I remember a few years ago, the director threw a disappointed look in my direction. “You really need to stay on pitch. Keep practicing.”
It was a dream to be singing a Broadway musical, Children of Eden, with such a talented group; on my bucket list actually. I screwed up my courage and auditioned for Voices of Canton last fall then struggled to keep up with these experienced singers. I sang loud enough to get noticed for a small solo but had trouble getting it right. Over and over I tried. As we inched closer to opening night I got more and more frantic because I still missed the mark.
Then in the final dress rehearsal, after another awful attempt this time in costume with lights and an audience, Loren pulled me aside and said something that finally opened my eyes. He said, “You are trying too hard. When you push like that you push your voice further off target. Just relax and sing the notes.”
Wow! Really? It couldn’t be that simple. I went home with renewed enthusiasm to try again. Anything was better than what I had been doing.
I pulled out the music and went over it softly one note at a time. I realized that the soundtrack I had been singing with repeatedly in the car was the problem. The actual notes were different from what the singer sang on the soundtrack. Over and over I repeated the actual notes to correct the mistakes I learned from the CD.
Two nights later, 20 minutes into the first act, it was time. I stepped out into the light and sang the correct notes on pitch, clearly enunciating the words. Impossible! I did it correctly. As I returned to my seat Loren nodded in my direction. Finally.
Just relax and let the music flow out. What a concept? A life changing concept.
We all have moments like this. The concept applies to many situations.
Job seekers start out optimistic. They believe they can do the seemingly simple task of finding a new, better position or get that promotion they deserve. As time goes on, they start to doubt themselves. If money is running low, they start to get frantic and push harder in any direction hoping that something will happen.
Frantic candidates push too hard during interviews, pushing so hard they push the hiring managers away. We say desperation comes out of the pores like garlic. You can smell it.
Frantic energy misses the mark most of the time. Frantic energy pushes people away.
Brian Tracy said, “You are a living magnet. What you attract into your life is in harmony with your dominant thoughts.”
You can tell when you are frantic. Your thoughts and blood pressure race. You seek any combination of solutions that might work. When that happens next time, consider your energy. Take a deep breathe. Look at your notes again. Then put your notes aside. Stand up straight. Look out into the lights and let the music come out of you naturally. It will if you let it.
Take a few moments today to consider the energy you put out into the world. Isolate the frantic energy. Stop pushing frantic energy out into the world.