Whatever age you're at, whatever you think of your singing/speaking ability, wherever you are in your life and career, I’m sure you can relate to what she shares and her situation.
My Live Event is much about how we can release fears and restrictions that hold us back, and “perform” and succeed at higher levels in life. At this specific event, I offered some people to get up on stage and take the mic.
I especially encouraged those who would normally shy away from doing so. There was little preparation as far as what to say, but the task was to give permission and go with the flow and implement what we had learned throughout the day.
We had seasoned professional singers as well as non-singers in the audience, and everyone was equally moved by this. If you don't feel comfortable speaking or singing in front of an audience, I would like you to realize that you can have a tremendous impact. And it helps you, as well as those around you, when you become more comfortable releasing your voice and sharing who you are in song and speech.
Take look at the video below and see what happens. Relate to her story, as well as to this challenge of sharing your story from the stage. Notice how she comes alive, and recognize that the standing ovation is a genuine result from her genuine presence.
Yes, she actually became a beautiful and inspiring role model in many ways, which she likely hadn’t expected.
So, how many times do you hide behind a friend? How many times have you decided to not show up at an event just because your friend can’t make it? In what areas of your life have you lived up to exceptions of what you’re supposedly not good at?
How does this video inspire you?
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I started out this series of blog posts about “Exponential Learning and Peak Performance” by using my son’s experience in his first baseball game of the season as an example.
I wrote that the ability to perform at your peak when it matters the most, and to be resourceful when things aren’t going well is a developed skill. I wrote about the predictability of success, and how turning “failures” into successes is something we need to train. (See the previous 4 blog posts here)
I also mentioned that my son (who just turned 12) has become known to be very good at this. Numerous times has he come through when it matters the most. I shared this because it is important to understand that there is a reason for this, and how we can apply it to our lives - whether it is about learning to sing effectively or to live a creative, productive and inspired life in general.
So now that we have ended the baseball season, how about I round it off with another example from my son’s baseball world.
He and his team have had a fantastic season, and now they reached the championship finals – to be played as best of three games. (If you don’t understand baseball, keep reading anyway, because you will get the gist of it anyway)
In game one of the finals, he is the closing pitcher. He comes into the game with two innings left and his team has a comfortable lead 5-1.
But now the nightmare begins…
In my first article, I wrote about the pressure of starting the first game of the season. I wrote about how he managed to turn it around after a troublesome start. (This is part of the training to be resourceful when things aren’t going well.)
But here he is in a situation endlessly more challenging. Because after a lot of great attempts, things are going downhill. His pitches are not the consistent strikes as we have been accustomed to seeing. We are in the last inning and he finds himself in the worst situation ever. The game is suddenly tied 5-5. And worse, after another unintentional walk, the bases are loaded.
Can you imagine the pressure? Can he find strength within and work it out?
We don’t know. Because this time, our coach (who is fabulous), can’t let him be in that situation and decides to replace him. It’s a decision any good coach would make and my son knows it. Yet, naturally, it hurts. How would you feel? Would you feel you have let down your team? Would you feel rejected?
Now as so happens, his teammate in the bottom of the last inning hits a fantastic walk off home run and we win game one.
But now the question is, how will my son be able to bounce back? You see, in game two he is scheduled to be the starting pitcher.
Fast forward to game two and my son is indeed the starting pitcher. He has prepared, and is excited…
...but things don’t go well.
With every miss, he tries to shake it off, tries to refocus. The attempts are admirable, but it’s just not working. It’s not just his fault. Some errors by his teammates make things worse. A strange call by the umpire goes against him. Ever had that experience? Would you start blaming your teammates? Blame the umpire? He doesn’t. Never has. He knows everybody makes mistakes. Yet, one can sense the energy draining from his body with the increasing frustration.
In the third inning, he is replaced and we are down 1-7. Not exactly the fairy tale comeback from the previous game that we would have liked, right? So again, how would you feel? Would you start thinking in the line of “I’ve been doing well all season, and now when it matters the most I fail”?
The team is down 4-8 but fight back to tie it 8-8. They fall behind again 8-12 and then come back once again to tie it 12-12. And then starting the last inning, they are batting first and are down 12-13.
Now here’s the thing, his batting hasn’t worked in the game either. He has struck out twice, which has never happened before. What is wrong? Can you imagine the frustration? You’re playing your worst game of the season when it matters the most. It’s even worse if people have come to believe that you are the one who is supposed to do well in these situations. And yet, unlike John that I wrote about in the previous article, he tries to be a good role model and support his teammates.
So here we are. We are down 12-13, we have a runner on second base and my son is up to bat…
And that’s when it happens…
He swings, and WHACK…
The ball flies above the outfielder and almost goes to the fence. He gets to second base, and the runner ties the game! It’s not only the most important, but probably his best hit ever.
He then steals third base…
His teammate hits a single, my son runs home to take the lead, and the crowd goes wild.
Fast forward to the bottom of the last inning. The other team bats last and still has a chance to score. My son now plays third base. With two outs and a runner on first base, the batter hits a fly ball. It sails beyond third base towards the side fence to go foul. But my son runs like crazy, and right before the ball is about to hit the fence, he makes the catch of the season for the win! They are now champions.
You can imagine the celebration…
So what’s the lesson here? Well, we could write a book about all of them.
Talk about fairy-tale ending. Talk about coming through when it matters the most.
Now, here’s the thing: What do you think my son will remember? The bad start or the unbelievably successful finish?
What if he had “given up”? What if he had started thinking that he wouldn’t hit that ball today, that it was a horrible day, or given up on trying to catch that last ball? Or worse, what if he has started to blame external sources, such as umpires or teammates, which is the common response when things aren’t going well?
The feeling of success naturally becomes even greater because of the prior struggle. And it’s not about victory over the other team really. It’s about victory over yourself.
I wrote before that people tend to give up far too easily. Most of us have bad experiences in life. Most of us fail and lose. Most of us are knocked down, replaced and rejected at some point. Some use this as fuel to become better and find ways to experience success, while others make the determination to give up and never do it again.
What we must remember is that successful people are those who have failed the most.
It is far too common that when things don’t go well we blame outside circumstances whether it is the government, the economy, the music industry, or the umpire.
The bottom line is that no matter how badly things seem to go, there is always an opportunity to learn and grow. There is always an opportunity to be a role model for others. There is always a possibility that something wonderful can come out of struggle.
Even if my son hadn’t made the hit that tied the game, scored the winning run, and caught the winning catch, he could still have felt victorious from having been a presence to support his teammates who all did fantastic things in this game. Even if they lost, we could still have been able to transform it into a terrific learning experience that would fuel future success.
And in closing, I’d like to stress one thing: To be able to be resourceful when things aren’t going well is much more than having a “positive” mindset and “believing”. To learn effectively and exponentially from every experience (including every vocal practice and performance if we relate this to singing) is an advanced developed skill.
How does this resonate with your life? Feel free to share…
To follow up on my previous two articles regarding exponential learning and peak performances and why they are developed skills, I promised to address one issue that we human beings are generally pretty lousy at.
I think when you start recognizing this tendency within yourself, you will set free a huge piece of what is restricting you from living your dreams.
Two emails we received in the last weeks serve as a perfect example.
1)A person who just joined The Singing Zone wrote: “I’ve tried to log in 20 times and it’s not working. I give up. Give me a refund.”
2)A second person who was 64 years old wrote that he had been in the choir in school but had been told to be quiet and had never sung since.
I have full compassion for that frustration when things don’t work out they way we expect them to and the emotional trauma from bad experiences (and as kids we are very susceptible to what people say). Interestingly enough, during the time period the first person tried to log in, hundreds of other members successfully logged in. So why didn’t it work for her? Well, that is of course what my support staff is here to help with, but this person never sought any help.
The second person’s reason for giving up because someone else said something is exceptionally common.
Both of these people gave up. They never turned the “failure” into a success, and, instead, their learning experience was to never do it again.
I’d like to suggest that, in general, we human beings give up far too easily, and therefore have negative (erroneous) learning experiences.
Let’s turn back to the example of my son’s baseball experience (read it here if you haven’t). Should he have given up after having missed a couple of throws? If so, should he have walked away saying “never again”?
That would have been ludicrous. If so, he would have been deprived of the opportunity to experience success. And that is exactly what happens to so many.
Success can never be experienced unless we understand that challenges are prerequisites.
It is BECAUSE we have been made fun of, made fools out of ourselves, been treated badly, had numerous bad experiences, been rejected over and over again, that we develop the fabric that creates success and happiness… but only IF we learn that turning failure into success is a developed skill. It is more than a mindset. It also takes training to develop.
So here’s my question? Do you ever say: “I don’t do that.”? Is there something that you stopped doing because of a bad experience? Most of the time we are not even aware of why we believe what we believe, because we have justified it so well.
One person told us “I don’t order online”, someone else says “I’ve been scammed before”. Others say “I have no talent” before having trained one minute of their lives. Many times the fears and beliefs are not even based on past experiences, but on something they have been told.
So what if we’ve been scammed and cheated? Is that going to stop you from experiencing the good things in life? Is watching a bad movie going to stop me from watching a good one? So what if I’ve you’ve been humiliated. Welcome to the club. Is that going to stop you from experiencing joy and love?
Now having said this, realize that success does NOT come from just doing the same thing over and over. Successful people ADJUST. Trying to log in 20 times the same way without adjusting or asking for help is indeed setting yourself up for failure. My son didn’t just keep throwing, hoping the ball would finally hit it’s target. He is trained to adjust. He adjusts his focus, energy, balance, breathing, mindset, whatever is needed…
Being able to do that better and better is part of what we call learning and that comes from training.
As you know from your own successes, and what anyone of you role models will tell you, there is never ever a straight line to success. We always need to adjust. This is also why it is so crucial that we study the mindset of our role models.
Feel free to share what "bad experience" has held you back and what you are doing about it, or a success story of how you turned failure into success, or something else that comes to mind when you read this.