Every guitarist struggles with feeling overwhelmed on some level.
When you understand what “feeling overwhelmed” REALLY means (and what to do about it)… this feeling can melt away as quickly as it came.
Leaving you feeling more in control around your own learning and practicing. And happier too.
I’m not talking about being more “mindful.” Or meditating. Or turning off your phone and going on a peaceful walk around a park. (Although all those things can help…)
I’m talking about understanding the REAL reason where overwhelm comes from.
So what is the feeling of overwhelm?
Overwhelm is a fear response.
It’s a sign of perfectionism. And perfectionism can take many forms. You might need things to be done the “right way.” Or in the “right order.” Or you may feel like everything needs to be done or achieved all at once.
If you ever feel this way, you’re not alone. Perfectionism is something I’ve battled with for most of my life. And there are things you can do to help.
When you understand that overwhelm is a fear response… you can start tackling this ugly beast head on.
The reason I say overwhelm is a “fear” response is because there’s usually something you’re afraid of. And that thing is causing you to feel overwhelmed.
Feel overwhelmed about how many things you have to practice? You might be fearful that you’re not as good as someone else. (Either a friend, or a musician you admire.)
Feeling overwhelmed about how little time you have to practice? You might be fearful that you’re not doing “enough.” And that you’re falling behind where you “should be.”
First, I want you to know that all these feelings are valid.
It’s normal and natural to have these kinds of responses. But it doesn’t mean they are real.
Secondly, what can you do about it?
Well the first step is the hardest…
It’s realising that none of these things are true. Even though they “feel” real to you.
If you’re worried about how much practice time you have… know that by deciding to make guitar a part of your life… you’re already doing more than most people. That you’re exactly where you should be.
And ANY time you’re able to put into the guitar is a step in the right direction.
My goal with this article is NOT to “fix” anyone’s feeling of overwhelm.
Some words in an article won’t do that. My only goal is to give you an awareness of where overwhelm really comes from. And how to start thinking about it.