By Chris Lesso
Where does true confidence come from? It's found in the evidence of actions that you faced your dragons and came out the other side. It's not just a thinking, but a KNOWING. Everyday we earn another 1%, but we don't always see those steps. Microbreakthroughs are all around us, if we train ourselves to see them. When challenges become fuel for our growth and setbacks offer material for our progress, we become unstoppable. Confidence is only earned one way: by getting in the arena.
“An undeniable groove isn't created by questioning yourself.”
It starts with us! A world class drummer lifts an average band to awesome, but an average drummer will drag a great band to mediocre. We're the living heartbeat of the music. Make no doubt about it, we are guides that have the power to transform. Drummers are the leaders from behind, the servant heroes with the foundation. The leadership we need comes from trusting our inner voice. The more we practice this, the stronger our rhythmic presence becomes behind the kit as we lead with faith. By surrendering to the music and trusting our instincts, we go forth on this journey together.
True confidence is revealed only through actions that access the possibility and potential that lie within you. Part of the journey of drumming is to face the fears of self doubt, and come out the other side with an unshakeable certainty that resonates in all you do. The music comes alive through our inner fire of confidence to affect positive change in the world. Believing in yourself even if you're the only one that does, you'll get stronger one day at a time and build explosive confidence on the drums and in life.
THE PURDIE FACTOR
"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken." - Oscar Wilde
Steadfast self-belief must emanate from the drummer, or the whole ship goes down. A story I love that embodies this is about drumming legend Bernard Purdie. In his early recording studio days, after setting up his drums he'd place two life-size signs on either side of his kit. One declared, 'You Done It!' The other continued with, 'You Done Hired The Hit Maker Bernard ‘Pretty’ Purdie.' (He knew how to keep things fun).
Now I've never traveled with my own signs, but I love the spirit of taking charge with total certainty and a playful positive energy. With his trademark humour and wit, Purdie stayed true to what he was capable of by uplifting all those around him with an unbeatable confidence. You can do the same! The greatness within us craves to see the light of day, but must be fought for one action at a time. You'll never regret revealing more of your heart on the drums and in life. The fact that you're seeking your best self through drumming means you're already on the path. Go big!
Hold out your thumbs and feel your fingerprints. There are no two like them in all the
billions of people that have ever graced the planet. The voice you speak that's all your
own is a voice the world needs to hear. Bernard Purdie knows he doesn't have the facility of some of the other titans of the drumming world, but no one can be him, so he OWNS it. What’s your ‘superpower’ in drums and life? We only have one shot to delve into this deep ocean of drumming, so let's make it our mission to get crazy good at the few things that represent our truest heart. Don’t add but DELETE, using simplicity and minimalism to go all in on what makes you stand out. Don’t die with your music still inside you! Take the actions to ignite explosive confidence that will be your gift to the world.
THE INSTRUMENT IS YOU
'Stop playing the drums, play YOU. You are the instrument.'
The bombshell moment of clarity that birthed the LTR DRUMMING approach and attitude, was that we're not just playing drums, we ARE the drums. We can embody the rhythm in our inner and outer worlds. It's in the way we walk, talk, breathe, and think.
"I can tell whether a person can play just by the way he stands." Miles Davis
What's in your body, mind, and heart that you're striving to get out into the world? Ultimately, there's nowhere to hide, because the drums never lie. Many people have said to me, 'I don't know what makes me unique', or, 'There's nothing I play that sets me apart'. But the truth is, no two drummers strike a drum in the same way. You simply can't not be you. Instead of running from this truth, let's boldly celebrate it for all to see.
On this journey we don’t just ‘play drums'; that’s where mediocrity lives. When you express maximum confidence on the drums to be all you can be, YOU become the instrument. Like a dream catcher, the drums capture your creative spark and magnify it to the world.
Chris Lesso is an expert at optimizing the power of drumming to elevate focus, confidence, and self-expression. LTR (Life Through Rhythm) is an attitude and way of life, and it leverages drumming as a force to help you reach your fullest potential and live the art of possibility every day.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.