Let’s pretend that I just called you on the phone and gushed (practically screaming like a 15- year-old who just won tickets to a Justin Beiber concert) Ok and go…”So, I went to the studio last night and it felt SO good! I recorded this song and it came out really well!!!” (pause for response) How exactly would you respond to that? You would likely say, “Oh that’s great to hear!” or “I would like to check it out soon.” Or, “Cool, can I borrow 20 bucks?” Whatever your response, your inner monologue would likely be saying: “Why does she sound so surprised that it came out well…she has been singing forever!” Or “Isn’t going to the studio part of her duty as a singer?” (Something along those lines) The funny part is that your inner monologue would be very right. Why are we surprised when things go well? Shouldn’t we expect the best? Shouldn’t we trust our gift/talent (whatever it may be)? Well, to be honest with you I hadn’t been in the studio in so long I was unsure of what to believe! My thoughts were more like: “Do I still have it?”, “Is my voice going to hold up?” and so on and so forth! Looking back, the issue was not about whether I was good enough…it was about am I practiced enough. It was not about my level of experience because I have certainly recorded several times before but I lacked confidence because I did not record consistently.
“Repetition is the mother of learning, the father of action, which makes it the architect of accomplishment.” (Zig Ziglar)
Had I been consistent and repetitive in my action (in this case recording) then I would have had confidence and I would have had a more declarative statement about my song; “Man, I am so proud of this song! I gave it my all!” instead of “Oh my gosh it sounds pretty cool. Wow!” There is a difference. It’s funny because I used to think that I was just being humble when I spoke that way but I now see that I truly was surprised when I had a great live performance or recording session because I didn’t make performing and recording a habit.
When do we give ourselves permission to walk in full confidence? When do we expect the BEST from ourselves?
Answer: When we choose to take consistent repetitive action to perfect our craft…until it becomes natural. This builds confidence. When we are confident then we can move forward with a high level of expectation from ourselves. We then expect a lot because we know that we can execute! What a beautiful feeling! To be confident in yourself because you did the work…you earned your confidence. A few years ago I spoke with a former bass player for Prince (oh Prince I love and miss you so!) and he told me that their band rehearsals would last for 12 hours sometimes. That made me think…I don’t think I can even sleep for 12 hours! It also made me think that it takes effort and focused energy to achieve greatness! Its not something that happens overnight but it certainly won’t happen if you just practice once a month or even twice a week. Prince has always been magical to me, but then again we all have magic within that is revealed through consistency and repetition.
According to experts it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert in any field (for many people that would take about 20 years to achieve if you practiced 2 hours a day five days a week). That may seem like a lot but maybe your goal is not to become an expert. Maybe your goal is to become good enough to make a positive difference in the world. To be a change maker and if that is your goal then you must have confidence. I will share with you something deep and very dear to my heart right now (deep sign): As much as I would love to…and believe me I have battled with it…like so much…like ridiculously so but I have decided that I do not have to be Beyonce. (#IAmNotBeyonceAndIAmOkWithIt) Meaning, I don’t have to have the perfect dance moves, have the flawless face all the time and the perfect clothes. I don’t have to play guitar riffs like Prince or play every instrument like him either to do what I am here on Earth to do but I do need to sing, write, act and so forth to the best of MY ability! I have to be me…the best of me…all of me and be confident in it! That is my job. Do what I do with everything I’ve got! I definitely have put in my 10,000 hours in that department (ahh maybe like 9,500 or so- had some really awkward teen years) the remaining hours will be spent going hard. Getting in the studio consistently, doing live performances consistently, being the fullness of Audra. Because maybe instead of mastering heart surgery my calling is to master Audra and in doing so ensuring that what Audra does is done with excellence! (Pardon the third person but sometimes it just feels right!- lol)
- Remember: Self-mastery takes work!
- Remember: Confidence is born out of proper and consistent practice.
- Develop a routine for mastering your craft. (Include areas for improvement and # of hours for rehearsal.)
- Get on stage (or wherever you do your thing) so much that it feels natural…like you were born there.