A few months back my friend Christine asked if I wanted to join her and a jazz guitarist and sing in a jazz trio. At first, I said no, since in no way do I consider myself a jazz singer. But then, she urged me to try it. Any singing is fun for me and this was an opportunity to learn a new form. So I gathered my courage and stepped into a new space.
Since then we’ve played several events with songs from The Great American Songbook and a smattering of boogies, bossas, and Beatles; we’ve created a memory enhancement program for elders, and have half-a-dozen paid gigs on our calendar. Here we are, the About Time Trio, on Facebook. So if you ever want music at your event…All from stepping out and saying yes.
Is there something you want to step out and say yes to? Maybe it’s something you’re feeling a bit shy about your ability to do well. This could be an opportunity to learn and improve your skills. Imagine overcoming your fear and moving towards something you love and how that might affect your energy, the fun factor in your life, and how you feel about yourself.
Here are some suggestions for tackling fear when it tries to stop you from stretching beyond your familiar comfort zone:
1) Chunk it down into bite sized pieces—Sometimes we are so busy being stumped, as in my case by whether or not I can sing like Ella, when the place to start is one step from where we are, for instance, learning the songs, listening to a variety of jazz singers and finding my own style.
2) Replace your assumptions with facts—Do your research and know that there are many ways to accomplish something. Negative assumptions keep you safely where you are—no challenge to your fear, and no growth or fun.
3) Don’t go it alone—We need support from friends, family and professionals to move into unknown territory. Share your plan to stretch with believing mirrors: people who are also stretching. Be careful not to share it with those who would rather stay in their own fear-based comfort zone; they like to have company. The support from others can move us from “I can’t” to “I’m going to go for it!” Just like my friend Christine did with me.
Dreams and possibilities become a reality when we find the courage to challenge our fears, chunk it down into bite size steps, stick to the facts, and get support on our journey. It’s so much more fun that way!
If you’d like a room full of believing mirrors, join the Coaching Group, now forming, that starts the end of April. There are a limited number of spots available, so sign up now and become a part of this valuable and supportive group.