Do you struggle with performance anxiety or mindset and confidence? You are not alone. Sometimes addressing non-musical things can really help the issue at hand, speaking from a teacher and performer lens.
Here are a few non-musical ways to help you (or your child) experience success in addressing performance anxiety or general confidence and anxiety. Read on to the end to get a free recipe for my concentration and focus blend.
1. Encourage a Growth Mindset
Growth Mindset is not a new concept, but it is especially important when tackling difficult tasks or subjects. Studies show that if people believe they can do something, even if it is difficult and they may not get it right away, they learn it better, retain it longer, and stick with the hard task longer if they have a growth mindset.
Encourage your inner self to use phrases such as "Mistakes help me grow." or "My intelligence can be developed." or "I keep trying and never give up!" instead of "I'm not good at it." or "I give up easily.'
2. Get Good Sleep
“Daytime thinking is a building process, whereas nighttime thinking is a sorting process.”
Did you know that people with sleep issues are often misdiagnosed with attention or learning issues? This is because our brains make sense of and sort our experiences at nighttime from during the daytime. When we don't get enough good sleep at night, our brain isn't able to "download" and synthesize what we took in from the previous day. So maybe you did a lot of great learning and made progress the day before, but if you didn't sleep well or long enough, that learning may be lost. There are so many other reasons sleep is vital to health and wellness and learning! Read a scholarly example here.
Set a bedtime routine and stick to it! If you need ideas, I shared 11 tried and true ways to get better sleep here that can be adapted very well for anyone, including kids.
3. Strengthen Left- and Right-Brain Connections
Do you enjoy some activities that are completely unrelated to performing? Of course you do! There are many studies that show certain activities (like purposeful cross-body movement) strengthen the pathways in the brain between the two hemispheres. What does this have to do with performing? Well, music often requires that these pathways be strong. When practicing using these pathways, it's like exercising a muscle and will get stronger with use. The stronger you build a muscle, the stronger you feel when something heavy comes along that you have to pick up. By building strong pathways with something different -- like movement -- you can come back to it feeling stronger, like it is a bit less heavy than last time.
In the middle of a moment of anxiety or performing (or perhaps even right before it!), do this active listening + movement piece to activate those multiple areas of the brain.
"I Can Do This!" Focus & Concentration Roller Blend
10 drops Peppermint essential oil
10 drops Frankincense essential oil
15 drops Lemon essential oil
15 drops Stress Away essential oil
Add these essential oils to a 10 ml roller bottle and fill with carrier oil.
Roll on wrists, collar bone, bottom of feet, or the back of neck before tackling a difficult task.
Need more ideas for grounding, calming, and uplifting options?
It is very important to know that not all essential oils are created equal...
You can’t just go out to a big box store (or anywhere online) and trust that you’re getting the good stuff. Lucky for you, I’ve got a source I trust – want to know more? Click the button in the top corner to contact me.
*Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links. All things I love and use, of course!