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Facing Up To The Reality of Your Life

Singers can stop sabotaging themselves and face life with more energy – says Eric Maisel

If we had been designed, rather than having evolved, we might not have been given a beautiful voice and also stage fright, a not-the-most-beautiful voice and also a hunger to perform, an appetite for performing and also an appetite for too much alcohol and too many peanuts.

We might not have been given everything else that our species—and its performers—must deal with.

But we have evolved into exactly who we are and until the next experimental model comes along, with its unique challenges to face, we must deal with this model of our species.

The Origins of Our Emotional Distress

This is good to remember because part of the emotional distress and sadness we experience in life is a result of us blaming others, the universe or we ourselves for matters out of our control.

There is no one to blame for the fact that a lot of repertoire is a lot to remember, that certain notes are harder to produce beautifully than are other notes, or that self-interest and competition are evolutionary realities.

We immediately reduce our emotional distress and release a portion of our sadness as soon as we say to ourselves, “It is not wise to ignore the facts of existence or the nature of our species.”

Building a Better Future

What happens as soon as you better accept reality?

You realize that you had better practice—you let go of your wishful and magical thinking that you can put off practicing to the last minute.

You realize that you had better become your own best friend and advocate and sabotage yourself less.

You make strategic, calculated decisions about where your skills might best find a home and, if that home is not satisfying enough, you decide what other meaning opportunities you can seize so as to make up for that meaning shortfall.

There is a dance that takes place not on any dance floor but throughout life where you want what you want, nurture your dreams and ambitions, and try your hardest to reach your goals while at the same time embracing reality, surrendering to the facts of existence, and accepting human nature.

This is a very intricate dance but we have evolved into creatures fully capable of managing this tension.

By all means retain your dreams—but make sure to be real too!

-Eric Maisel