My husband and I just returned from an amazing trip to Nashville with two other couples.
One of the things my husband and I did when we were there was tour the Ryman Auditorium. For those of you who know nothing about the Ryman, it is pretty much the Holy Grail of live music venues. It is the ultimate place to perform if you are a country music singer (or really just a singer in general.)
For the last part of the Ryman tour people could go up on the stage and have their picture taken. There was a microphone and some guitars that you could use as props. I begged my husband to go up there and take a picture with me, but he wouldn’t. I was not about to miss out on the chance to step on the same stage that has graced the likes of music legends such as Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash, Garth Brooks, and The Wiggles…wait, what?! Anyway, I grabbed a guitar, walked up on the stage and stood there and smiled for the camera.
When I was standing up on that stage smiling for the camera, all of a sudden a voice inside of me screamed out “SING!” My inner voice was yelling at me to belt out a tune, reminding me that I would never have this chance again. “SING!” I almost didn’t listen. As I looked out at the people sitting in the seats, my husband patiently waiting for me to finish up, the camera man wondering why I was still standing there I almost walked off the stage.
But, in my heart I knew that if I walked off the stage right then I would regret letting self-consciousness and embarrassment steal my once in lifetime opportunity.
“Blame it all on my roots, I showed up in boots” came belting out of my mouth. “And ruined your black-tie affair.”
Without even realizing it the words continued to come out loud and proud. In that moment it didn’t matter that I might not be the best singer (some have even gone as far as using the term “bad” when describing my singing skills.) It didn’t matter that the microphone was not actually turned on. It didn’t matter that the nice young man with the camera was repeatedly saying “Ma’am, I got the picture.” I was standing on the stage of the Ryman Auditorium singing!!
Embarrassment is such a strong emotion. Self-consciousness and self-doubt are even stronger ones. Think of all the times in our lives we have let self-doubt, self-consciousness, or embarrassment stand in the way of doing something that we really wanted to do. How many times have we looked back on a situation and said “Man, I wish I would have had enough guts to do that?” Maybe the situation was talking to a guy at the bar, wearing a bikini (or just a swimsuit) at the beach, applying for a job that you didn’t feel qualified for, or grabbing a microphone and belting out a tune.
Our bodies are made up of energy. This energy can be both positive and negative. Self-doubt, self-consciousness and embarrassment are negative energies. They lower the vibrational energy frequency that our bodies run on. Imagine putting the wrong kind of gas in your car. Your car will probably still run with this gas, but not without problems, and definitely not at its peak performance. The same goes with your body. Your body will still run if it is full of self-doubt and self-consciousness but, just like the wrong gas, this is not the frequency your body was made to run on for peak performance.
Living your best life full of positivity and happiness are the right kinds of gasoline. Being self-conscious (the good self-conscious, like self-awareness) is the frequency of peak performance.
Knowing who you are, what you want, feeling confident and acting on this confidence is your Highest Self. It is the vibrational energy that will take you to places you never dreamed you could go. Loud, proud and kicking ass!
Self-doubt will hold you back. It is limiting and will leave you feeling stuck, full of regret, and walking off the stage envious of the person standing up there with the confidence to sing.
So, the next time you are faced with a decision, big or small, life changing or fairly insignificant have confidence in who you are and where you want to go. Ignore self-doubt and insecurity. And, as always, may your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears. (Nelson Mandela said this, not me, but it is brilliant!)
Stand proud, be confident, rock that bikini, apply for the job, sing the song because YOU. ARE. AWESOME.
Lisa Wyckoff is a wife, mom, teacher, avid reader, runner, lover of learning, and a Certified Wellness & Life Coach. She is on a journey of personal development with the ultimate goal of empowering herself and others through the power of positivity. You can find more information on her site Inpursuitofyourzen.com and find her on Facebook.
Image courtesy of Anthony Ginsbrook.