Pushing Past Plateaus – Part II

Believe it or not getting frustrated because you’ve hit a wall or plateau of some kind is a good thing. Wanting to kick and scream because you seem to be stuck in a rut is a sign that there are opportunities at hand. The frustration comes because you want to press on, but what you’re doing either isn’t working or generating the results you want. Or it isn’t generating those results fast enough.

Patience Now + Forever

Whatever your self-appointed timetable, patience is always required. But there will be times when it’s clear that what you’re doing to move yourself forward isn’t working and requires more research, time, and work. Many times you know there are things you’ve neglected that you need to address in order to move forward.

 

Sometimes it’s a case of not having the capital or financial backing you want to do everything you feel is necessary to move forward. But because the funding isn’t there you simply slow down, stall, spin your wheels, throw it reverse, or hit the wall.

Creativity Is Capital

Creativity in its purest form is problem solving. It helps you to build bridges, fill in gaps, and make connections. Singing, songwriting, and performing engage the emotional capital that buys the materials to build bridges, patch potholes, fill in gaps, and make roads more accessible.

 

Honor and respect that creative power. It is the number one resource that will help you get through the plateaus, ruts, road blocks, and rough patches that might make you feel like turning around or giving up altogether.

 

It’s important to keep your creativity actively engaged and nurtured. So, do not isolate yourself. Do not do anything to starve or poison your creative gift and everything that feeds it.

 

Use your creativity to find new ideas, fresh perspectives, and more circles of connections that include other singers, musicians, and artists. This will help you energize, reboot your systems, and feel like you have a vital role to play in shaking up, unwrapping, and sharing your gift.

You’re Not Alone

Giuseppe Lopizzo is a Brett Manning certified vocal coach in Italy. Growing up in the arts he knows all too well how frustrating and potentially debilitating that slamming into plateaus and butting up against walls can be. He sees this all of the time when many of the singers he coaches.

 

“It happens to everybody,” he said. “They will get stuck with a part of their voices sometimes. Obviously in those periods the temptation of giving up is strong…some students may arrive to the lesson and say something like, I cannot do that anymore, I’m not a good singer, and so on. But in my opinion, those are moments in which creativity can rise up. Changes can trigger a new sense or perspective that lights a new fire. You can learn to know your voice more deeply, having to adjust the way you usually sing.”

A Chance To Grow

Giuseppe understands that there are many times that you hit a wall because your creative self is trying to get your attention. It wants you to wake up, get better, become more alive, try something new, or learn more.

 

“I had a singer who was having a hard time to sing in his mix, because his voice was a little tired,” Giuseppe said. “Then we worked out and practiced head voice and light sounds a lot, in order to give release to the voice and provide easy and comfortable spots to sing in. In the end he obviously found his mix again. But, his mix was freer, much more easily released than before! So this is an example of how a period of being down switched into a period of growing up and improving. So it is better to use the moment of plateaus, to walk through new paths and travel deeper into the big universe of our voices.”

Stop + Pull Over + Rest

But there are times you may simply need to take a few days to relax, rest, refresh, and regroup. Whether things are going well or not, it’s a tough business physically and emotionally. You could be burned out. You need to know when it’s time to check out for a few days, and take a break. There may be times when you know you’re going to need the extra energy to tackle a huge task that’s coming up. In such cases, a little rest and relaxation before pressing on is a good thing.

No Fear, No Laziness

You want to avoid putting things off because of fear or laziness. Experience will tell you that the longer you put off something because of fear, the more afraid you’ll become and that fear will create additional problems. Laziness will do the same thing. The more you put something off the more wiped out you feel because you know that the task or challenge requires lots of work, time, and energy.

 

In such cases, just push through it and do it. Face the fear and let your workout serve to energize you. You are investing time and energy for the sake of your creative gift. Once you commit to the work, things will start looking up as you move forward.

Slow Motion Promotion

Suppose you’re in a slump of some kind or you’re getting discouraged because the response you were hoping would come from distributing your EPK or the launch of your website just isn’t happening.

 

You know you shouldn’t give up, but you’re tired, disappointed, and frankly frustrated. So you’re reluctant to feed your discouragement by making more contacts through pushing your EPK, your website, and self-promotion in general.

 

Don’t beat yourself up and also don’t give up on yourself. Shift your attention and focus away from yourself. Check out websites of other artists in your area and make note of things that catch your eye and ear and pique your curiosity.

Sites For Sore Senses

Look at sites such as reverbnation and sonicbids. Make notes on anything that captures your imagination, sparks an idea, or resonates with what you’re trying to do. Make note of things that you see as turn-offs or maybe as things that are overdone and make everything look or sound too much alike.

 

Let these things that grab your attention in others open yourself to fresh ideas that will help you stand out and draw attention to strong positive selling points that make you unique.

Refresh Your Senses

You also want to feed your senses and encourage your creativity. Listen to artists you know nothing about or listen to a few that you’ve been meaning to check out. Take a sensory fieldtrip online to jingo.com and drink up some music. See what ideas and images it triggers. You want to keep your creative juices flowing, especially when times are tough or annoying.

Solicit Solutions + Share Ideas

You can divert your attention to focusing on other aspects of your artistic development.
You can use a period of frustration to network with others going through a similar plateau or you can get advice from others on how they push through tough times or find windows and doors in the walls they hit.

Looking Forward

The bottom line is to always have something to look forward to. When you face a plateau, a hardship, or a major challenge, always look for the potential payoff. Visualize the outcome or assign a catch phrase or emotional feeling to what the ultimate outcome represents.

Use the forums and blogs in SSTV to vent, share, and soak up information and experience. Stay tuned to other stations and new viewers. Use the videos and lessons to continue to develop the full measure of your vocal potential. When you feel trapped; tap into the growing variety of resources here at SSTV. It will keep your creative engine fueled and fine-tined on the road to your singing success.

Giuseppe Lopizzo

Giuseppe Lopizzo is the only Italian vocal coach certified by Brett Manning. To book a session with Giuseppe, or for further information, please contact him at [email protected] You can also visit him on Facebook as Brett Manning vocal method Italia.