by Chris Glyde
So you’ve been singing for some time now, even getting training, but you feel frustrated. Maybe you’ve had several vocal coaches but aren’t experiencing the results you want. Maybe you’re starting to doubt your ability to become a great singer.
The first thing to realize is that this territory you’ve entered, and your feelings, reflect a bit of a crossroads. This is when your commitment to voice is starting to wane, and you must decide exactly what you’re going to do about it. Will you accept things as they are, or will you choose to continue forward monitoring yourself and your mindset?
Your thoughts are crucial at this moment. They’re shining your beliefs, changing them, creating references for possible new beliefs. You must monitor them carefully. These beliefs can make it harder to practice, harder to continue forward. Overall, they bring you closer to quitting.
Motivational articles are great, but I think they inspire people for all of 5 minutes. What I would much rather do is help you to determine what needs to happen to change your mindset towards the voice.
Step 1: Brain dump — when I am frustrated with anything, voice included, the first thing I do is brain dump. I get a piece of paper or open a document and I literally dump out every thought in my head onto that sheet or document. I need all these thoughts out of my head so I can focus on them.
Step 2: Narrow in on negative beliefs/ limiting beliefs - Once I’ve gone and written all these beliefs on a piece of paper, I’ll narrow down on all the negative beliefs or self-limiting beliefs. I then challenge these beliefs. I ask myself why I believe this, what evidence I have to support it and whether or not that evidence is currently valid. Oftentimes my statements are as follows:
I can’t have both a great singing voice and free time.
What’s my evidence for this? My voice practice uses up my free time, so I can’t have both. Is it using up all your free time? No. How much free time do you want? Is there a way to get said free time without sacrificing your vocal practice? Is there a compromise that can be made that will make you feel better? How can you get both?
The idea of “I can’t have a great singing voice and my free time simultaneously” is simply saying that “I haven’t yet figured out how to do both yet”. Not all negative beliefs are valid. Let’s look at a belief that might be in your mind presently:
I just don’t sing well, I’ve spent years training. Maybe I just don’t have what it takes.
The problem with this type of belief is the presupposition hidden within it. You’re making a statement that, because you can’t sing well, it’s your fault. Maybe it is, or may it isn’t. How many vocal coaches have you seen, how many people can you learn from, and who could help you? I guarantee you right now that the right vocal method works. If you do what the teacher tells you, you will learn to sing. It might take you more time than you thought, but if you put in the effort, you will succeed.
If you don’t succeed and you put in the effort (doing 100% of what they say), maybe it’s the method or maybe you’re missing something critical and haven’t realized it yet.
The point is your beliefs are sometimes wrong, built with presuppositions that deserve to be challenged, especially if you love to sing. Brain dump, analyze, and then destroy. You’ll feel a lot better.
About the Author:
Chris Glyde spends about as much time trying to understand the beliefs and thoughts in his head as he practices and trains. At his core, he believes it to be vital to success in any endeavor.
“Battles are first won or lost in the mind” - Joan of arc
If you’re looking for more help with voice, check out Rochester Voice Lessons