Feeling Stuck? One Way to Sidestep Fear and Spring into Action
As you've probably experienced firsthand, your mind and emotions are not always on your side as a musician (or a wannabe musician if you're not quite owning that yet).
Our self doubt often rules the roost, convincing us to give up on an artistic project halfway through or procrastinate long enough that we don't start at all.
I hear from so many singers every week who are battling with confidence and fear. Trying desperately to drag themselves to auditions, write songs and organise gigs despite the crushing feeling of "not good enough".
I'd say 99.6% of us are dealing with this on the daily.
So how can we bypass all this fear and doubt and continue to take inspired action towards what we know we desperately want to do?
SEPARATE THE VOICES
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The one idea I've found to be the easiest and most useful in my life is to separate the voices.
We each have the loud set of voices, often repeating fear-driven lies over and over again. Warning us about the potential pitfalls and convincing us that we don't have enough talent to do that anyway.
Those voices are the ones forcing us to put down your microphone/guitar/lyrics notebook and give up.
And then we have a much more positive voice, often drowned out by the louder, petulant one. The voice who says "Why not just give it a go?" and "You'll be diasppointed if you don't at least try, so go for it!" and "Who knows, this might actually be quite good!"
MY FAVOURITE GET-INTO-GEAR QUESTION
I like to think of this wise glass-half-full voice as my BEST SELF.
And one of the questions that helps me when all I can hear are the rallying cries of self doubt is "What would my best self do?"
This shifts everything.
My best self is a badass. She'll give anything a go and makes sure she gives it everything she's got. She's driven but not a perfectionist. She believes in me despite my flaws. She knows that failure is an option but it doesn't phase her.
She says NO more often, reserving her YESes for things that grow her, excite her, nourish her.
She doesn't get distracted by comparison and instead just focuses on what she CAN do or can manage right now.
She hears my shaming inner dialogue and replaces it with compassion.
So what would YOUR best self have you do?
- Would he encourage you to submit your song into that competition?
- Would she put up your hand for that open mic night?
- Would he commit to a regular practice routine and put it in your calendar?
- Invest in that equipment or training?
- Reach out to that musician friend of yours to collaborate?
IT'S YOUR CHOICE
So often we forget that we have a choice as to which voice to listen to. We assume that we have to get rid of the terror, to be fearless, but dude - that's never gonna happen.
Instead you want to acknowledge that it's there and listen for the quiet positive thoughts that are milling around in that head of yours. Those are what should drive your actions.
I'm not saying this will be easy - you've probably spent years giving into your fear of not being enough. But it is possible.
Slow down. Get present. Tune in and hunt for the cheers (or no-nonsense butt kicking) of your best self. And take the next right step forward.
If you're not sure what that next right step might be, please never hesitate to reach out and ask me for suggestions or ideas! I'd love to help in any way I can.