There are many, many programs and services out there for singers today, but too much of a good thing can also be overwhelming. I’ve heard from my own students that they can often feel confused and unsure which programs are worth their resources of time, energy and money. As is the case with my students, most aspiring artists are supplementing their income with either a full or part time job, and they feel that adding something else to their plate is a real financial challenge. Yet there is a sense that you have to try to do everything right now or be left behind. Here’s a newsflash – just because it is there, doesn’t mean that you need to partake!

Stop!!! Stop thinking more is better! Stop throwing spaghetti against the wall to see if it will stick! Stop this stressful spinning of your wheels and wasting your time, energy and money. Breathe. Stop and take the time you need to truly evaluate where you are right now on your career path, and what you really need to help you move forward. Give yourself a sense of direction unique to your needs.

If this career thing is really just a job, what tools and skills would be useful for you right now? Start by reviewing what you feel is missing from your “performance package”. Be cold and calculating in your analysis of what you need to get to the next step of your plan. It’s like looking at yourself and what you are doing in the 3rd person. This kind of work allows you to be disassociated, honest and unemotional as you figure out exactly where you are right now, where you want to go, what you need in the way of tools and skills to get there, and then make an actual, doable individualized plan that get’s this job done.

Do you know who you are? Conduct an honest evaluation of yourself because your plan should fit in with your life style and your schedule. Once you have that in place you need to stay the course and not become seduced with something new until you have completed your present plan. Then you can reevaluate, once again, where you are right now and what your needs are right now to get the job done. It then becomes one positive step at a time.

And remember, as you travel along your individualized path that you are not competing against any other singer. You are authentic and unique in what you have to offer. There is no competition. Singing is a matter of allowing the words, music and emotion to come through the sound of your voice. Then it’s up to those hiring to make a choice on whether you are a “fit” for their company at that time. You simply go, do your job, leave and move on to whatever comes next on your agenda.

“Focus on competition has always been a formula for mediocrity.” – Daniel Burrus

Here is another interesting bit of information about competition. Did you know according to Alfie Kohn in his book “No Contest: The Case Against Competition”, that America is the only country that is almost totally based on competition rather than cooperation? Do you see yourself during an audition as competing against someone else? Do you have to prove to the world, performance after performance, audition after audition, that you are better than everyone else? Competition means that someone wins and everyone else loses. Does that sound artistic in any way? NO WONDER THERE IS SO MUCH STRESS!!!! Do not forget why you love to sing and perform. It’s not a competition. You are your instrument so it is unique. When you sing and someone else is present or when you perform with an audience present, you share in an amazing exchange of cooperative energy. We are collaborators with pianist, colleagues, orchestra, and the audience. Isn’t it nice to know that something this human still exists in today’s harried world? And yes, of course you have to make sacrifices just like in any other profession. But if it’s what you want, suck it up, do the work and get really good at doing your job. Don’t use excuses. Like Yoda says, “There’s no trying, either do or don’t.” Use your resources in a consistent manner and your time, energy and money will get you to your goal much faster than if you “try” hard for two weeks and then slack off for a month.

So, start putting all the pieces of your puzzle together and stick to your own plan of action with clarity and conviction. It’s just a job! You will cut through the chaos and frenetic feeding frenzy of everything and everybody else that is going on around you. Find your pace and remain steady and true to it. When you work in this manner, in the 3rd person, it takes all the emotional and personal stuff out of the equation and you will find that what you think of me is none of my business which then allows you to take guardianship of and responsibility for maintaining you own power.

You know what I think about this subject, now I want to hear from you! Avanti and ciao until next time. Carol

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