Monday, March 15, 2010

Self-Limiting Beliefs ~ Self-Fulfilling Prophecy...?

I had an "*Aha* Moment" last night ...

Recently, I've gotten in touch with some of the women I knew in high school (gotta love FaceBook for that!) -- we were all in the "advanced" singing group together.

Lots of talent. Great fun. But, I carried a secret ...

It's fascinating to see how their lives have unfolded - one of them now performs & cuts records, another is teaching voice lessons to folks in the commercial industry (as in making commercials, and theatre stars), and another is in the music biz.

They were all "A's" ... but I was always a "B" (I mean quality of voice - not grades -- don't get me started on grades ... though I'll be blogging on how we corrupt creativity with external/extrinsic rewards, but I digress).

Here's my secret: I always believed that they were naturally talented, and had earned/deserved to be in the group -- on the other hand, I had dishonestly snuck my way in there -- I was there, vicariously. I rode in on their talent. I was only pretending to belong ... I felt like an impostor, even a hypocrite, and I was afraid (no, terrified!) that I would be caught, exposed, and catapulted out of there. If they knew ..! So I spent inordinate energy trying to keep them from seeing the "real me" (the me I feared I was), and projected a more acceptable me, instead.

(& I have the profound hunch that I'm not alone here ... that many of you, perhaps even most, or all of you, can relate to this feeling ...)

Yeah, I could sing, and I even did some solos, and I took voice lessons for a few years ... LOVED musical theatre ... but I always felt second-rate, talent-wise. Singing-wise. I was good, but not *really* good. I was always the friend of the girl who was *really* good...

Like I was faking ... like I had to fool folks. Had to distract and dazzle 'em. Like my voice was not reliable ... at times, I could surprise myself and others with what came out of me, but at other times, it would be so ... well, second-rate.

I've always had voice-envy. (My mother is profoundly talented in singing -- my father is untrained and has less-accurate pitch -- I am the combo.) It's like I've had good-voice days, and bad-voice days ... and I'm never quite sure what will come out. It's always a risk, a gamble.

Once, singing for a wedding, we were performing, "All I Ask of You" from "Phantom of the Opera" ... the guy was FABulous (an old friend), and he asked me to join him (it was for his sister's wedding -- so I felt honored -- but again, I had to fool folks). The range was higher than I'm comfy with (I'm a first alto - this was more mezzo soprano).

I had a couple of drinks, to relax, and then cut loose, in that more uninhibited state -- what came out of me was astounding ... maybe I need to just lose the fear ... but I confess that the fear/limitation is still there ...

I felt it again last night, after finding these women on FaceBook, and reading about their lives ... and felt a profound sense of sadness ... & I even got angry, that I have allowed a *belief/thought/feeling* of being feeling "second-best" to create a second-best experience. That I have robbed myself.

If I'm seeing this, I wonder what's about to unfold ...?

Of course, I'm aware, and perhaps you are too, of the wider application of this awareness. I'm confident that each of you reading this is aware of an aspect of your *own* life, wherein you've labeled yourself "second best" or "less than", and have thus CREATED that limitation-reality in your own life.

We have created this for ourselves -- we have chosen this. We're creating, either consciously, or unconsciously ... why NOT do it consciously...?

Shalom, Dena


Darcy said...

How funny!!!! I always thought of YOU and Mom as being the really great singers and me being the one that fell in the middle of Mom and Dad. I am a "choir" voice needing a strong alto to stand next to me. I've always felt that I needed to fake it in singing.

I know Dawn feels the same way about her own singing. It never occurred to me that you felt the same.


cwtpmom said...

You are as openly transparent as anyone I have known which tells me you are not afraid of yourself. I'll bet your friends don't have 8 kids. Careers come and go, but your family will be with you forever.

Dena said...

Oh Darcy - how funny! Ain't perspective a wild thing...? Wonder why we all 3 felt that way (folks - for those who don't know -- this is Darcy, my youngest sister -- Dawn is the middle one -- I'm the bossy/obnoxious eldest -- but you figured that out already!).

Hmmm... perhaps we should all question our own thinking, no? Maybe sing our hearts out and take the show on the road...? (Dad can drive.)

Dena said...

Connie -

Your comment deeply touched me. Thank you (I've missed you!). No, those friends don't have 8 kids ... in fact, I think they have four, between the four of them (not that we're competing, and nor was *I* trying..!).

Funny ... the ones I "tried" to have, I miscarried ...

Anyway, I appreciate the reminder of what's important -- being true to ourselves, and treasuring the people we've chosen to be with (i.e., family).

MysticBrit said...

I think you've probably moved some way beyond ideas of 'second-best', or that competition is an end in itself, instead of just great fun.

You are becoming whole, by simply remembering who you are, and you are bringing a whole lot of folks along with you on their own parallel, uniquely flavoured paths.

Oh, and I love singing. Back in the days I'd be up the front giving my all in a 'worship' group. I think some of the stuff I like singing now might make a few of those good folks have funny turns;)