When I was younger, I was raised in a strictly religious family. I was a shy little girl and fitting in and belonging was all I wanted to do. I was always the outcast in that religion as I was the only female of my age in that branch of the church that was born in a particular year and all the other children In that religion were either older or younger than me and the children there constantly let me know I was an outcast and odd. I so desperately wanted to fit in with them and to be accepted by them. They were constantly judging me, and it wasn’t just the children it was the grownups and my family members as well. I thought I had to be perfect to be able to fit in and I tried so hard to be what they all wanted me to be.
There was one thing that I still hung on to that gave me joy and hope while being around those people and that was my hopes that one day I would become a singer and dancer as I enjoyed singing dancing and acting so very much. When I was doing those things I did not have to be what everyone else wanted me to be as it was a land of make believe where anything could happen and you could be whoever you wanted to be without judgement.
My father used to sing as a soloist before I and my sister were born, and we used to get told all his stories about how we would go up on stage and sing.
I practiced my singing quite a lot. And it took a lot of courage and strength to put myself in front of those people and sing but one day I had built up enough courage to be comfortable enough to sing up on the stand at my church. I remember being so nervous when I went up to the stand and started to sing. I was that nervous my stomach was churning but I did it anyway. I remember singing and somehow I missed a verse in the song but I continued to sing the rest of the song anyway even though looking at the people in the audience I saw their faces as I missed that verse and it was horrible and it made me feel terrible.
When I had competed the song I came down from the stand where people proceeded to point their fingers at me and laugh at me and my family pointed out that I had missed a verse and they wouldn’t stop going on about it. There were no words of encouragement from anyone including my parents saying I had done well and that my singing voice was lovely.
I didn’t let that detour me as a few years’ later I tried out for a female lead role in the church roadshow. The roadshow was where the youth would every year perform an in house written plays which were musicals.
I remember a couple of hours after I tried out for it hearing the ladies in their meeting who were judging people’s performance to select the youths that would be performing it the roles in the musical talking when no one was there. These ladies all had such a high opinion of their children as their children were the children that I was up against of the lead roles.
The reason I was there at that time was that I had left something of mine backstage and needed to get it as I needed it for school. Anyway I overheard them saying that they would never pick me for a lead role as their daughters were better than me with their voices and that I should probably stop singing all together and they laughed and brought up my singing in front of the church a few years prior and how I missed the verse in the song and how their daughters would never have missed a verse like I did and that even if my voice was better than their daughters voices because of that performance years earlier they would never put me in a lead role. They said such mean things.
After hearing that I walked out of the back door to the stage area broken and in tears because of what I had heard and from then on I felt so ashamed of my singing voice and never sang in front of anyone who I wasn’t very close to every again even though throughout the years I was told by those closest to me that I had a really great singing voice. I kept my voice hidden from the world.
Well now I am in my 40s and this is now changing. I am facing my fear of being judged and made fun of head on with the below recording of me singing as it is time face this fear and let go of the pain and shame I felt inside from those two childhood experiences and move forward in my life.
I am fine with you judging and remarking negatively on my singing voice and if I miss a few words here and there while singing along with the vocal artist of this song. I am now putting my voice out there for the first time since my childhood and those two negative experiences that shaped how I felt about myself and my singing.
Sure my heart is pounding just now while writing this but I will get over it and the only way of facing my fear of being judged is to just put it out there. I am not that same shy little girl anymore and I am done with having those limiting beliefs I had back then and feeling the way I did about myself and my singing. So here you go.
Feel free to comment tell me my voice is terrible that you hate it whatever I do not care as I am a strong confident woman now and have very different viewpoints of myself and the world now.
Remember this voice has not been let out and heard for many years and is totally untrained. ©
Copyright © 2022 Lynette Diehm.
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