Have you ever wanted to climb Mount Everest or fly to the moon? Probably on your list of ‘that would be cool but maybe slightly on the impossible side’.
Have you ever thought, ‘Why would I want to climb Mount Everest’, I wouldn’t be the first and I won’t be the last?
In every person there is an innate desire to be successful, but then there is the all-consuming fear that you might not succeed, even if you plan every detail. What if it doesn’t go as planned, what if I look stupid when I fail. For me right now, what if I publish my book and no one reads it.
Often the fear overrides the desire to even attempt to succeed. But let’s look at a few closer to home desires.
You have some songs right, great little tunes that you wrote and you think, I want to record them. You’re all excited; you think this song could be the next number one hit.
But wait, what if no one likes your songs?
What if you wasted all that time and energy and no one wants to listen to it?
Guess what, some people won’t like your songs, they may even hate them, but then other people will love your songs, some will even have your songs on repeat and sing along at the top of their voice.
This is the first fear that so many songwriters and musicians have.
To be honest there are many musicians that are not game enough to play their own music. Now there is nothing wrong with playing in a covers band, in fact it is a great way to learn your craft and many people make a fantastic career out of it. But if you are a songwriter or a musician that has written your own music, the satisfaction of performing what you created is worth overcoming the fear of rejection.
There is a little secret to getting past this fear. Your first experience of driving a car is the best way to explain it.
You get into the car for the first time, in the driver’s seat. To start with there is a steering wheel in front of you, a collection of pedals below your feet and for some reason sitting on this side of the car in the front feels incredibly foreign.
But what do you do? You go through the process of completing a small collection of firsts. First time starting the car, first time putting the car into gear, first time you drive out the driveway and the first time you push your foot on the brake pedal and realise that you should press it more gently next time. As you do little steps and understand what is involved in driving, you can start doing more adventurous things, like indicating when you turn a corner, something older drivers often think they no longer need to do.
Soon you realise that you can do amazing things with this, you can drive to the Gold Coast and go to the theme parks, you can go on holidays with friends and you no longer have to get dropped off and picked up by your parents in their Toyota Tarago mini bus, who often threaten to drive through the bus stop for school pick ups and drop offs because “Technically we are a bus”. With the fear and the concerns that can come with learning to drive gone, you can now experience all the benefits.
I remember the first time a friend of mine went to drive our four-wheel drive. She told me that she knew how to drive. She got in the car, looked down at the floor and gave me a puzzled look, ‘Why are there three pedals?’ So you’ve never driven a manual before?
Each time you drive it gets easier, around the first roundabout, first set of lights and then your first time you get pulled up for a random breath test.
Easier and easier each time. At one point you may have thought you would never drive.
Achieving these firsts gives you confidence and removes the concept of failure, each time getting easier until one day, driving a road train seems even closer to your reality.
In the same way, take small steps with your music.
Play your original songs to a few people, perform them at an open mic night or stream a performance to a private group online.
Once you are ready, approach some musicians that have recorded before and ask for some guidance. Don’t keep looking at the top of the mountain, look at each step on the way to get there.
Before too long you will have your first song released and feel extremely proud of yourself. Ready to take on the next challenge.
Hint: If you want to get there a little quicker, ask people that have been there before and they will show you the best way to do things. This will save you getting lost, spending too much money on things you don’t need, going the wrong way and wasting time trying to work things out on your own.