Have you ever wanted to do something but, were too afraid of failing? Yeah, I’ve definitely been there. For me, that “something” was music. As a kid I always dreamt of the day where I would build up the confidence to play in front of people. It all started when I watched my dad sing and play his guitar. I thought it was the coolest thing ever! I decided one day to pick up a guitar and give it a shot.
I made up my mind, lets go!
After spending a couple years learning how to play the guitar, I made some musically talented friends along the way. One of them invited me to jam out with him. At fist I was hesitant, having performance anxiety doesn’t work in your favor when the purpose of a jam session is to play in front of another person. I decided to take a risk and against all odds managed not to pass out from my high level of uneasiness. After that day I realized the majority of the battle I was fighting was all in my head.
Crisis averted, what’s next?
A couple of jam sessions later I got talked into playing with my friend at an open mic. At first my immediate response was a hard no. One thing was playing in front of one person but, the idea of playing in front of a group of people in public was a disaster waiting to happen. Every inch of my body was shaking just with the thought of it. I sat there for a while and for some reason I got this unknown courage and agreed to play cajon (box shaped percussion instrument) with him on stage. In my mind I figured that no one would really be focusing on me since I wasn’t actually singing. I spent the entire time on that stage looking straight at the ground and keeping the beat. Not the best stage presence but it got the job done.
I started something, now watch me run!
After playing on stage for the first time in front of a group of people, I realized it was something I wanted to keep on doing. I decided to sign up for an open mic session later on that month. I immediately regretted my decision but decided to see it through, take a risk and perform solo. I had a boost of confidence when I decided to play without my glasses. “If I can’t see them, they can’t see me right?” at least that is what I kept on telling myself. I managed to make my through three songs and that was the start of my journey with public performances.
Photo Credit: Echo
Don’t be afraid of being afraid.
The main thing with taking a risk is,
fear. As humans it is in our nature to be afraid of failing, afraid of getting out of our comfort zones. The biggest thing I have learned in this experience is to use fear to your advantage. Fear can be one of our biggest motivators. There are going to be many times in life where you will find yourself in situations that you feel out of of place and getting out of your comfort zone may seem risky. If it wasn’t for me taking a risk that day and agreeing to do something as simple as having a jam session with my friend, I wouldn’t be the where I am today with music. This doesn’t mean I don’t struggle with performance anxiety still, it just means I’ve learned to balance it. Let me know in the comments, what has been one risk you took that changed your life?