How to Motivate Yourself On Guitar - And Skyrocket Your Results

  • by Tom Boddison
  • 20 Jun, 2017
Your motivation is 100% under YOUR control
Ever felt like your interest in guitar is waning?

Like the effort you put in just isn't paying off?

Every guitar player has felt like this before. From beginners to pros, folk strummers to shredders, everyone feels disheartened at times.

Sometimes it can get really bad, and you feel like quitting altogether!

And yet, other times, you just can't get enough of the guitar. You think about it constantly at work/school, and you itch for just another quick song.

Why is this? Is it random? Or is there something more going on? Read on to find out...

 This is the third article in the "Mindset" series. Read part 1 and part 2 here.

Discipline Vs. Motivation

When you ask people which is more reliable: motivation or discipline, they almost all say "Discipline, of course! You never know if you'll feel motivated or not, but discipline will always be there"

While discipline  is more "reliable", motivation is WAY more important to your success.

You see, discipline is boring! If you have to force yourself to do something you don't want to do then its only a matter of time before you quit - no matter how disciplined you think you are.

Nobody ever gets good at anything without being passionate about it. Your passion is where your motivation comes from - and if you're motivated to do something, then it's fun!
The more fun it is, the more you'll do it, and the better you'll get, which makes it even more fun, which makes you do it more, which makes you even better...

...and soon you're on a never-ending upward spiral to success. Getting on the spiral is your #1 priority. The sooner you jump on, the better you'll be.

Your Motivation Is Down To YOU

Having discipline is good to get you started, but you shouldn't heavily rely on it.

People say "Motivation is fickle. It's not gonna get you anywhere. It comes and goes as it pleases"...

...but hang on a minute. It's YOUR brain, isn't it? So shouldn't you be able to control it?

Yes! You should. And you can - it's all about using the right strategies.

As we learned in part one , it's not about what happens to you, it's about how you look at it. Two people can come away from the same event with very different views.

If two people watch an awesome guitar player, one can be disheartened ("I could never play like that"), and the other could be fired up ("Wow! I really wanna play like that!"). Who do you think is gonna be better in the end?

A small change in mindset makes a big difference in results.

Want, Belief and Worth

Whenever you feel motivated, you've done certain things (often subconsciously) to feel that way. More specifically, you've had three thoughts:

1) That's awesome - I wanna do it (WANT)
2) I know I can do that if I practice (BELIEF)
3) The skills are definitely worth the time I have to put in (WORTH)

Want, belief and worth. If you want it, you believe you can have it, and you know it's worth the effort, then you'll be motivated.

Whenever you feel unmotivated it's because one of these is missing. Most commonly it's either you don't believe it's possible for you, or you don't think it's worth the time you have to put in.

But how do you control these? We've already covered belief in part 2 (Why You Can Do Everything Your Heroes Can), but what about 1 and 3?

Just Like Buying A New Toy

Imagine you're a kid again, and you're in the toy shop. You're about to buy a brand new toy!

You're imagining yourself playing with it. You can picture yourself showing your friends how awesome it is. You just can't wait!

And yet to someone else, that toy is boring. They'd much rather have the building blocks, or the toy robot, or the baby doll. They're WAY cooler!

They're still looking at the same toys - just in a different way. To them, a different toy is more fun.
Whenever you buy something - whether it's a toy, a car or a t-shirt - you're running that "motivation strategy" again of want, belief and worth.

You convince yourself that you want it ("the t-shirt looks cool, and I'd look great in it"), you know you can have it ("I've got the money in my pocket"), and that it's worth the cost ("it's on sale - $15 is a bargain!).

This applies to EVERYTHING.

You convinced yourself that you want it by running specific strategies in your brain. You imagined yourself walking down the street in that new shirt. You could feel the nice material on your skin - it's nice quality, isn't it? You might even have imagined other people thinking "you look awesome"!

You can do exactly the same thing with guitar.

Easy Guitar Motivation

If you want to learn a new solo, for example, you can use "want, belief, worth" to stay motivated even when it gets difficult.

Analyse which is missing, and look at it in a new way. Then you can control it and get back on track.

If you're doubting whether it's worth it or not, for instance, then look at it again. What other skills will learning this solo give you?

Sure, you have to practice a lot, but you're learning WAY more than just one solo.

Think about all the skills you'll get! Your bends will be improved, you'll be able to play faster, and you'll get a cool insight into the guitarist's style. The reason it feels difficult is because you're stretching your abilities; you're gonna be a WAY better guitar player when you've learned it!

Do the same thing as the kid in the toy shop. Imagine playing it with your band. How awesome would it sound? Imagine being on stage and pulling it off flawlessly, with the audience going wild. What would your friends say? How would it feel to master something as awesome as this?

What else are you gonna be able to play when you've learned it? Imagine playing that stuff too.

Linking it to all areas of your guitar playing will make you motivated, but there's a way you can get INSANE motivation too, for those extra challenging pieces...

Wanting It Badly Enough

Earning these skills hasn't just got to mean being good at guitar, but also achieving your other goals, too.

If you want to be insanely motivated,  you have to link the achievement of this goal with every other goal in your life.

Then you'll be so motivated it's unbelievable. If being a great guitar player means success in other areas of life too, then you'll develop an all-encompassing passion for guitar.

What will mastering the guitar do for your finances? Will you be able to make money from being in a band, doing recordings or teaching?

What if that would allow you to quit your job (or reduce your hours) and spend more time with family?

What would it do to your social life? Well, you could meet loads of other awesome musicians for a start. Think of all the great friendships and opportunities you could have.

Write down (yes, write down - it's super important) every general area of your life - social, financial, hobbies, family, and so on - and next to each one write 3 reasons that learning the guitar will help you in that area.

Do it! This exercise is incredible for increasing your motivation.

Then, whenever you feel your motivation waning you can look back at the list and be on top form again.

Final Thoughts

Your motivation IS under your control. It's not something that "just happens" - it's something that occurs because of your thoughts and your mindset.

It's about WANT, BELIEF and WORTH - get those three down and you'll never struggle with motivation again.

This applies to everything. Visualise the results you'll get from an activity, and use the 3-part "motivation strategy", and you'll become fanatical about it.

Try it in other areas of life, and see what the results are like.

Have fun, and keep rocking!

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