Music Information

The Need To Perform

I can't believe how much of the year has gone by, but all the same, it's unbelievable how much I've grown through the year and most of it, from demolishing my need to perform.

I grew up playing a lot of hockey, being captain of both my schools when I was in Nigeria and London. The highlight of my career came when I was 10 on a wonderful warm day when we were playing an outdoor hockey game. Apparently I did some really cool skill with the stick and the ball. Everyone was like "wow" and clapping. I didn't really understand what I did, but nevertheless it was great and I learnt something. The entire sports department were talking about it for weeks. By the way, at that point, I went on to just shoot and watch the ball roll into the goal.

That is and will remain to be an unforgettable moment for me as everyone was congratulating me for the goal and my skillful moment. However, my attention was taken in another direction. In the stands, I saw my mum. I ran up to her, and she said, "That goalie never had a chance." Hearing those words, and sensing that appreciation was a real awesome feeling, and from that grew my need to be appreciated.

Needs generally come from our experiences from childhood and perhaps they are something we really wanted, and never got. All our parents certainly did the best they could and for that we are really grateful. About 95% of the human population is driven by needs, but the extent to which your particular need drives you may be the deciding factor in how successful you are.

If we relate this to the music world, from a young age, you may have never really got the opportunities you may have liked to perform and so from that grew your need to perform. When our needs are unchecked, they act as engines, driving us to behave in ways that we believe will lead to the experience of having our needs fulfilled.

When a need exists, it is either conscious or unconscious. As humans, we are the only species in this universe that are conscious that we are conscious. We are the only species that are aware that we are aware. And as humans, we are constantly striving to meet our needs. This consumes a lot of our energy. What we need to do is really understand where our needs come from and eliminating these dynamics will transform your entire life.

My need of appreciation only made me strive to be appreciated so that I can be told that I'm good and feel good. But that doesn't seem to last long as after a few seconds I need to feel good again. This wasn't really making me happier, just draining a lot of energy out of me. It's important to understand the energy we create when we have a need present in our lives. Think about when somebody gives you a call only when they need you. How does that make you feel?

When you are coming from a place of need, this is the kind energy you are giving off and thus this is the type of energy you attract back to you. Sometimes when you think that your need has gone and you're very clear about what you want to attract into your life but you still feel stuck, it is probable that if you dig deep, there is still a need that has a grip on you. Without addressing the need, we will continue to create the same problem (in different forms) until we eliminate the need.

Common needs that I've seen are the need to be liked, the need to be heard, the need to sing, the need for security, the need to have money, etc. What are your needs? What is it that you want to do, and if you don't you get upset? What do you strive to do, but although you get the result, it takes a lot of energy out of you? These are your needs. It is good to know them. Most people go through life like this, really having a need and not able to live their true, free selves. You know better. Needs are easy to see and feel, yet we are usually blind to their influence on us. If you look closer, you can find that hold. A good way to identify a particular need is to consider these questions..

1. What are the patterns of problems in your life?

2. Where do you feel most stuck?

3. What causes you to get upset most?

4. Ask someone to say what they see at work within you.

By recognising and eliminating the need of appreciation, I've been able to create my life on purpose and in harmony with my desires instead of feeding a childhood wound.

Kavit Haria is the musicians coach, working with musicians to facilitate and further their personal and professional development so that they can achieve their desired results. Kavit runs InnerRhythm, a coaching practice for musicians in London, UK and runs a free fortnightly newsletter action-packed with tools, tips and strategies to make you a successful musician. Subscribe here:

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