How do you react when you mess up a mix? Or when you play a bad track? Or even when you have an issue with your equipment? …Well, your reaction might be a clue that you are a perfectionist.
If so, it’s not your fault. We live in a world where perfect is celebrated, if not expected.
From a young age, we are taught to be perfect little boys and girls. Coaches and parents would not allow any less. And if we didn’t meet their high expectations, we would get scolded and punished.
The reality is that everyone makes mistakes. But how we deal with those mistakes is what really defines us.
There are 3 ways that being a perfectionist is hurting your DJ career. And the good news is that once you can identify it, you can start to change it.
1. You Aren’t Having Fun
Being a perfectionist is stressful. To expect every little thing to go right takes a lot of awareness and mind energy. Not to mention the influx of negative emotions that come in when things don’t go as planned. So, by expecting mistakes to happen, you learn to understand that it is a process. And with each mistake comes an opportunity to learn something new. Once you do this and let go of perfectionism, you can have fun! And being a DJ is supposed to be fun. So enjoy yourself, and the crowd will be able to connect with you more, and they will have more fun too.
2. You Aren’t Even Starting
This is another common trait among perfectionists. Maybe you can only practice when the time is right. Or maybe you aren’t trying to get gigs because your mixing isn’t perfect.
Either way, just start. And start now. Start practicing. Start talking to promoters. And start asking for gigs.
3. You Aren’t Taking Risks
The ability to take risks is the key to fast improvement. Playing it safe is the key to stagnation. Don’t be afraid to try new techniques in your mixes. Or to try a new song where you wouldn’t normally play it. On the other side, be willing to take gigs that are out of your comfort zone. If something scares you or makes you uncomfortable, that is probably the thing you should be doing.
Being a perfectionist is killing your DJ career. Understanding that mistakes are a part of the process is the first step in the right direction. So get out there and make mistakes. Make mistakes in your mixing. And make mistakes in your gigs choices. Ultimately, if you can learn from them you will improve as a DJ. Before you know it, you will be booking more gigs and on the fast track to success.
And if you haven’t read it, “Mastery” by George Leonard is a great book that deals with mistakes throughout the process. You can check out my book review here.