Do it because you are scared
Updated: Nov 19
Over the last 6 years I’ve been learning to play acoustic guitar for the sheer pleasure of singing and playing. I imagined a campfire the perfect place to play, everyone singing along while the flames flickered. Recently, I did something I never expected nor intended to do. I played and sang in front of an audience of people I did not know, with an accompaniment of musicians far above my skill level while they played electric instruments.(the photo above is me at the end of the performance)
Aside from karaoke, I had never sung before into a microphone nor played for an audience, let alone an audience of more than 6 people, (who love me and probably listen for that reason), nor have I ever done all of this while my guitar was amplified!
This was a series of firsts and for a good cause. I performed at a memorial service, for a friend and his loved ones. Oh, did I mention, it was a song that my husband and I wrote?
I felt incredibly vulnerable and, kind of foolish. I mean, who did I think I was? I have never been congratulated for having a good or a strong singing voice and my guitar skills are novice. You might be thinking, why in the world would you put yourself through this?
Trust me, I thought the same many times and considered backing out. I decided that at best and worst this performance would offer some personal growth and could push me in ways I could not grow, playing music alone. And I really wanted to share what I was unable to with my friend who passed (due to lack of courage). I pushed myself to do something very uncomfortable and to give it my absolute best shot.
Sound familiar? Maybe you have done this or maybe you have been watched the Olympics and experienced supreme athletes doing this on a world stage.
As my music teacher tutored, “No expectations. You are there to provide an experience for others and that is all. Whatever happens, happens.”
I didn’t find that entirely reassuring, yet it was better than with what many Olympic athletes go into an event above their heads… “She is the best in the world and is expected to win gold!".
So, yeah, it wasn’t; like that.
The day came and went. It went as well as I could have hoped. I only messed up a couple times, yet I didn’t freak myself out and I was able get through it all, without the audience noticing.
Here is what I realized: Whenever we take chances, muster the deepest courage, try our hardest and are vulnerable, that even if we do this, we still might fall short, mess up, fail or lose…. It is still inspiring to those watching…and to ourselves!
I feel a personal lift that I didn’t expect. My spirit feels higher, and my heart is singing. I am so thrilled that I do not have to add this to my list of “Things I wished I had done but didn’t.” I can add it to a much shorter list, “Things I have done, was terrified to do, did anyway and survived.”
When we do things like this, we lift ourselves to new heights, a sort of personal best and we lift others around us, even those watching on a TV thousands of miles away. When we go all out, it gives others permission to do the same.
Have a beautiful week my friends!
The Bee Keeper