Fearless Performance by Jeff Nelsen

Build it

Build it


My favorite movie of all time is "Field of Dreams".  One of my horn heroes, James Thatcher, plays some amazing horn solos composed by James Horner.  The best is right in the opening of the film.  Those sounds were a big part of why I started to play horn after taking a few years off.  The film is also about working through regret, parental relationships, and baseball.  What else could you ask for, eh?!

Well, the biggie for me is how the film inspires us to respond to crazy dreams by doing crazy things.  It was released in 1989, so I was 19 when I saw it.  A pivotal time in someones life, for sure.  I don't cry every time I see it...nope...not me.  

Mild Spoiler Alert: I share a few quotes from the movie, but I really try to not give anything away.  Apologies if I do.  Stop reading and watch the movie if you haven't already!!  Then come back to reading.

Ok, so you remember this quote from the film?  

 "If you build it, they will come." 

Ray works really hard and diligently on what he's building.  You have things you want to build.  Ray trusts so much in his build that he runs out of money and waits way past when he hoped "they will come".  They don't come.  It's not easy, and he gets angry and sad about things.  Then time passes, and more things happen in the film...

When I pursued audition wins (orchestral and for IU) I spent most of the money I had on trips to lessons.  For IU, I sequestered myself with a friend-coach for 3 days and practice-interviewed as well as Magic Line Performed the recital I was giving over and over and over.  (Thank you again, Karen McGale!) I spent all the time I had on practicing and study.  It was far far FAR from easy...but it was simple.  I obsessed about how to keep it as simple as possible.

"If I build it, they will come."

Ohhhhh, the law of attraction.  It takes leaps of faith.  After Ray finishes his build, he says to his wife, "I've just done something totally illogical."

His wife smiles, looks around at what he built, and then says, "That's what I like about it."

What we're after can be totally illogical.  Look at the beginning of anything you admire, and you'll see it started small, and probably included some illogical-ness because of it's new-ness.  Many illogical things just seem illogical because it hasn't proven it's new logic yet.  (See history of our formerly-only-just-recently flat planet.)  

The other two big-magic-voice quotes are "Ease his pain" and "Go the Distance".  The film shows many meanings to those quotes, but in the end, Ray looks at what he'd been chasing and says, "It was you."

He gets a powerful response.  Ray is told, "No Ray.  It was you."

Task for today - Make it about you.

When you get what you want, it'll be you who has gotten it.  Think on this, and believe it as soon as you can.  If you haven't seen enough proof yet, believe in even more right now!  You're making the "I'll believe it when I see it" skeptic mistake. 

"I'll see it when I believe it."

I'm happy living proof that illogical belief works!  I set goals, and went for it with aggressive belief...while my doubts guided my learning along the way.   

Thoughts become beliefs become actions become whatever you think.

Hey, I like that. 

When you do believe it, you will feel a surge of energy in you that will get you to act on target.  This is your task for today.  Think about believing that if you build it, they will come.  Whatever "they" are is up to you.  "They" is what you want to attract.  They could be people that hire you, or a romantic partner, or friends to perform with or socialize with, or customers, or employees.  Whatever it is, if you believe it, you'll build it.

 And no, just building some random thing won't bring they to you.  I've just seen a ton of graphics online that say things like, "Myth #1 - If you build it they will come." People and money and interest and time and all good things come to those things you've deeply pondered, and put through test after test, until you believe in it to the 1000th level of filtering.  It's passed all the testing and public scrutiny you can put it through.  Good things are what people believe in.  ..and to good things, people will come.

To build something people believe in takes good use of our three Fearless Performance guides - Learn, Love Well, and Let Go.

Learn what you love or want or need...and how to build it...and keep learning...

Love what you want and what you're doing well...and keep loving well...

Let Go of destructive fears and people and events...and, yeah. 

Nope.  Not easy.  But it's easier when we keep it simple.

Go forth today, with YOU, and YOUR belief in what YOU'RE building!  Share it and ask what "they" think, and then repeat, with YOUR new version of all YOUR beliefs.

"No Ray.  It was you."

It will always be you.

Stay fearless my friends,





Fearless Performance in Canada!


I'm thrilled to taking Fearless Performance to the University of Windsor in Ontario for a 1-Day Workshop in April.


Come join me in learning about our fears in performance and in life. 


All ages - All levels - All instruments are welcome!


$95 usd + $10 Registration fee.

For registration and more information please visit:


University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada- April 11, 2015 





Manage your intention and attention in the practice room


Listen to these seven stories from Saral and you can be taken to a 

 constructive state of mind that is ready to 

 Learn, Love Well, and Let Go.


Master Your Mental Game today.


Track 1) EXPRESSING EMOTION - Playing what you feel

Track 2) RITUAL - Building Good Habits - Setting your Intention

Track 3) SPONTANEITY & DANGER - Embracing what you don't know

Track 4) VULNERABILITY - Let go and share

Track 5) SELF-CRITICISM - The arrogance of feeling "Less Than"

Track 6) OPTIMISTIC REALISM - Lying to oneself

Track 7) DISCOVERY - A sense of play

Jeff Nelsen
Jeff Nelsen


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