A mindset for distinction

Today I learned that I had earned a distinction in a singing exam that I took earlier this month. But it almost never happened.

Mindset fail: I spent too long believing that I couldn’t sing.

After failing to get into my school choir I spent most of my life believing that I couldn’t sing. A few years ago I took a few vocal coaching lessons with my daughter’s singing teacher to help strengthen my voice as I was doing more professional speaking.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that I could sing better than I thought and I went on to get a merit for my grade 3 Musical Theatre just before lockdown.

With lessons and exams cancelled through lockdowns etc it has taken a while to get around to my grade 4. My exam was in the morning (I’m not a morning person) but I didn’t want to postpone any longer. My daughter also needed to get her grade 7 out of the way so that she can squeeze in her grade 8 and diploma before she heads off to university.

The first two songs sent okay although I could hear that my voice was a bit husky due to hay fever but I carried on as best I could.

Mindset fail: I let one small problem take over my mind

Then we came to the third and final song which I usually sang a whole tone lower than the official score. It’s easy to turn a knob to transpose on an electronic piano but this was a new venue and there was only a grand piano! I had a panicked talk with my accompanist and asked what key I should sing in. There was no choice but to go for the original key. I knew I could only just make the top notes which is why we’d chosen to sing it lower so that I could belt them out with confidence.

I was so fearful that, part way in, I had a complete mind blank and forgot the words! It’s not like when I speak on stage where nobody knows if I’ve diverged from my script; the examiner had the lyrics and score in front of him. I carried on singing some made up words and may have got away with it but then I couldn’t even do that so I had to stop to ask my accompanist for a prompt. I knew I’d blown it and I wanted to leave the room so I could have a comforting cry.

I was cross with myself for letting my terrified thoughts force me into such a simple mistake. But at least I had nothing to lose so I carried on.

Mindset success: I stopped being scared

Just before the belt with the terrifying high notes I remembered my teacher’s instruction to ‘relax’ and her tips on using less breath.

I didn’t just hit the notes, dear reader, I hit them well!

Overall I lost a few marks for the memory lapse but I handled it professionally and didn’t allow it to affect the rest of the performance.

But how many times do we fail just because we’re too scared to try?

Making a come back

It’s been a busy conference season and, for a professional speaker like me, that means staying in hotels where I eat far too much and don’t manage to do any exercise. And now I need to step up the training again and get back into good habits. The same can apply to stepping up your business as we settle into the next phase of the pandemic.

Mindset – moving from day to day thinking to looking forwards and investing in the future.
Goals – set some goals, even if they’re just steps along the way to a bigger goal.
Plan – get a plan in place to move you forwards towards your goals.
Action – make sure you actually follow through. JDI

If you’re okay for now then let me know your success stories. If you want a hand with how to move forwards or if you need some accountability along the way then call us about an individual or group session.