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Do you need more skepticism or trust in your practice?

I like to tell my students that practice involves 70% skepticism and 30% trust.

All of these inner voices might be true, even though they are paradoxical:

-  breathe, relax!

-  is that really in tune?

-  record yourself, your ears are deceiving you...

-  enjoy the process

-  better check that with the metronome

-  release the body, trust the physical memory

-  should I have done more?

The fact is that skepticism and trust are both vital in the practice room.  Sometimes we have to rebalance how much of each we bring to it. 

How do you cultivate more trust or skepticism?

If you are a "bulldozer", hate working on details, and avoid the tuner or metronome, you could probably use a little more skepticism :) ... Aim for slowing things down, taking them apart, listening acutely. Record yourself, use electronic tools, and the mirror.

If you have a lot tension, are experiencing pain, are crippled by self-doubt, or navel-gaze endlessly, you could probably use a little more trust (hello, I'm talking to you, Susanna Klein)! Work on breathing, positive imagery, having a good time, releasing shoulder blades. Work on trust.

Maybe both applies to you, that's normal.  Set some one-time intentions for your practice session and see what leads to greater happiness and improvement. Come up with a percentage, like "this practice session, I'm aiming for 50% each of skepticism and trust.

Oh, and btw. being on stage works best when you are all in on trust, and leave skepticism behind. 100% isn't possible, but we practice to get that percentage up.


To develop more reflection skills in your practice, download the intro + 3 sample prompts from my practice journal, Practizma!



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