A few weeks ago, I conquered a fear. I crossed something off of my bucket list. I put all of my excuses aside and proved to myself that I could do something I believed I would never have the courage to do.
And guess what? It felt damn GOOD!
For years, many friends and family members had been trying to convince me to audition for The Voice. I always found so many reasons not to. All of my former excuses were still “true” this time around – and with motherhood added into the crazy mix – but I finally found the strength somewhere deep inside of me to get past them. Don’t get me wrong – it was a constant battle up until I actually found myself standing in front of the judge and singing.
I want to share the three main recurring negative thoughts that I was dealing with, and how I worked to shift my thinking:
- “I don’t have time.”
We are all guilty of using this excuse at some point or another – and to a certain extent, it is true. The lifestyle of our culture is very fast paced and it often feels like there aren’t enough hours in a week, let alone a day, to get everything done. In reality, though, it’s not about “finding” the time. We make time for the things that matter most to us.
When the negative voice inside my head tried telling me that I didn’t have time to go out of town for the weekend on a whim, I told it that if nothing else my little family could use a weekend getaway. I told it that the laundry and the groceries could wait one more week. When it tried to tell me that auditioning was pointless because I wouldn’t be able to move forward in the process even if I did get chosen – because of lack of time and all the responsibilities waiting at home – I told it that exploring a new city I’d never been to would be a great experience. And it was.
- “I’m being selfish.”
At times, I found myself feeling guilty for wanting to do this. Yes, guilty. My brain understood all along how unreasonable that sounded but my heart took a bit of convincing. This is something that I think mothers struggle with a lot. We get so wrapped up in being the nurturers, the givers, that we neglect our own needs. We tell ourselves that our dreams aren’t important, or that they have to take a backseat to our parental responsibilities. Yes, being a parent is a huge undertaking– one that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
But you know what else? Happy moms raise happier kids. There is no better way to teach your children that they can do or be anything they choose than to show them that you believe in yourself that same way. The saying that reminds us we can’t pour from an empty cup – it’s so true. Taking care of ourselves, nurturing our own spirits and well-being, is not selfish – it’s necessary.
- “I’m not good enough.”
This is a big one and probably the most difficult type of negative self talk to silence. I struggle with this daily. The voice in my head tells me that I’m not really that talented, that nobody really wants to hear me, and I tend to believe it. When it came to auditioning, that same inner voice laughed at me. It told me that I was being ridiculous for even thinking I might have a chance.
I told it to shut up and sit down. I told it that I wasn’t auditioning for anyone’s approval. I told it that I was doing this for myself – to prove to my insecurities, once and for all, that I could.
I didn’t make it past the first audition. I wasn’t really feeling anxious at all until it was my turn to sing. I know I didn’t sound bad – I just didn’t sound my best because my voice was shaky from the nerves. When we were sent on our way, I called Vinnie to come pick me up. The first thing he asked was, “Are you okay?”
“I really am,” I responded.
“I’m so freaking proud of myself.”
I still am.
It’s not always about the outcome – it’s about the process. That’s where we learn the most about ourselves. And you know what this process taught me?