrong.