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.

About the author 


  • Does everyone have a voice that can sing solo, if they get training? I sing in a choir and feel I contribute just as much as the soloists do. I can harmonize, singing in the altos section. I hear myself being right in there, but I would never consider singing alone. I learn the notes and words quickly. These are my talents right now. I succeed in some areas, but not all.

  • A woman described her family’s experience living in China in a closed community of non Chinese. Her favorite thing was to go into the park and hear and watch people do their favorite thing–whatever they had a passion for. Whether they were really good or really bad, everyone clapped and cheered for them because they were celebrating life by exercising their talents and growing through the experience. We need more of that in the world, and we need to do more of that for ourselves. Sing in the shower and tell yourself how great you sound! Recreate that sound for others and have fun in the process. Learn, change, grow, live and love it. Life is short. We take our talents, not our possessions with us when we leave.

  • I am a 53-year old man, born and brought up and living in a poor Third World country.
    I am an extremely inconsequential and extremely ordinary person, somehow earning my livelihood by teaching in an Under-Graduate college.
    After going through your last three articles, I am almost in tears.
    I can see a vivid reflection of my own life in your articles!
    Your articles teach me some invaluable lessons, they show me how to move towards a new horizon, leaving behind all those anguishes and miseries of the past.
    I can’t express in words how grateful I am to you, for giving me an opportunity to read your articles, which gently and silently lights up a lamp in the darkness!

  • I have been singing all of my life. When I was about 9 or 10, I entered a ‘contest’ at the local ‘Boy’s Club.’ The man in charge kept holding his hand over my head and this other boy’s head over and over and couldn’t decide who was the ‘Winner.’ Finally, out of shear frustration, he gave it to the “Boy.” I never got up and sang again! When I got older I entered another contest in New York City, and the same thing happened with a guy who had tried out. But just like in the movie, with John Trivolta, he came over to me and “ADMITTED” that I was the “True Winner” and the only reason he won was because he had so many ‘Friends and Relatives’ in the ‘Audience.’…..That was so nice of him, and I “Thanked him wity my Heart.” (smile)

  • Dear Nancy, I don’t believe there is any such thing as, “Being Tone Deaf!” Find a Piano, or buy a small one and just keep playing notes on the piano and singing all the vowal sounds like, a, e, i , o, u. Until you train your ear to hear the notes properly. Then go get some ‘Professional Vocal Lessons.’ Good Luck.

  • Thanks for the great article. Its just what i need at the moment. I got singing lessons in my 20’s and was told i could do great things with my voice. But i was trapped as your article says doing the same things over and over. Parental and other programming tells me i cant move out of what i know. As a result i have a lot of mistakes programmed in now, but Pers course is very liberating and i feel very motivated))
    Also i have found if your around the wrong kinds of people, the more talent you have the more angry and negative they are.

  • my first experience was singing in the highs school choir in Sigmond Rhomburgs Blue Moon opera, singing stout hearted men. I took a few voice lessons, and wanted to sing like Perry Como. I joined the Air Force just before the Korean war started and later got married and had a family to support. after about fifteen years , I got up enough courage to join the church choir. I liked it so much , I got up enough courage to sing solo’s. on one occasion I forgot the words on the last verse. I asked the audience if they would sing the last verse, and they did , ,and then I joined in with them. on another occasion, I just started over. I don’t read music ,so I went to a tech. college that had a course in sight reading. I got sidetracked for some time in my own business. I read an article about this lady giving voice lessons that had sung with Frank Sinatra. I took a couple of lessons from her, and then my wife passed away. I didn’t do anything for a while ,but remembered you need to practice every day if you want to get better. I had only done gospel music, but I decided I wanted to do all the big band music. I went to the library and checked out the song books , and my sight reading kicked in to my surprise and I have learned many songs. my roller skating friends asked me to sing at their party, and then I learned they were doing karaoke at the V.A. home, so I started singing there. I have been singing with the Senior Center Choir also .I just turned 83 yr. old and have had congestive heart failure, so singing has improved my breathing and I am beginning to hold notes longer and my voice is much stronger and I am working on my range. I sing every day now. thanks for the lessons. WILL

  • Thank you Per, I was encouraged very much by your councils, it helps me not to recede with aspiration to perfection of singing.

  • I’ve always done the same thing again and again. But, I always look for new opportunities
    . Like i have been looking for contests/competitions to compete in I considered The X factor but, I don’t know!!!!???? The thought terrifies me and excites me at the same time!!!!!!!! I have a little stage fright!!!!! I can’t sing alone without my knees shaking and excites singing very low!!!! Trust me I’ve tried!!!! I found your article fasinating and inspiring!!!!!! Of all the free emails, tips, videos, etc. none of them have inspired me like you have!!!!!!:-) Keep writing articles!!!!!! Your helping lots of people!!!!!!!! Keep it up!!!!!!!! 🙂 Oh!!! I almost forgot to ask you know,of any contests/competitions I can compete in, July for 12 year olds and has to be either one or some/all of the genres of music in the competition Country, pop or, Classical!!!!!!!??????? It up can be a cover contest!!!! Thanks!!!!!

  • I was told as a child I could not draw so I gave up on art. I am in my mid sixties now and I still don’t draw very well but I sure can paint and create artwork. My adult children love my work and even hang it on their walls and I have even sold one of my watercolours. That teacher was right but also so wrong. Practice and workshops with a successful artist who is also a great teacher (almost as much fun as Per to work with) sorted out my shortcomings and released the creative power within. Same story with singing. Some well meaning adult told me I couldn’t sing or hold a tune when I was a child so whenever I had to sing at an event it was always very softly so no one could hear or I sang to myself when alone. Last Christmas I found myself helping the pastor’s wife (who can sing) with producing the children’s end of year concert. Told her singing was not my strong point (she either didn’t believe me or even care). Just as well. When I stopped thinking about myself and how I sounded and concentrated to helping the kids sing successfully I found my own voice. There are plenty of people out there who will happily tell you what you can’t do. Don’t listen to them unless they are the police. I am only 2 months into the SWF program (private lessons far too expensive) and already I have noticed a huge improvement in volume, pitch and range. Not only does Per offer great value in his lessons but from the other comments I have read he is enriching the lives of so many people he could never reach without using the internet. If you really want to do something get out there and find someone who can teach you what to need to know to achieve your goal.

  • Life IS too short to live in the past, because today will be gone. A true artist does NOT entertain other peoples opinions, they do what they do, because that’s who they are! I live in Bakersfield, you know, Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, etc… so you just might see me on a street corner singing with my husband, Willie, so bring your nickels and tap your feet lol!♥

  • My bad experiences about singing come from different deceptions. First, it is really hard to find people to play with, to built a real band so it always make me feel like I’m not good enough as a singer. But the biggest failure I had was this contest ‘the voice’. I was not thinking of winning this, but I was looking forward a good experience. I was thinking I could just be proud of me. But it was horrible. I was so nervous in front of the judges that my voice was shaking and they didn’t let me finish the song. I was humiliated. But after 2 days of crying and telling myself I had no talent and should stop, I decided to work more. Finally, this bad moment hurts my ego but gave me the motivation to work harder. Now, I just hope to find the musicians for create and play with a good chemistry and connection. And you know what? My biggest concern lately was ‘ How the hell could I stop thinking when I sing? How could I make it completely natural?’…Well, I guess I will find it here. 🙂

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