So we all know, the music industry is looking for: Proficiency (your experience and skills in vocals, musicianship, songwriting, dancing, acting, modelling or whatever it is you can do).
Presence and personality (your commercial/ saleable “PERCEPTIVE” value).
Uniqueness and individuality (your “ACTUAL” value, the one of a kind difference that sets you apart from the crowd).
I have been reflecting on the fact that being yourself is the key ingredient to developing the vocal identity and music biz package, that can attract the right kind of attention from movers and shakers in the business. Why? Quite simply because they buy into you, You are the commodity. No matter what it is you are trying to do being you is key and is THE key; develop and grow yourself and people will be attracted to that which is “you” as an artist.
But sometimes being yourself (whatever that means) can also seem like a lot of hard work. So, what does it mean to be YOU? And just how do you live you?
I don’t profess to have all the answers, but I’ll share some of the “truths” that have made sense to me on my never ending journey of self discovery. These truths have allowed me to become successful as a vocal coach and family man. They have helped me to unravel my purpose; they have enabled me to freely be myself to the point where I just seemed to connect with people in a way that has added meaning to both their life and mine.
Firstly, Love yourself
I am sure you’ve heard this before. But what does it mean for an artist? Well first of all, it means embracing your flaws and accepting the fact that they are a part of you and no one is ever truly be flawless. Accept, embrace and appreciate it for what it is … A PART OF WHO YOU ARE… and it makes up part of you as a person. So to put this in context: love your voice, face, body parts, colour, talent or lack of talent, your mind, your ideas, your practice, your abilities, your mistakes, your triumphs, your journey , your life….etc, you get my drift. Love everything about you!
There is something cathartic about letting our “insides out”, self expression is cathartic, whether it be: singing, art, sports, speech, writing, pottery, bakery, dance or whatever. When we are able to freely express how we feel, (in a productive and creative way) it helps us to feel grounded, heard, released and comfortable in our own skin. So, find an outlet, find a way to express yourself creatively. Create something, leave your mark on the world!
It helps you to know where you are in all this life and purpose stuff!
People need people or rather, likeminded people need like minded people. Like minded people can be at different stages or at different levels of success in life, so surround yourself with like minded people on your level or “above” your level of success. Friends and mentors that can encourage and support you along the way come rain or shine. Stay connected and accountable to those people, no man is an island. We all need each other.
Give and it will be given back to you in greater measure. Find time to help others too; there is always going to be someone that needs your help in one way or another. Be generous in the giving of your: time, money, services or resources. It’s amazing what that can do for the person and for your inner being. The Karmic effect is that you’ll attract even greater favour!
Believe in yourself
Affirm yourself a lot, say positive things to yourself when you are engaged in self talk (which can tend to be negetive) use affirming and assuring language about your voice, talent, work, body, circumstance, etc So for example, rather than saying “OMG, I can’t do this” say “This might be hard and scary but I can do this and have worked hard for this”. Believe that everything you need to succeed is already inside you, it’s just a matter of believing… it… out.
Trust in something outside of yourself
Some call it Inspiration, some call it Muse, some a divine power, some even say it’s the Universe. (for me it’s God- Jesus Christ) It can be anything that you truly believe in and communicate with. You have to trust that you are in connection with a higher source, Something or Someone else that is bigger and more powerful than you. This helps to make sure that you don’t become self absorbed or lost in your own world. It helps you to be more people conscious than self conscious, it helps to promote humility and our human need to hope in something bigger and better!
Do something that makes you add to your already existing gifts, talents and skills. Do something that challenges you to improve your knowledge, your voice, music, ability to write lyrics or engineer sound. Do something that makes you learn, study, or renew the way you think about things. Do something that scares you a little, something that takes you out of your comfort zone. It might be singing, public speaking, swimming, flying a plane or doing an audition. Take the time to try something new and see what you gain from that experience.
True rest brings us into a right relationship with God and with others and with Yourself! When we experience real rest, we feel revitalised, more alert, more creative and more human. Our capacity to love our voices or gifts and talents, increases. A deficiency of rest can compromise the quality and meaning of our artistry and negatively impact our creative, health, family and personal lives. True strength comes from quietness and trust, trust that who we are …RIGHT NOW…is enough for now!
So… who are you? Are You are the sum of your environment? Yes, but it doesn’t stop there. Are you what people say you are? No way, you can’t rely on the opinion of others to define YOU. For me YOU are: the sum of what you put inside your inner man/woman and the process in which that inner investment is worked out in your daily life psychologically and practically. That is who YOU are. The ever evolving, ever growing and ever changing face of everything we take in, accept, embrace, employ, believe and “act “out.
I’ll leave you with a quote and an info graphic below. I think it kind of sums up this whole thing nicely.
We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far. -Swami Vivekananda-