The people around you are influencing you whether you are aware of it or not. Your success or failure on guitar may very well come down to the people you associate with. Social influence is all around us everyday and not just from friends. Whoever surrounds us will influence us. Studies have shown that obesity is contagious. If the 5 people you spend the most time with are obese the odds are you will be too. If those around us are obese we adopt the idea that obese is normal but, we also adopt the lifestyle habits of those around us. “Everyone else ate two pieces of cheesecake but I was good and only ate one” you say to yourself. So you are probably wondering how this affects your guitar playing so let me elaborate.
The power of social influence
When I first began to take guitar seriously as a teenager I would say to my friends (who were not musicians) that I wouldn’t be available to hang out after school as much, as I wanted to practice. They would reply with all kinds of comments like “You can practice later” or “Man you are obsessive. Surely you’ve done enough practice this week” or “Practicing for what?” insinuating that I wasn’t actually a serious professional so stop kidding myself. There are a multitude of ways people influence us so the trick is to either try and turn your friends into supporters (your first option) or find new friends. This won’t happen naturally in most cases. You will need to be proactive.
Building your support team
I managed to turn many people into musicians which is probably why I ended up a guitar teacher. I have spent my life convincing people to learn music, especially guitar. I am now surrounded by musicians from around the world. My support team took a few years to build in the early days but there was a tipping point. A point where most people in my life supported my musical aspirations.
What about those friends who don’t support you?
You don’t need everyone of course to support you and thats okay but, you do need to watch out for those who may be trying to sabotage your goals. I find there is usually one person who seems determined to crush our dreams. I know it sounds drastic but not all friends are good for us. They may be good people but if their influence is having a negative impact you need to decide whether the friendship is worth it. If you are serious about guitar its time to check who is on your team. Having the right support team can literally make or break you. Learning to play guitar is hard so you need every advantage you can get.