In the book ‘The Will Power Instinct’ the author referenced a study done on the effects of guilt on a person who fails to follow through on a commitment. In one example they compared dieters who felt guilty after a moment of weakness to those who did not feel guilty and the finding was surprising. Those who felt guilty were more likely to indulge but interestingly enough it was because they felt that another chocolate would negate their guilt.
Guilt is counter productive
Guitar students should take note. If you miss guitar practice and feel guilty about the fact its likely that your reason for missing guitar practice was not due to some unforeseen event. We will generally only feel guilty when we know we could have done our guitar practice but did not which is 99% of the time. This guilt we feel is no different to the dieter. In the dieter’s case it was the chocolate that caused the guilt. In the case of the guitar student it will likely be some distraction like watching TV, playing video games, surfing the net etc. Feeling guilty it seems will lead you to seeking more distractions so the solution is simple.
STOP feeling guilty!
If you miss practice for any reason don’t be hard on yourself. Try saying to yourself “I’m only human and doing my best. So I missed guitar practice yesterday. Big deal. Today is a new day and look at how many good days I have had.” When we praise ourselves we are more likely to practice the next day. When we feel guilty chances are we will seek comfort in the same distraction that caused us to miss our practice yesterday. Do you feel guilty when you miss guitar practice?