I have a decent singing voice as well, but limited confidence (in that area) and no one encouraged the habit in my youth. As a matter of fact, I was a member of choruses and choirs by choice and loved singing anywhere I could. I once had a disagreement with the monk leading my college choir (parochial school, explains so much) and I ended up quitting the choir. The issue that drove us apart was not my voice. It was my “lack of overly dramatic mouth movements” that really bothered him because I was front and center and leading the alto section. That was the last time I participated in organizing singing. No, this is not my announcement that I am seeking the golden ticket to Hollywood via American Idol. But even that horrible college choir experience could not dampen my pure enjoyment of singing, and listening to music.
My kids love singing as well and today we embarked on a discussion of “why I didn’t believe in myself to be a singer” when I tell them “you can do anything if you really want to, and if you work hard and believe in yourself.” I had no answers that a 4 year old (or 40 yr old) can understand because it is so inconsistent with how I am trying to raise them. Confident, brave, hopeful. I exude these qualities now (along with humility, clearly), but as a child I felt like a misfit and incapable/less than sure of my worth. I have heard theories that would lead me down the path of “blame your parents” blah blah, but they did the best they could with what they had, and I am grateful that I always had a safe home, plenty of food/clothes/toys etc. Regardless of how I got here, here is where I find myself. It is true that we believe what we tell ourselves. So how come some people tell themselves failure is not an option and some of us tell ourselves we can never do what our heart calls us to do? Seriously, did I pick the wrong straw? Because I find myself on the wrong side of that equation. Either way, our actions follow our internal directives. I am grappling with the idea of teaching my old dog/brain a new trick, but I am savvy enough to know that my brain knows I am trying to trick it. Show of hands if you’re with me?
Side stepping the analysis-paralysis I find myself in with respect to this, maybe the solution to my problem is – no, not ice cream. But thank you for reading my Sunday Nights post. Perhaps this time the solution is to nix perseverating on the “why I can’t” and start the “why I can” monologue. The first proof I can offer myself is that I sing easily and often in front of my wife, children, family and friends with no fear. So, whether I believe I can or can not do it, I have already done it.
Well now it’s time for a celebration. Bring on the ice cream!