🎤 How I overcame my fear of singing in public 😳

I was at a gig last week, and while I waited for my band's time to play, I chatted with a lady about life and music. She told me, “My 18 year old daughter takes singing lessons, but she’s afraid to sing in front of people.”

I just nodded. I understood the feeling all too well. For most people, singing in front of people is scary. It’s a very vulnerable thing to do.

You might find it hard to believe, but I used to be terrified of singing in public. I used to be scared to even post a video of myself singing.

And as I shared with this lady, I didn’t feel comfortable with singing in front of others until I was about 33 - only 5 years ago!

I’ve been involved with music my entire life, and yet it was still a HUGE challenge. 

The problem was that I didn’t think my singing voice was “good enough”. I was so afraid of making mistakes and not impressing my audience, that I would hold back. My nerves and my perfectionism got in the way of me singing my best.

These fears still pop up sometimes, but they're much quieter, and I’ve learned how to ignore them. 

I had to do a few things to feel comfortable performing:

I had to STOP caring what others thought. (Difficult!)

I had to START before I felt ready. 

I had to ACCEPT that I make mistakes.

I had to ACCEPT that I'm not the best singer of all time (and that’s okay).

I had to BELIEVE in myself.

What helped me go from scared to confident? Practice… and AFFIRMATIONS.

In 2016, I recorded my first album, “You Are Amazing”. I worked with a recording engineer, and I had to SING in front of him… a lot! That was a big challenge. I even crieda couple of times out of frustration and anxiety.

I used affirmations to pump myself up. I would write and speak affirmations before recording sessions like:

“I am a good singer”

“I believe in myself” 

“I love my voice”, 

even though I didn’t believe those things deep down. But the more I repeated them, the more I believed them. 

It was at this moment that I was recording my song “You Are Amazing”, a list of affirmations I wrote for my sons. Singing this song to myself (many times as I recorded it) helped a lot too.

A LIFE CHANGING CONVERSATION

One day I had a conversation with my recording engineer. I told him that my husband and I were thinking of starting a jazz duo, where we would perform in restaurants and bars. I told him I didn't know if I could do it. I was still nervous about singing in front of people, and I needed to practice more first.

He told me: “You can’t practice singing in front of people without singing in front of people! Sometimes you have to start before you're ready.” Wow. That hit home!

So my husband and I started singing jazz in front of people at restaurants and bars. I would get nervous, but I pushed through it and sang as well as I could. We kept getting hired, so I figured, "I guess my voice is good enough!"

After many, many jazz shows, and lots of affirmations, I got comfortable singing in front of people. Now I don't get nervous. I do my best and I know it will be good enough. I make mistakes, but most people don't notice them. And if they do… it's okay. As my song "You Are Amazing" says, "I'm allowed to make mistakes." 

I held the belief for a long time that I had to be “the best”. That if I didn't receive a standing ovation at the end of my performance, I would die of embarrassment. (Dramatic? Yes. But that was the feeling!)

These days, I accept that some people might not like my voice, or my vibe, and THAT'S OKAY. I'm not for everyone. No one is for everyone. But I'll sing my heart out for the people who enjoy it. And even if that's only ME… that's enough.

WHY AM I TELLING YOU THIS?

I share this story with you because maybe you like to sing, but are afraid to sing in front of others. Or maybe you want to try something but you’re afraid you won’t be good at it.

Whatever it is… I hope my story will inspire you! If I can overcome that fear… I bet you can too.

Here’s what I’d tell my past self, and what I’d tell that 18 year old daughter:

-You don’t have to be the best - you just have to be yourself.

-Don’t worry about what others will think. Some people will think you’re great, some people won’t. (I know this is easier said than done… but that's where affirmations can help)

-Give yourself lots of love throughout the process. Speak only kind words to yourself. 

-Believe in yourself - you are capable of anything you want to do!

-Be patient with yourself, and enjoy the process.

Now that I can sing on stage, I feel more:

Empowered

Free

Confident 

Cool! 

Being comfortable on stage has opened up many opportunities for me. I perform jazz with my husband. I started my own band. I got invited to join another local band to do backing vocals. These opportunities give me a lot of FUN, MONEY and FULFILLMENT.

If you want to be able to sing in front of others or overcome your fear, know that IT IS POSSIBLE, and that I’m rooting for you!

Until next week,

Lindsay

p.s. if you need a pep talk from me, go listen to "You Are Amazing"! Click here to listen on YouTube.

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