HOW TO HANDLE PRESSURE

Pressure is not something to be taken lightly.  Well, let me back up.   There’s different kinds of pressure.  Pressure you put on yourself and pressure others put on you.   The pressure I want you to pay attention to first is the pressure you put on yourself.  That you don’t take lightly.  For a second, forget about everyone else, doesn’t matter who they are.  One thing I know about DJs is that you will obsess to no end on the littlest details and efforts, you are perfectionists and your own worst critics.  Sometimes it can be a vortex you get sucked into, a never ending loop of questioning and doubt and that’s just what can happen in your own studio!  Pressure can manifest itself in many ways, from obsessing to full blown anxiety.  Guess what, that’s ok!  It’s ok to have standards and push yourself, it’s ok to get a little nervous before a gig.   The problem is when the pressure is so paralyzing you are not moving forward, getting out of your own head, or being relaxed enough to get into the flow.  You have to maintain perspective in the face of pressure.  Some DJs go into things thinking ok, I know something is going to happen – it always does!  Then somehow they magically chill out.  It’s a quick fix though and doesn’t help with the long term grind of being a DJ.

Handling pressure is one of the biggest tools in your DJ arsenal.  Remember the openness of your mind and your heart directly affects your creativity.  The point is to pre-empt pressure before it becomes so acute you get twisted up and tangled in your own situation.  You need to stay ahead of pressure.  That means not procrastinating, knowing what you’re doing, working out ideas as soon as you have them, being organized, and reducing distractions (do you really need to be the 39th comment on a Facebook post?).  If you have your internal pressure valve on balance you will be able to handle the other kind of pressure, the pressure from others.

Everyone has a stake in your game at some point – regardless of your level.  Venue owners, promoters, agents, producers, labels, other DJs, to name a few.  All of them have expectations and in a lot of cases rightfully so.  How you handle pressure from others is nothing short of knowing what your priorities are at every turn.  You may want to consider the agent a priority because you’re at a certain level and want to be part of an agency, so making sure you’re responsive to them is your priority for the moment.  Venue owners, have to get above that bar guarantee!, may need some extra assurance so promoting may be your priority.  It all depends on your situation and what is most important to you.  I didn’t mention the audience or your music (your music can be an entity in of itself) because those will always be your priority depending on your DJ philosophy.  I’m just talking about the extra chatter and needs of others that you may perceive as contributing to pressure filled situations.

Above anything else you need to get to a state of comfort and confidence.   If you are on top of the noise inside your head first then anything else should be a breeze.  Pressure will always be there whether it’s internal or external, it’s part of the DJ vocation.  The thing to remember is that you can’t be everything to everyone, including yourself.

  1. October 9th, 2012
Comments are closed.
%d bloggers like this: