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Be Bold & Get out of Your Head

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Be Bold & Get out of Your Head

I’ve been reading a lot of Brene Brown recently.  If you aren’t familiar with her books, they are fantastic.  She is a researcher in the field of psychology.  Most of her research deals with shame and vulnerability.  Two very debilitating feelings.  My two favorite books of hers are “Daring Greatly” and “Gifts of Imperfection.”

The reason I think these two are so important to singing is right in their titles.  It takes both daring and vulnerability to sing.  Along with that, the voice is not a perfect instrument.  Sometimes there are cracks or turbulence or wrong notes or notes that just don’t come out because you run of of breath.  Brown’s book, Daring greatly, suggests that most of what holds us back from being bold is the fear of being shamed.  You know that deep feeling of embarrassment that hits your stomach when we feel you are being judged.   If you think about sound starting with your breath and if you’ve had me as your teacher, I tell teach you to breathe from your belly.  The pit of your stomach.  That space feels debilitated when we feel judged or scared of what others will think.  Singing is literally pulling sound from the very place that the judgement hits: your core, your stomach. What a crazy connection!!!  The beautiful thing is that singing frees that space.  It almost releases it….if you let it.  According to traditional Chinese medicine and ancient Greek medicine, the organ that holds fear is the kidneys.  Where are the kidneys located?  Well they are just above your belly button on the right and left of the body.  Makes sense right?

When you are singing at home or in the shower do you feel judged?  Hopefully not.  But if you do, it would be worth looking at how much you judge yourself and don’t allow yourself to be imperfect.  If you don’t feel judged when you are by yourself, then it is only when others are listening.  That is tough, because when you are singing, you are usually the object of attention.  You are in the spotlight for being judged (if there is one).  That’s a very vulnerable position for anyone, but especially when your body is your instrument.  Most of us have insecurities about our body and voice.  Singing showcases the voice and body so intimately, the insecurities are showcased along with the voice and body.

So how do we fix that?  Well like most things in life, this probably isn’t an isolated feeling.  Singing just magnifies what you are already feeling inside because it brings it up and out.  And because your voice (speaking or singing) is a huge tool for communication, it involves being okay with being vulnerable and imperfect.  So basically giving yourself grace.  Once you are okay with it, there isn’t so much dread, the fear of being judged isn’t so strong and you can think about other things.  You might be thinking, well I want to be a better singer not, just be okay with being bad.  I get that, but being okay with imperfection, you automatically are a better singer.  I promise you!  Once you get out of your head and stop micro analyzing your voice as it happens, all the sudden you give yourself permission to be in the moment.  If you are in the moment, even if NOTHING else changes, you are automatically better.  When I’m in the audience, I want to sit back and listen and enjoy.  If the singer is nervous or visibly beats them self up for something during the performance, I am can not so easily sit back and enjoy.  I am then nervous for the singer and waiting for something else bad to happen because they are.  However, this is the kicker.  If someone is really into and is expressing their own voice, it doesn’t matter how perfect it is.  It is automatically enjoyable because they are enjoying it and expressing their own passion for singing.  And when you enjoy it and let go of fear, you let go of tension.  Tension is a voice killer! Going to back to technique.  Less tension=better voice. Voila!   And if you have less tension, you will probably enjoy singing more.  It’s not the singing that people dread when it comes to performing, it’s all the other crap.  That crap is from fear.  The crap is unexpected tension and loss of breath.  If you can let go of the fear by realizing what you’re really afraid of, which is probably being judged or judging yourself, performing won’t seem so bad.  It will just be practicing letting go of crap.

Bottom Line: If you are singing for anyone, even your teacher, I hope you feel some pride in that.  I hope you feel some ownership of your own bravery.

Links to Brene Brown:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Bren%C3%A9-Brown/e/B001JP45BA
Facebeook: https://www.facebook.com/brenebrown

 

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