How do you think of yourself?
I’m mixing things up this week because, well, things are stagnating a bit here in the adventure. And I’d like to discuss a learning curve. For those of you who’ve been with me since I started blogging, you know I’m relatively new to it. Plus, you know how it terrifies me.
You see, I’m extremely shy. Not just kinda shy, but ‘Oh God, hide under the table’ shy. It took me several years of college before getting in front of a class didn’t close my throat into a voiceless whisper. I couldn’t hold my notes because then the whole class would see my hands shaking.
Then I took Speech, then Recreation where we had to teach, then I started dancing and they wanted to showcase dance, then Program Planning, which meant ‘get in front of half the town and present a program’ which, for me, ended up being a Trace Bundy concert…
You see the pattern. Time after time after time of getting in front of people to say something. By the time I got to the concert, I could actually stand up and hold the mic without stuttering. Well, mostly without stuttering.
Since graduating, I’ll admit, I can’t remember the last time I stood in front of a crowd.
Then, this last December, my sister asked if I’d like to sing with her. Yeah, I sing in the car or the shower but if my speaking in front of a group was bad, then singing in front of people was even worse. I can’t even sing in front of my husband without becoming a mouse.
For some reason I told my sister yes. We’ve been practicing since January and I thought I was good. Confident.
Until I started picturing my self in front of the room for the recital. Hand’s start to sweat, voice goes all shaky, breath comes in little gasps… Oh God, hide.
But this is something I need to do. Here’s the key I found in college and need to remember now. Picture myself confident.
It sounds odd but the brain’s where it starts and the body follows. If I practice over and over and over again with the mindset that I’m capable and good at singing in front of others, then what I practice will come through on the day I sing for the recital. You perform to the lowest level of how you practice.
I very much believe this.
So what does this have to do with writing?
It’s the same principle. No matter if it’s writing, singing, speaking, riding a bike or any other thing we’d like to perfect.
This blog’s my practicing. Every time something posts I’m still terrified, I still watch the comments in half anticipation, half fright but breathe a sigh of relief when the day’s done and nothing catastrophic’s happened.
So thank you to those of you who’ve witnessed my practice and encouraged me along the way. I encourage you, even if it feels like the world’s going to judge or laugh, to practice and set yourself a goal, so the practice has a purpose to achieve your dreams. Think confident, then be confident.
“As he thinks in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7