We are often confronted with new experiences. Our first day of school, a new workplace or perhaps just making a new friend can sometimes bring about anxiety. I recognised this in myself the other day when I turned up for rehearsal in a new city, meeting new people, singing new repertoire. Hoping people would like what I brought was a large looming thought. Would it sound ok, will they like me? We have all had these times. The insecurity it brings is huge. So what can we do?
For one, we can breathe and know this is where we are meant to be. Often the fear we feel, is based on a perception rather than what is actually present. I see this in my classes with people. Learning a foreign language is not easy and if people on top of that have anxiety this doesn't help. We need to turn the randomly flying butterflies in our stomachs into a formation that helps give us energy and strength.
New things are inevitable and we can help ourselves by learning how to deal with the newness of an experience. Of course, the rehearsal for me wasn't a new thing but I hadn't done it for awhile so it felt new. The feeling was like an old friend coming to say hello again. This is why I wanted to share this with you in this blog post. It showed me where I was now.
As a speaker and Trainer I have no problem getting up in front of people. I love the opportunity as I can give something to someone and provide value in their lives. This for the last few years has been new for me. New clients, developments and other things. So what was different about singing? That is also my voice right?
In the end, there is no solution or deeper insight into my feelings from the rehearsal and the next day felt great. The music came together, my voice worked well and I felt elated at the end of the Mass. It was my first sung Latin Mass. Perhaps the nervousness the night before allowed my body to remain vigilant. To prepare and take it seriously. To out my best foot forward and to allow my development, skills and talents to shine. It certainly felt like it. Rather than be laissez faire about it, I gave it gravitas and respect.
So respect the new things that come your way. Aim to manage the butterflies and help them fly in formation. Trust that the signs you are being given can have a positive impact.
David Corcoran is a Personal Development Trainer who specialises in Voice and a professional Opera Singer. This Blog contains his regular musings, thoughts and ideas. He is based in Vienna, Austria.