Without flexibility, you’ll devote more energy and time to being frustrated and disappointed than putting in the work. There are countless things outside of your control in music – from whether anyone listens to your music, to the reception of your latest release. A rigid mindset limits your perception, and doesn’t offer alternate plans for when things don’t go your way. However, approaching music flexibly gives you multiple ways to respond to challenging situations. Here are just three out of many situations in music where keeping a flexible mindset will help your career:
The songwriting process
It’s inevitable to run into dead ends when you write songs, it happens to even seasoned musicians! Some songs are easily written, where the melodies and chord progressions fall seamlessly into place. But most of the time, music gets written tediously over a significant period of time. When you get stuck on an especially tricky part of a song, flexibility is key for considering your options and staying creative. Black and white thinking will halt your progress in songwriting – but staying open and curious may offer new musical paths to explore.
When you feel disappointment
Disappointment is inevitable in a serious music career. If you don’t learn to cope with it, you may not last long in the music industry whether you’re a songwriter or performer. Flexibility in music multiplies your options when your path forward gets blocked. You’ll truly thrive not just in music, but in all aspects of your life. It’s about finding the good and opportunity in every challenging situation that comes your way. A last-minute show cancellation could turn into an impromptu house show performance. The loss of a loved one inspires you to delve deeper and use it as a catalyst for your next album. There is good in everything, if you are brave enough to look.
Nimbleness will help you out of all the kinds of trouble you’re likely to encounter on stage. This could be anything from crippling sound issues to performance mistakes. Flexibility gives you the power to pivot when something goes wrong, and this is a crucial skill in a high-pressure performance situation. Murphy’s Law applies to live shows in a big way. There are endless ways things can go wrong during a performance – you can’t be prepared for it all. Instead, be able to pivot accordingly on stage, keep your composure, and play your best no matter what happens.
Of course, this is no easy feat for some of us. If this is the case for you, it’s worth considering how to loosen up and broaden your perspective. If you’re serious about pursuing music, you’ll need a flexible approach that prioritizes your music over the way you think things need to go.