What people have told you about your voice can have great consequences. Ideas can become beliefs, and these beliefs can either lift you up or put you down.
We’ve all at some point in our lives come across negative remarks. As adults, we may find it easier to brush them of and come back to our own truth. But anything we’ve heard as children, seems to stick for a long time. I’ve come across crazy stories many times as a music teacher. I call them stories because they’re not real (even if we think they are) and crazy because they’re often quite far out and tell us more about the sender than the receiver.
I’ll give you an example from my own life. In my early twenties, I moved to Reykjavik to explore my Icelandic roots, and found a school dedicated to singing. I was so excited to have my first lesson! So I entered the room to meet my singing teacher and accompanist, also quite nervous about this whole new situation. Being an introvert, I need time to find my feet in new experiences. The teacher was being very strict with me and after the third singing lesson I actually came out of the room crying (not the only one, as it turned out!).
I had a talk with the principal of the school and ended up getting a dream teacher who I had great chemistry with and learned so much from.
My point is that there will always be people out there who express their point of view, but you always need to check in with yourself and ask “is this really true?”
Let’s get a bit more practical. What do you do if you have a wish to sing, but you really think you can’t sing? This is where the tidy up comes into the picture!
Here are a few simple steps that can help you sing more confidently:
Discover what’s stopping you.
What limiting beliefs are you holding on to? If your initial thought is “I don’t know”, then just ask the question: “What limiting beliefs about my voice am I holding on to?”
You will get answers!
Maybe you need to start writing down your thoughts, or maybe just become aware of them.
Clear your memory.
You don’t need to forget what has happened, but you need to forgive. Forgive yourself for accepting someone else’s limiting belief as your own, forgive another person for saying it.
You can use the 4-phrase Hawaiian forgiveness mantra:
1) I love you
2) I’m sorry
3) Please forgive me
4) Thank you
It’s so simple and all-round. It works!
Create positive affirmations.
Now that you know what’s stopping you, it’s time to get creative and make an antidote. If your limiting belief is “my voice sounds like a crow”, you need to create a positive affirmation saying “my voice is pleasant”.
Keep repeating your positive affirmation anytime the limiting belief comes sneaking up on you!
You can find more positive voice affirmations in my blog Affirmations for Singing.
Part of the healing process is to actually use your voice. Take action. Sing.
Sing in the car or in the shower, sing in the kitchen, sing in nature. Use your voice in a way that feels nourishing to you. Be kind to yourself, and allow yourself to use the amazing gift that your voice is. Your way.
When you think you can’t sing, think again.
Children who haven’t been judged, sing all the time.
So can you.
Need more inspiration? My eBook You Can Sing gives you easy-to-understand theory about your voice and practical steps that will help you overcome the four most common limiting beliefs when it comes to singing.
I’m Nína O’Farrell
Singing and empowerment are my greatest passions.