Fearless Performance by Jeff Nelsen

DIVE IN ...to this week's newsletter!

February 17, 2015

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Are You Fearless?

Well...are you?

Ok good to hear!  Me neither.

But wait a second, and let me give things a good think.

At this point, I make one of two general choices.

1. I just think about things as usual, and I increase them, or I spin faster in my mind and end up having no idea what I'm thinking or feeling because I'm just freaking out, shutting down, having a pity-party or losing/winning the blame-game...

2.  I give things an actual good think, and dive into my huge repertoire/arsenal of fear replacements.

When I am rested and present enough to choose well, I can get fearless and perform my best.

We want to get fearless somehow...and there are millions of ways to do that, many of which we've covered in these newsletters, and we'll cover many more in future ones!

We want to get fearless well, and then have that fearless state last as long as possible. Sometimes in concert, my fearless state can last for 5 seconds in a row before I find something else to fear on some level.  At that time, I repeat my fear-replacement process with a different fearless weapon or tool.  Over and over again...

It's not about being fearless forever.  Much like how I've heard smokers don't quit smoking for the rest of their lives, but rather they quit until the next urge.   We want to replace our fear for right now.  We'll get to the next fear moment whenever it comes.  Both my mother and father quit smoking...a few times each, heh.  We had boxes of gum and mints in every room in the house for them to use to replace their smoking urges.  Often we had a very confusing smoky-minty-pigfarm aroma in the house!

It's about replacing our destructive habit with another habit that is constructive...or at least at first, choosing something less destructive.

For fear replacements, my first step is to look at the moment I'm in right now.

Task for the Day - Answer yourself this:

                                 "Am I Fearless Right Now?"

Here's something I have on my studio door that I pondered today.  Ohhhh, it's good:

If you're fearing something, ask yourself if you're able to do something about whatever you're fearing. Have that question and answer be enough for right here, right now. There's no drama or emotion in your thoughts...only the questions and answers shown above in that graphic.

Whatever creation theory or god or science you believe in, the serenity prayer is something that guides me well many many times a day:

 

This is at the very least, a thought process to solve the type of fear we call "Worry". Worry is an extra wild and complicated choice because often, worry is fearing fear. Wild stuff, eh? Worry is a common type of fear, and usually stays around because we haven't simplified our choices. The above graphic guide and Serenity Prayer do just that!  You will find more often than not that this thought process can take you through situations that you may have previously succeeded at complicating into drama.

Good luck today, and this week.

Good luck and good thought!

Remember to help your friends through too... 

Stay fearless my friends, 

Jeff

January 28, 2015

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You're Best

 

 
 

 

You're Best

 

You really are best.

Nope, not a typo...I just like trying to make the newsletter titles have a little
hmmmmm at first. Last week's message was for us to "Have a Good Worst". Now lets
look at how You're Best.

You are the best version of yourself. This is true on many levels.

You're the best you in existence.

Continue Reading >

January 28, 2015

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Have a Good Worst

Have a Good Worst
Keep your standards high? Yes!
Focus on what TO do? Yes!
But I must admit that when I perform my best, a part of my focus is also on keeping
my worst playing as good as possible.
I spend some valuable focus-points on keeping a "good worst" in both my training... 

Continue Reading >

January 23, 2015

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January 17, 2015

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Press Release - Jeff and Nina Nelsen to be artists in residence Jan. 21-23

Jeff and Nina Nelsen to be artists in residence Jan. 21-23

PRESS RELEASE

UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL ARKANSAS

COLLEGE OF FINE ARTS AND COMMUNICATION

Contact: Brent Shires, (501) 450-5768; bshires@uca.edu

January 16, 2014

JEFF AND NINA NELSEN TO BE ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE JAN. 21-23

 

By Cassidy Crawford

College of Fine Arts and Communication Media Office

CONWAY — Horn player Jeff Nelsen and soprano Nina Yoshida Nelsen will be on the University of Central Arkansas campus Jan. 21-23 as artists in residence.

Besides a public recital on Friday, Jan. 23, in the Snow Fine Arts Center Recital Hall, Jeff Nelsen, a music professor at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and a former member of Canadian Brass, the long-running, popular brass quintet, hopes to help people in reducing performance anxiety with his seminar,  “Fearless Performance.” Three sessions are scheduled: Class 1 from 7:30-9:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 21; Class 2 on Thursday, Jan. 22, from 1:40-2:30 p.m.; and Class 3, from 2-3 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 23.

“The ‘Fearless Performance’ seminars do not have to be attended in sequence to be beneficial,” said Dr. Brent Shires, horn professor at UCA and the faculty sponsor for the residency. “Any one of them is useful by itself.”

The program for the Jan. 23 public concert will include vocal selections by Nina Yoshida Nelsen, including art pieces by Saint-Saens and Brahms. Jeff Nelsen will perform Bach and some blues. Together they will present duets, such as “Con te partiro” and a set of specially composed songs based on Brian Andreas’ “Story People” vignettes. UCA piano lecturer Terrie Shires will join the Nelsens on piano for this program.

All of the above events are scheduled for the Recital Hall and are free and open to the public.

Friday, Jan. 23 will feature a hands-on session for high school horn players and interested teachers. From 5-7 p.m., Brent Shires will hold the clinic “Making All-State on Horn.” Horn players are invited to bring their instruments and participate in this class where tips and techniques will be helpful for those aspiring to make the February Arkansas All-State ensembles in Hot Springs. Even those who aren’t qualifiers will still learn necessary techniques and approaches that can be applied to everyday horn playing as well as next year’s tryouts.

For more information about the Nelsen residency, contact Brent Shires at (501) 450-5768 or bshires@uca.edu.

The Artist in Residence program is funded by UCA’s arts fee and is administered by the College of Fine Arts and Communication. For more information about the program, call the Office of the Dean, College of Fine Arts and Communication, at (501) 450-3293 or e-mail jdmiller@uca.edu.

The UCA College of Fine Arts and Communication includes the Departments of Art, Communication, Mass Communication and Theatre, Music and Writing. The college’s primary mission is the preparation of the next generation of artists, educators and communicators. For more information about CFAC, visit www.uca.edu/cfac or call (501) 450-3293.

January 17, 2015

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The better you no your friends....

The better you no your friends...

 

 

...the better your real friends get to support you.

And you get to support yourself, and what's most important in your life.

 No.  It's the most powerful word you can use.  You get to manage your own schedule and get your first things done first! That's a critical element to the lives of anyone who experiences a truly Fearless Performance.  They've gotten the things they need to get done actually DONE, so they can be at their best.

We've all had this discussion with our busy friends...friends who are usually not more busy than we are, they're just freaking out near us.  They're just being emotional about their over-busy schedule that they've said yes to.  A totally forgivable emotional sharing, because we might be the one doing it the next time.

But I've added a little twist to the discussion sometimes, and it's gone well...sometimes...

Our friend says, "Oh man, it's just crazy these next few weeks!  I've got this and that and the other thing and then there's this..." 

I say, "Yeah, that's rough.  Want to try something?  Ok, repeat after me. No..." and I end with an upward tone of voice that implies that's just the beginning of the sentence they're going to repeat...

They say, "No..."? and look at me for the next part of the phrase.

I say, "Great!  That was perfect.  Wanna try it again?!"

When it's gone well, they nod and chuckle, with a, "Yup, thanks...this is all self-imposed. Okayyyy..."  

Reclaim Your Agenda!

I've been reading Brendon Burchard's amazing new book, "The Motivation Manifesto" and reclaiming your agenda is one of his charges.  I've been doing just that, and seeing massive growth in productivity and also my mood.  I believe I can get more done because I have been planning and executing more!  It's exciting...especially because I usually spend a ton of time getting poised to work.  

I do emails, and wow can I clean and organize the house.  My wife can tell if I have a project to get finished because things are neater than usual.  If it's a big project that doesn't really have a set deadline, the garage or storage room has also been worked on a bit... 

Brendon Burchard very wisely states on his One-Page Productivity Planner:

"Beware your inbox, it's nothing but a convenient organizing system 

for other people's agendas."

 Getting To No your friends and colleagues is a fantastic way of reclaiming your agenda.  

Almost everyone will be fine without you!  

Here's the thing - You're not ok without you!!  

You need time with yourself to get some plans and actions done!  I've also been avoiding checking emails before 10am.  It's fantastic.  I wake up, drink a big glass of water, and then exercise for 30 minutes.  Ah mazing! I can do this because I've said no.

 Task for today - Make it about your friend's needs.

 I usually suggest some ways of getting your stuff done, but let's start by paying it forward today. The next time you ask a friend to do something, and they think about it for longer than 3 seconds and have 'that look' of 'ehhhhh', give them some help in saying no.  

No guilt trip, sarcasm, or passive-aggressive funny comment.  That's hard for me sometimes, as humour is my way out.  But today, connect with them in a seriously supportive way.  Also, no apology either!  Empower yourself here too.  You both matter.  

It's not, "Sorry, you have things to do.  Sorry to bother you." It's simply, "Think about it and text me by tonight if you are happy coming.  It looks like you might have something though, and that's awesome.  You can come next time."

 

By seriously reaching out with assurance that they're welcome but not needed at your event, you can see how much less important saying yes to your next invite might be.  My agenda includes priorities that serve my goals and values, and no is a big part of prioritizing like an adult.  I've been enjoying being more of an adult who gives his choices deeper consideration.

This is a big lesson in Fearlessness, my friends!  Look deep into your need to please, and how often you say yes out of habit.  

 Here's a helpful guide I often think of when someone asks for too much.  Use it as a mid-way point to No. 

On your next invitation, work or social, take an extra few seconds. Remember you can say no, and sometime this week...DO IT!  Graciously say no.

You can only Get To No, Yourself.  No one else can get you there.

Remember, saying no to someone

is actually saying Yes to You.

 Stay fearless my friends,

Jeff

 

 

 

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

 

January 17, 2015

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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,

Jeff

 

 

 

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