Here is an interesting post from Carol Kirkpatrick that I thought would be timely for many of you. Enjoy.
By Carol Kirkpatrick on November 11, 2016
“Success isn't a result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire.”
— Arnold H. Glasow
When I looked up the word “perfect” I noticed that most of the denotation for this word deals in religious ideals, which are different for each religion and human striving in ones behavior toward that religious goal, which is often unrealistic. There is nothing wrong with that, but it says nothing about there being “a” way for all of us to do anything perfectly. That includes performing perfectly in anything you do in life. Your idea of perfect is going to be different from mine, etc. The pursuit of perfection often puts road blocks up when working on vocal technique and putting that into a piece of music. It often creates tremendous fear of failure. So here is what I would like to suggest you might replace that particular word with.
When that particular word rises its’ ugly head, tell yourself to, “TAKE A BEAT”. That means stop everything you are doing, including thinking. Let all that stuff just fall away. Then decide what you are going to do and how you are going to do it whether it is vocal technique or working on languages in a piece. Or it could even be, understanding the context that this particular part in the music belongs to, to help you move the story forward. Perfection can also come into play when you are “trying” to create a plan of action or do business. All this does is keep you stuck in the past. You don’t take into account if this idea works for you or not. If it doesn’t, move on until you find a concept that makes sense to you.
When we “try” to be perfect, we tend to get stuck looking back at what we didn’t accomplish or do and often try to change it while we are doing it. We analyze and compare it to what someone else has done and do that to death without ever considering how to leave it behind and move only ourselves forward. Don’t allow yourself to get stuck in the past, even if it was 2 minutes ago. “TAKE A BEAT”, decide what you want to do, and how you want to do it, and do it without analyzing as you are doing it. You can observe, but don’t try to correct it in that moment. When you are done with a phrase, then you can look, hear, feel what you observed during that past moment, make adjustments, and then do this easy process all over again. STOP – TAKE A BEAT – DO (as you mentally step back and observe) – STOP- ANALYZE – RESET – TAKE A BEAT – DO!
Whatever has brought you where you are today can be the same thing which prevents you from further improvements. To improve is to change. Take on the discomfort of doing something new, and then afterwards you can evaluate it. There’s no harm from that, but the benefits can be life changing. I dare you!