Why do highly skilled musicians doubt they're good enough?
How many musicians do you know who are highly skilled, yet seem to doubt their ability?
Contrast this with the hyper-confident performers who audition for the X-Factor who aren't necessarily known for displaying high levels of skill and you have a rather confusing situation.
This is what's known as the Dunning-Kruger Effect.
It's a cognitive bias whereby people who are highly skilled think they're not particularly skilled and people who are not particularly skilled think they're highly skilled.
So how does this work? Read more...
Hi, my name's Mike Cunningham.
I work with top performers in music, acting and sport to develop the way they use their minds so that they can produce even more successful results.
Performers come to me at different stages of their development.
Sometimes it's because they're experiencing problems or challenges that have been holding them back. Often, they're already performing at a very high level, but don't yet feel they're unlocking their full potential.
Performance enhancement is the aim in every case, regardless of the starting point.
Previous clients perform with the leading ensembles world-wide including the London Symphony, Vienna Philharmonic and Berlin Philharmonic orchestras.
I enjoy working with the next generation of performers from institutions such as the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art (LAMDA).
In the sporting world, I've trained a number of Olympic athletes ahead of winning Commonwealth, European, World & Olympic medals.
I've also trained a variety of performers from the BBC whose specialist fields range from TV presenting to comedy.
What clients have said...
"Mike Cunnigham has an innate understanding of the challenges performers face. He's developed a unique set of highly effective techniques to help performers face and overcome those challenges. I can highly recommend Mike."
Jody Dunleavy, former head of press at EMI
"Jumping off a 10 metre diving board is very scary and can instantly make you think negatively if something doesn't feel right, but Mike gave me techniques to instantly switch my way of thinking and this is a brilliant tool when on the competition stage."
Peter Waterfield, Commonwealth Silver and Gold medalist and Olympic Silver medalist
"Mike changes your focus so that you can go back to really just being completely in the music."
Magdalena Hoffmann, harp semi-finalist, ARD competition 2016
Musicians spend thousands of hours developing their technical and musical abilities in order to enhance their performance.
And the way you use your mind will determine the quality of results you produce at every stage of the process.
The classic example is your ability to perform at your best when it really matters.
Of course, the fact it really matters is often what stops someone from performing the way they actually can.
The solution to this isn't always obvious, which is why not everyone works it out on their own.
There is one key factor that makes the difference in this situation and every other...
Your beliefs about how skilled you are.
Any skilled musician is always looking to develop.
As a result, it’s easy for them to get the impression that they never quite ‘get there’ – that it’s never quite ‘good enough’.
So a skilled musician who's developing may actually believe they're never good enough.
Why aren't great musicians playing perfectly?
(Even though you can hear they are)
How many times have you complimented someone on playing brilliantly, only for them to tell you it wasn't any good at all?
They played just perfectly, so you reassert your compliments, yet they still reject them.
They also seem to think that you're just complimenting them to 'be nice' or to 'make them feel better' and not because you thought it was good at all.
But you could clearly hear how good it was, so it's impossible they didn't hear that too.
It's must just be false modesty on their part. Or perhaps they're being overly critical just for the sake of it.
Many musicians go into certain performances hoping people will think they're good, so why don't people acknowledge it when they actually achieve what they wanted?