[Guest Post] How I Learned to Sing My Own Song

by Amy on February 7, 2013

Singing Blue-winged Warbler

[Note from Amy: Nancy was one of the earliest members of “Be Brazen,” my five week coaching program which is now available as a home study here. Since I love case studies (since it’s so much better hearing about coaching programs from the actual participants, right?!) I was excited to share her experience here.]

I wasn’t looking for Be Brazen. I wasn’t even sure how Amy’s announcement got to me, but I immediately related to the issues she mentioned–letting clients run sessions because you’re afraid to assert yourself, fear of raising your rates, fear of really being yourself because, OMG, someone might not like you! I was stuck in the Approval Trap–never mind that I’d never heard of it before.

Debilitating Stage Fright…

I could see how the course fit me and my business, but my real, deep reaction was, “I don’t need this for my business, I need it for my life!” For one, I had a strong sense that there really was no difference between the two–if you’re in the trap for one, how can it not carry over to the other? I’d also just decided to get over my decades-old debilitating stage fright by signing up to sing a few weeks later. I won’t lie; one of the first things I did was look to see how far into the class I’d be by then. I signed up, and boy, am I glad I did.

Yes, this course has deep business implications, but as I suspected, it hit me most on a personal level. Why should I hide who I am? Why should I listen to anyone else rather than listening to my own deep wisdom? Just what made me think that others might know better than me? Better, what made me think I didn’t know better than they did? Ahh, right–I needed their approval. In fact, I was desperate for it.

Listening to Others Over Myself

Over the last 3 years or so, I’ve become much more aware of and in tune with my own inner wisdom/intuition/whatever you like to call it. That’s because I discovered SoulCollage® and then became a facilitator while I was enrolled in Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach training. The two are very different, but they both emphasize listening to intuition, tuning out the voices that lead you astray, and following your true inner voice.

And yet, I still tended to listen to others, often to excess, going around soliciting fifty opinions about a situation when two would be more than sufficient, hearing that voice but being afraid to listen to it because this time, it was REALLY IMPORTANT and what if I screwed it up–or worse, looked like a complete idiot? There’s not much approval value in falling flat on your face for everyone else to see, and it was keeping me from doing things I really wanted to do.

It All Boiled Down to Believing in Myself First

For me, it all boiled down to believing in myself before others– making what I want important enough to go for it no matter what anyone else tells me. It wasn’t until I started the course that I realized just what an approval addict I really was. I could barely move without having to get someone to say what I wanted to do was okay and pat me on my head. If they said no,I went straight back to the drawing board, crushed or not, no matter what my own inner voices may have said. What the heck did I know? (It’s more than a little ironic coming from someone who works so much with intuition and empowerment, I know. Worse, it’s embarrassing.)

Fortunately, Amy Pearson is a fountain of knowledge and insight, and as a recovering approval addict herself, she gets how insidious it can be. Be Brazen gave me a lot to think about, resources to delve into at my leisure, and opportunities to practice via not one but two different kinds of homework . I never managed to make a single call, but not only were the recordings available quickly, there were transcripts–something I really valued as a more visual than auditory learner. The online group was the glue that held it all together. I’ve made new friends via this course in a community where we can remind each other that critics often don’t know what they’re talking about, and since they’re not the ones doing the actual work, they don’t even count.

Reclaiming Your Authentic Self is Worth All the Gold in Fort Knox

I Got Up And Sang!

You count. Your voice is important. Knowing that, and reclaiming your authentic self, is worth more than all the gold in Fort Knox.

And what happened with that stage fright problem? I got up and sang at the end of September for a room full of people. I won’t lie: I was shaking and terrified. But I did it anyway, and have done it a few times since. (Yes, it does get easier!)

I’m also exploring ways to improve my life and others that are off the beaten path, like my free Create Joy in 2013 Facebook group, where almost 100 women and I are sharing and experimenting with ways to find and create more joy in our lives this year. For me, that seems to include limiting my exposure to things a lot of people think we need, like news, politics/political Facebook posts, and anything else that just drags us down, including people. Others may think that’s crazy or even irresponsible, but I really don’t care. I’m listening to myself this time.

The course is not a miracle cure. You have to do the work–and the work is SO worthwhile. It’ll probably take more than five weeks to sort through it all, but the class is a great foundation. And I still believe that this is a life course at least as much as it’s a business course.

Be Brazen isn’t just a class; it’s a community, and I’m excited that it’s growing. If you’ve ever felt like you needed to come out of your shell, stop caring what everyone else thinks, and sing your own song, I hope you’ll come join us!

To join Nancy and the entire “Be Brazen” community, get the details HERE.

Nancy Norbeck is a Certified Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach, SoulCollage® Facilitator, Laughter Wellness instructor, and tutor in New Jersey. In 2009, she completed my MFA in Creative Writing at Goddard College. Her mission is to help you find your voice, whether through writing, SoulCollage®, or pursuing a creative dream. You can learn more about what makes her unique by visiting her at http://nancynorbeck.com.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Adriane February 7, 2013 at 7:24 pm

I am so inspired that you got up and sang. Especially since you were scared. Way to go, Nancy.


Nancy February 10, 2013 at 2:05 am

Thanks, Adriane! I was terrified, but it was a choice between doing it anyway or being scared forever. I’d had enough of being scared. 🙂


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