Is Your Perception of Your Voice Reality?
It seems as if the simple answer is yes. With a qualifier: it’s your reality.
What does that mean?
Well, we all have a filter through which we view our world. This filter is made up of all of our beliefs. Those beliefs can be conscious, or more importantly, unconscious.
This filter is also made up of our habits and conditioning.
All of this forms neural networks in the brain and acts as a form of software for our life.
Everything we do in our life, including singing, is run through this software and our perception is then clouded by this software program.
With this in mind, is your reality really real? Or I could say, is your perception of reality accurate or is it clouded by your software program?
Why does one person refer to the proverbial glass as half full while the other person says the same glass is half empty?
The answer is because of what each one brings to the glass in the form of his/her conditioning or software.
The glass is just a glass with some liquid in it. You give it the quality of half full or half empty and then all the “stories” that go along with each of those choices.
Lets look quickly at what I mean by “stories”.
In the case of the glass half full, the software running (which creates the stories) is probably one that is programmed with some optimism, a sense of things working out, confidence, abundance, energy, joy etc.
In the case of the glass half empty, the software (which creates the stories) is probably programmed more on the pessimistic side. Perhaps this is a sense of things not always working out well, a lack of confidence, more of an awareness of lack and limitation, not as much energy and not as much joy.
So what does this have to do with your singing?
Well, fortunately or unfortunately (depending on whether you view the glass as half full or half empty), it has everything to do with your singing!
And this is why: as far as your singing goes, you will only let yourself feel that you are as good a singer as your software allows you to feel, whether or not it is true!
You hear your voice through your software programming, which is years of beliefs about yourself, your voice, and life. As discussed, these are conscious and unconscious, mostly unconscious.
This software acts like a pair of headphones that distort and color the voice, preventing you from hearing what you actually sound like.
And, even if you can hear it, you’ll zero in on the negative aspects rather than all the good stuff.
If this resonates with you and you can see yourself in this, there is hope!
What You Can Do
The beginning of shifting this pattern and rewriting the software comes with a willingness to simply be aware of the pattern without judgement.
It’s a form of a technique called Mindfulness.
Simply become aware of your tendency to focus on the things in your voice you don’t like and just notice that. Don’t judge yourself or get discouraged, just notice with a sense of interest or curiosity.
Ask yourself, “What is the payoff for me to keep doing this?” Again, no judgement here, just an honest question.
Now make a conscious choice to find 3 to 5 things that you really appreciate, like, or even love about your voice every time you finish singing or vocalizing! Do this immediately upon finishing.
The more enthusiastic you can be the better. The second you stop singing or vocalizing, train yourself to do this.
This will begin to rewrite the program and you will be on your way to hearing your voice the way it is and putting yourself on the path to becoming the singer you want to be.
Michael Goodrich has worked with singers and actors such as Mike Myers, Dakota Fanning, David Hasselhoff, Andy Garcia, Luke Perry, Tom Bosley, Tony Award winner Sutton Foster and many more. He’s worked with Broadway performers from shows such as Jersey Boys, Shrek, Young Frankenstein, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Les Miserables, Tommy, The Phantom of the Opera, RENT, Chicago, Jekyll & Hyde, The Rocky Horror Show, 42nd Street, AIDA, and Beauty and the Beast. Michael created Singing with Presence and The Inner Singer, utilizing his 30 plus years of teaching voice and performance, plus his lifelong commitment and study in personal growth and the latest in neuroscience. He has been a regular contributor to BackStage and BackStage West with his Vocalease column. Michael also worked as an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California teaching advanced voice. Check out his podcast, The Inner Singer with information and actionable tools to help you overcome that negative inner voice. www.goodrichvocal.com
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