You may have not played drums since you were at school, but remember drumming as being something that was fun and engaging, or you might have been a great drummer who had to give it up. There are lots of possible reasons to stop playing drums, but only one real reason for not picking up the sticks again. I would like to reassure you at this point, that you are not the only person who wants to get back into playing, you may not have yet found the confidence to take the perceived leap of faith. But all that can change. Drumming, like any passion, is a state of mind.
We all tell ourselves our own story, we about our lives and who we are. This story confirms our place in the world and influences what we do. Most of the time, this is a true story, albeit mundane at times. Making sure your life is on track can feel like a full time job, let alone your work, social life, health etc. All these things contribute to who you feel you are. We can get wrapped up in this, and before you know it… your story has turned into a fiction. The little things we tell ourselves on a day-to-day basis that confirm who we are and our place in the world can be dangerously limiting.
So, it is important to remember, to keep an eye out for how you feel, and evaluate if you are making yourself feel like. Most of us perceive our circumstances as being outside our control, and to some degree that is true. But when it comes to the micro decisions we make, these are largely influenced by our ego. Namely, what we think of ourselves. If you were to spend the next hour taking note of your thoughts, you might notice that there is some negative chatter building up, or you might see that you are being influenced not by what feels right for you, but by what you perceive as the expectations of the world. So you are reacting to something that you cannot be sure of, which may or may not be true, and that you have very limited control over. Do you see what I am getting at?
My advice to drummers who come to me after a hiatus is to just let your body remember what you taught it. Don’t try to learn anything new or get frustrated when you find what you used to do with ease is now a frustration rather than an enjoyable moment. The fact that you are even sitting behind the drums again is miraculous in its own right. You have overcome a massive hurdle by making such a positive move. The comparison to your old sensation of playing the drums, your memory of what that was like, and the expectation associated with conquering your self-doubt is largely irrelevant. That is, unless you can get over the last hurdle of just seeing what happens.
This is comparable to weighing your actions against your perceptions pertaining to what the world expects of you. If you tilt your perspective towards the positive, positive things will happen. Likewise, if your micro decisions are slanted towards the negative, you may be in for a rough ride when you “force” yourself to do something positive.
Starting up drums again is just one example, but don’t let starting any new challenge be spoiled by the need to validate your decisions. They are your choices in the end, and you should be allowed to enjoy them.
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