At the beginning of the year I set out on a mission this year to be one thing – ‘unrecognisable’. Why? Because when we do all of the same things, the same way, at predictable times, we get the same results. We become predictable. Recognisable.
I don’t want the same things I have always had. I don’t want to be the person I have always been. I want more. And I want to be more. And to renew, we have to do and be things we have never done and been before!
Last month, I ran my first 10K (running for the train used to exhaust me), and this month, I got out of the gates early and did another unrecognisable thing.
Last Friday, I did something that I have had a deep passion about doing since I was a child, and yet that passion lay dormant within me for decades. I used to tell people that I wanted to do it, and I even asked some people for help, but I suspect they didn’t recognise this as something that I would do.
The fact is, I didn’t take action. Not committed action anyway. The kind that you see through all the way to the goal! Honestly, I was being passive – waiting for an opportunity to fall in my lap.
Fortunately, I have a friend that clearly has been listening. And she decided to throw an opportunity my way, so it was my duty to say YES! Was I scared? YES! Did I think about changing my mind after I’d said ‘yes’? YES! Did I do it anyway? YES! So I said YES! to going to a singing workshop. This was a big deal for me – most of the other people who were going are already in choirs. They know about being sopranos, altos and bases. They know where to sit. Many of them can read music.
So when I got the welcome email with the words on sheet music, I panicked. “Oh my goodness, please tell me I don’t have to read music to take part.” “I don’t even know this song.” “How am I going to do this?” Panic. Panic. Panic. And breathe.
The voice in my head was killing me! It was trying to keep me safe. Recognisable.
So instead, “Susie – just turn up, trust that it will be fine, and ENJOY YOURSELF!” Needless to say, I had the time of my life! I sang my heart out, risked getting it wrong, risked being off key, and I felt FREEEEEE! (See how nervous I looked at the beginning?! I’m in the pink towards the right…)
On reflection, the common themes seemed to be these – you might want to bear these in mind when your ego tries to keep you safely locked away and separated from the things that will light you up!
Stop playing small
Stop trying to be accurate rather than passionate. I kept remembering that story of Oprah Winfrey dancing on stage with Tina Turner – she could either get the steps right or she could go all in and have a great time!!
I went all in. I risked not hitting the notes. And in turn I managed to hit the notes (most of the time). Afterwards, I was elated. Proud. Excited. Ready to take on the next dream I had been sitting on all these years.
I know for sure that if I had just tried for perfectionism, or accuracy, I would not have had a great time. I would not want to do it again. I would have been underwhelmed. I would have given myself the perfect evidence to not bother next time. To defer. Again!
Where in your life are you playing it safe? Where are you aiming to get it right rather than experiencing maximum enjoyment?
Here’s a stretch for you today. Aim to get 10 for creative expression and lower than the norm for accuracy or content. Too many of us sacrifice joy for pleasing other people and attaining perceived standards. Enjoy yourself!!!
Don’t let comparison kill your dreams
“Everyone else seems to know what they are doing.”
I doubted myself based on the perceived standard around me. If I compared myself to no-one I would have believed that I can sing in the shower, so why can’t I sing in a choir?! (I honestly didn’t mean to make that rhyme!). And do you know what? In my experience, I am never the worst singer. My bum is never the biggest one on the beach. I am never last in any race. So why do I terrorise my thoughts with this comparison rubbish?!
So don’t you do it either. You are good enough.
But know this – the first time you do anything it’s going to be shaky. And then you can put it in the ‘done’ column and not have to worry about it ever again! Take the pressure off the first time you do anything. It will never be perfect. But it is the perfect time to let yourself go – see the above!
And if this experience appeals to you, I highly recommend you join Pippa Gearing and the Singing Holidays team for your own experience of getting a 10 for creative expression!
Here’s to you going ALL IN!
P.S. If you are fed up of playing small, and want to do something about it. Contact me here to see where I can help you.
P.P.S. We’ve all got things in our head that we would LOVE to do if we only had the courage. Let me give you some today and enable you to be exhilarated too!