Predictably, I forgot I had a blog. To catch you up, I’m still in Nashville and I’m still writing songs at the CMC (Contemporary Music Center). I have started a couple recording projects and I have spent only two or three nights in the CMC working until the wee hours of the morning. I wrote a sweet song with words compiled from people helping me through my anxiety attacks and then I wrote an angry ex-boyfriend song. I have song ideas coming out of my ears and the fingers on my left hand are losing feeling in the tips because of guitar calluses. I am currently prepping to perform in a live show later this week. I’m only slightly terrified this time.
Let’s get this out of the way first: I love performing. Once I’m singing I’m having so much fun, but nerves are a thing too. I’m singing a song carefully pieced together in my hands and someone might not like it. Someone could dislike the lyrics, my voice, or the way I hold the microphone. Luckily, this isn’t American Idol and I don’t have to worry about hearing Simon Cowell saying “it’s a no from me” in that disapproving tone. The critic I worry about the most is me.
I will always end up being harder on myself than others. Not only do I hold the highest expectations of myself but I also have the best view of my weaknesses. I am with myself 24/7, which seem like a silly thought, but sometimes it is hard. There are days that I just can’t handle how my brain talks to me or how I behave in certain situations. I can hear if I sang one note of a run after the chorus a little off. I can feel if I was moving awkwardly when I swayed during the last line of the third verse. I am my own worst critic.
But I am also my biggest fan. I can look into the mirror some days and absolutely adore what I see. I can dress how I know I feel most confident, I can spend the day in power stances and thinking positively. I have the ability to change how I’m feeling and thinking, though when I was younger I firmly insisted I couldn’t. It’s true, you can change how you feel. I have found that the key is giving validity to yourself and your feelings.
I can address my feeling of self doubt, let it exist for a minute or so, and then look at it more critically. Why am I doubting myself? Is it because I missed a note in that rehearsal of a song? Okay, I got it wrong once but I can do better next time. I won’t lie, it is so hard. There are days that giving the feelings validity is dangerous and I come too close to giving it control. But I am the human being with a brain and God-given gifts and free will, I am the one making the calls here. I am in control.
I may be my own worst critic, but I have the ability to conquer myself as well. I can prove myself wrong just as easily as I can prove others wrong. I can tear myself down or build myself up, it is all up to me. I can make decisions I know I will be proud of later or I can make choices I know I will regret later. It’s all up to me. It’s scary. But it’s worth it. I can fail at convincing myself to get out of bed on time, I can give myself the best pep talks before a performance. I can make or break my mind, because I am my worst critic and biggest fan.