Sunday before Christmas I found myself waiting to go on stage to join Relight My Choir at their concert at Poole High School.
Although I had convinced myself that I was confident enough to stand on stage, as the moment loomed before me, my heart started to beat so fast that I could hardly breathe.
The moment took me back to when I was ten years of age. It was the Scout & Girl Guide’s event in my home town, and I had been asked to sing on stage in front of a large homegrown audience. I will never forget the moment, the lights hit my face, I temporarily froze on the spot and could not get a note out. However, as I looked up, the lights were so bright I could not see any particular face, just a blur. I would be okay. I could hide behind the lights. As I started to sing, my voice trembling, I was so mortified that I could not sing clearly. It took at least a minute before I calmed down and completed my song. What was my problem? The answer? A lack of self-belief.
So, what did I do on Sunday to handle this moment of ‘doubt’ and ‘fear’?
I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. I kept saying to myself that I should remember to smile and that I had nothing to be fearful of. I was with my new choir ‘family’ and we would support each other; so we did.
If you ever feel that your lack of self-belief is holding you back, there are many self-help books out there; including ‘Feel the Fear & Do it Anyway’ by Susan Jeffers; that helps you let go of those inner demons.
It is so important to know your self-worth, right from a young age, and to not allow those niggling doubts, to hold you back for your entire life.
We all have those doubts, but the key is to recognise them and to be comforted that it’s never too late to kick them into touch. They only hold you back, not propel you forward, and life is all about moving forward, never looking back.
The book I recommend is amazing and has helped me a lot, but, if reading the book does not help, next time you need to stand up in public and speak or even sing, you can always imagine everyone naked. It really works!