Adam Ficek gives his thoughts on ‘getting through’... AKA Resilience
This week’s blog has been prompted by a presentation I have recently been asked to contribute to. I view resilience as the ability to bounce back or to get through certain difficult situations in our lives. Being a musician involves a great deal of resilience, to get up every day and dedicate our lives to learning and developing our art takes immense discipline (the sister of resilience). Many of us also then frame this artistic endeavour within the commercial music industry which again can be equally demanding, requiring us to constantly pull ourselves up from the criticism and inherent occupational difficulties of our chosen path.
I know this journey first hand, especially from my early foray into the professional world of playing hundreds of shows and nurturing a growing audience. Additionally, In my early days of banding (before the record deals) we would be playing live at least three times a week alongside the various weekend outings of my corporate covers band, to pay the bills. This involved long and arduous road journeys, boring slow hours between sets and constant self-reflection of ‘are we good enough’. This is demanding; the psychological nature of questioning and self-belief takes enormous emotional resources within an environment that can give very little back! But from this, we grow and learn strategies to pull ourselves into gear or ground ourselves enough to fight another day. Of course, this isn’t always the case as there are times in life when we are burnt out or simply going through too much!
In the academic or coaching world resilience is almost presented as this ungodly golden power that we all aspire to attain. In my experience, it is the ability to weather the daily grind of musicking both physically and emotionally. As musicians we all innately have access to this ability to ‘push through’ or we wouldn’t even be able to play our instruments. From my own research I have also discovered how musicians understand their resources and how they use them to ‘get through’. These findings will be published very soon! In all, resilience is developed and cultivated through our ongoing musical journeying, we just have to take care to avoid burning out this innate skill we all have. This involves seeking support, like the Tonic Rider Peer Support Group, when we need it.
On another not don’t forget, for those of you that missed the interview with Ian Broudie, you can listen back via Mixcloud (link below). Ian talks about his own experience of getting through and what helps or hinders in his own ongoing musical journey.
Adam Ficek hosts a monthly show 'Tonic Music' on Totally Wired Radio, where he talks to various guests about music and mental health.