Have you ever experienced sweaty palms, a racing heart, and a dry mouth during a gig? Do you find yourself stressing out over the perfect mix or making mistakes during a set? If these sound familiar, you’re not alone. Many DJs, both new and experienced, deal with performance anxiety and burnout. However, these issues don’t have to hold you back from being the best DJ you can be. In this blog post, we’ll discuss tips and tricks for managing your mental game and staying mentally sharp before, during and after gigs.
- Prep for Success
The first step to managing your mental game is prepping for success. This means making sure you have all your equipment, backup playlists, and potential setlists ready to go before the gig. Knowing that all your equipment is functioning properly and that you have all the necessary backup plans in place will help you feel more confident and less anxious. Also, you can prepare a checklist to ensure you’ve got everything you need to make a successful gig.
- Visualize Success
Visualization is one of the best tools for managing performance anxiety. Before you step on stage, take a moment to close your eyes and picture yourself killing your set. Imagine the crowd cheering, people dancing, and you feeling in complete control of your music. By visualizing success, you’re setting your mind up for positivity and confidence, which will replace fear and negative self-doubt.
- Take a Break
Burnout is a real issue for many DJs. Especially for those that are doing gigs back-to-back or burning the midnight oil with long hours at the studio. It’s important to take breaks and allow yourself to step away from music-related work when needed. This could be taking a day off, going for a walk, or treating yourself to a hobby outside of DJing. Doing so will help you return to your music with a fresh perspective and renewed energy.
- Recognize and Reframe Negative Thoughts
Watching the dance floor instead of enjoying your set is something that many DJs struggle with. One way to manage this is being able to recognize and reframe the negative thoughts that come into your mind while performing. If you find yourself thinking, “I’m messing up” or “the crowd isn’t feeling this,” try shifting the narrative to one that may be more positive. Instead, say to yourself, “I’m doing great” or “I’m learning as I go.” By reframing negative thoughts to positive ones, you’re building your mental toughness and resilience.
- Stay Focused on the Present
Lastly, stay present. It’s natural to feel anxious about the past or the future, maybe you recall a past gig where you didn’t do so well or you’re worried about meeting a future client’s expectations. However, it’s crucial to focus on the current task. By tuning out distractions and focusing on the moment, you’ll put yourself in the best possible position to succeed.
- Take care of your health and fitness levels
It’s something DJs tend to forget and neglect, but you only have one body, and the better you take care of it, the better it’ll take care of you! Try and eat healthy, even if it means introducing a few more vegetables, get your 10,000 steps in (at the least!), drink a couple litres of water and exercise 3 times a week. A good way of ensuring you do all this is by using a personal trainer. I have a Personal Trainer in Northampton who does a great job with me, and I’ve never felt better! Try one out for a month as a trial and see if it helps you too.
Performance anxiety and burnout are challenging issues, but they are manageable. By using the techniques we’ve discussed in this blog post, you can overcome your mental hurdles and focus on delivering an exceptional set. By prepping for success, visualizing success, taking breaks, reframing negative thoughts, and staying present, you’ll be able to have a successful DJing career for years to come. Good luck and happy DJing!