What were you created to do? and Why aren't you doing it?Why these questions can be applied on many different levels, I've found myself pondering them over the past few days in reference to my role as a musician and piano teacher.
What is it that gives our lives meaning? What is it that we find provides that sense of passion and purpose that is so important to our identity as human beings? If we don't find the answers to those most basic questions, we'll most likely find ourselves floundering through life with no anchor on which to stake our identity.
When I look back on my life, there are many threads that make up the tapestry of who I am as a person. Some of those threads have woven in and out of my life over the years. But one thread that has been a constant since my earliest years has been that of music. I begged my mom to start piano lessons at 3 years of age. I learned to read music just after learning to read, making musical language just as much a part of my identity as the written language.
I was always involved in some kind of musical activity as a child, whether it be choral or drama activities, piano lessons, performances, or recitals, or accompanist opportunities. Music and I went hand in hand- we were inseparable.
Now as an adult who both teaches and performs music, I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that music was what I was created to do. I get so much joy from teaching music and from sharing my music with others that I can't imagine spending my life doing anything else.
And yet...there are obstacles. The second question, the accusing why aren't you doing it? has more of a hold on me than I'd like to admit.
As musicians, our home turf is under the spotlight. While we may not feel that way all the time, each week as I teach I am, in a sense, a performer. When I play for services on Sunday or at a wedding, I am a performer. Whatever I do as a musician, my work involves some type of performance, whether it be in front of a crowd or in my home studio with just one child. That can be intimidating and daunting, especially for one who also battles with low self-esteem and a sense of never being good enough. It can seem so natural to fall into the trap of constantly evaluating our performance and comparing ourselves to others. Other teachers who do it better, have larger studios, more teaching experience, higher credentials. Other performers who have more talent, a better stage presence, flashier repertoire.
Those comparisons can paralyze us and lead us to create a million excuses to answer the question why aren't you doing it?
I was challenged by those two questions to take an honest look at myself as a musician. No, I may not be the most highly qualified, talented, experienced performer or teacher on the block, but I know that I have been created to 'do' music, and allowing myself to fall back on excuses rather than getting out there and doing it is when the real failure occurs.
I'd challenge you to examine those two questions for yourself:
What were you created to do? How do you know that music is your calling, that you were born to be a musician?
Why aren't you doing it?What is it that holds you back from your true potential as a musician? Fear? Feelings of inadequacy?Don't let pitfalls stop you from reaching your potential! Get out there and embrace what you were created to be!