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Your Voice is Like Your Fingerprint

I stepped outside my comfort zone recently and it really paid off.

I have been writing songs for over twenty years but I was afraid to let them out into the world. What if people made fun? What if they couldn't relate? What if they didn't like my music?

I spent a lot of time keeping my songs inside. Literally hiding my own voice.

Then, somewhere along the way I was confronted with the scientific proof that every human voice is unique. Like a snowflake or a fingerprint. It's the same with writing songs as no two humans have the exact same human experience. I came to the scary realization that if I didn't sing my songs then they would NEVER, EVER be heard.

When I understood the uniqueness of my own voice (and everyone else's) I had no choice but to decide that what others think is not my highest priority. The idea of my own voice never even existing was just too sad to consider. So, I did it...

I let a few friends hear a song I wrote. My heart was pounding so heavy I could hear it in my head. I was shaking so hard I could barely place my fingers on the right string. It was hard to catch my breath, much less sing a note. But, I kept going.

And then, the song was over. No fireworks. No horrible comments. Some people expressed that they liked the song and if anyone didn't like the song, they were polite enough to keep their comments to themselves. Although it was a little bit embarrassing baring my soul it felt really, really good to present something that came uniquely from me. And the more I did it, the more positive feedback I got until the embarrassment started to go away.

Unfortunately, a lot of us are carrying around trauma from the past when someone with very bad manners (um... 5th music class, perhaps?) said something mean and we've internalized it and let that rude comment make actual decisions about our lives as adults.

More often than not, with the exception of social media (ugh!), most adults have learned to say something nice or nothing at all. In fact, I find that people really appreciate opportunities to connect with another human's personal experience. This tends to mean that the bravery of sharing your own perspective is rewarded with mostly positive reinforcement.

Since that first song experiment, I've met all sorts of interesting people and even placed first in a couple of contests for songwriting. Fast forward to today when I just recorded an album of original songs with some of my favorite musicians in KC and we're planning all sorts of new adventures around that album's release.

None of it would be possible without having taken that first step. Don't keep your voice inside. Let it out and see what happens!

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