Overcoming the "I'll Never Be Good Enough" Monster
One of the hardest things to overcome when learning to play an instrument is the “I’ll never be good enough” feeling. It can be quite debilitating and is responsible for so many people stopping their music journey.
So, how do you shake that little monster off your back?
Unfortunately there is not a quick trick to do this. Instead, it comes down to character, deeper understanding and perseverance.
1. Stop comparing yourself to others
The first thing you need to do is stop comparing yourself to others. It’s easier said than done, but that incompetent feeling you experience stems straight from your mind comparing your abilities with another person. It’s generally not helpful and will probably do you no good in the long run.
2. Know that everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses
Each music journey is completely unique and each musician has their own set of strengths and weaknesses. It took me a long time (and I mean a LONG time - I was already in my 20s) before I really realised what this actually meant. Even the most accomplished musicians have their weaknesses - and for all you know, it could be that area that you excel in!
3. Find your 'Happy Place'
For me, I really started to overcome that feeling of not being good enough when I moved toward playing songs that I wanted to play (not just songs that I was made to play). The main reason for this was because I was able to shift gears in my mind. Suddenly, I wanted to improve for me, not for anyone else.
It was this movement that also allowed me to find my ‘happy place’. I wanted to practice because I liked what I was playing, and it was that consistent practice that allowed me to progress and find my niche.
Once I had a good understanding of my strengths, the ‘I’ll never be good enough’ monster started to shrink and take up less space in my mind. I was also able to accept my weaknesses more easily when I understood that it’s completely normal for someone to not be good at everything.
4. Stick it out!
One thing I wish I realised when I was in the earlier stages of my music journey is that there is an inevitable moment of clarity just around the corner, but perseverance is key to reaching it. We all go through those frustrating phases where you feel like it’s all sounding terrible, but trust me, stick it out and success will come.
Remember, you are good enough. In fact, you are more than good enough! You are so perfectly you, and that’s a beautiful thing.