We’re a few days into the new year, but still early enough for me to wish you a happy new year! I hope the holiday season was a peaceful and joyful time for you, and that you got to spend some time with family and friends. I myself spent some time with my family, and that was nice, but now I have been working since the day before New Year’s. This means I haven’t had much time to myself, something I personally really need to recharge my batteries. So I’m really looking forward to a week off after tonight, where I can rest and do some fun things, such as working on my music.
I was able to work a little bit over Christmas on one of my songs, so that was good. My brother is a percussionist and has been helping me program drums for my song, and we needed to tweak some of the percussion stuff. The song is really starting to come together, but I need to come up with some more vocals, especially background vocals and vocal effects. So it is my plan to work on that next week, before I lay down my final lead vocal.
Getting a good lead vocal has actually been the most challenging part of the production for me, which is perhaps a little strange, since my voice is my main instrument. I find it a bit difficult to connect emotionally in the studio, and really have it come out well on the vocal track. It’s one thing to be on stage and sing, as you feed off of the audience, and can move around more. But in the studio everything is a little more confined, and I’m working on my own, so I find it a little bit harder to get my vocal where I want it to be. I suppose I will need to enlist some help with that too, when the time comes.
One of the reasons why it’s so difficult to get a good performance in the studio, I believe, is because it’s easy to get in your own way. You want so badly to sing well, that you tend to focus too much on that and get worried about sounding perfect. In other words, instead of singing from the heart, you sing from the head, and that never turns out well. When it comes down to it, it really has all to do with the topic of this blog post; fear.
When I say that fear is the killer of dreams, I really mean that literally. I think fear is one of the biggest culprits that get in the way of us accomplishing what we want in our lives, and keeps us from living our best life. Fear, I believe, can wreak havoc in all areas of our lives, from our career, to our health, our love life and more. I don’t think I know a single person who doesn’t have issues in some, if not all of these areas, so it’s something we all need to work on. In my own life, perfectionism, or the fear of not being good enough, has interfered at times with all aspects of making music, from writing and producing music, to singing and promoting and making a living from music.
When I moved to Los Angeles to attend music school back in 2002 (wow, how time flies!), it was my goal to make a living from music. That still hasn’t happened, 18 years later. I am at peace with that, but that doesn’t mean I have given up. Admittedly, I stepped away from the music for a while to pursue other interests, such as yoga, Reiki and sound healing, but I never really thought that I was giving up on the music either. Now looking back, I can see that I needed to explore those other sides of me, and all that has helped me grow so much, which in the end has served my music, too. I’m in a completely different place now, than I was back then, thanks to that, and it has really helped to bring out my authentic voice as an artist, and who I am at soul level.
Looking a little deeper, though, I can see that the reason why I didn’t succeed at making a living from music initially, is that I lacked faith both in myself and life (or God, or the universe, call it what you want). I was afraid I didn’t have what it takes, and wasn’t good enough, and that became a self-fulfilling prophecy, since it held me back from really making it happen. Now, years later, when I’m back in the game again, guess what! I’m still afraid, but what life has taught me, is that fear will always be there, to some degree. The key is just to not let fear rule you. You must become the master of your fear!
How you become a master of your fear, I have found, is to first and foremost, acknowledge your fears. It takes a bit of soul searching, and looking honestly at yourself and your behaviors, to really see how fear can take over. Fear can be a slippery sucker, too. It’s not so easy to see how deep it goes and how much fear can rule your life, unless you take a step back and are honest with yourself. Once you have identified where fear is calling the shots, you need to change your behavior accordingly. What it basically comes down to, I have found, is to do what you are trying to accomplish anyway, even though you’re afraid.
This is something I have to remind myself of, time and again, and I know, it’s not always easy, for any of us. Now I think there is one more ingredient that is important to overcome fear. It is to believe in something so much, that your fear becomes irrelevant. And this only happens when you are in alignment with who truly are, and live your soul’s purpose. Or, said in another way, when you are singing your soul’s song. When you are passionate about what you do, follow your heart, and follow your inner guidance, then everything in life falls into place. This will always be a work in progress, though, as there is always room for us to grow more.
As fear is our foe, it can also be our friend, as I think it can also be an indication that something is important to us. If I didn’t feel some anxiety around getting a good lead vocal, that could mean that perhaps I didn’t care all that much. But I do! I guess the trick is to find the balance between letting go of the perfectionist within me, get out of my head and into my heart, and have some fun! Easier said than done, but I will keep working at it. And I suppose that is all we can ask of ourselves. To keep working, keep improving, and our work, and who we are as people, will improve, one step at a time.
With that, I’m signing off for now. I hope that whatever fears you struggle with, that you are able to master them, and accomplish all your dreams!
Love & light,