I Thought I Couldn’t Do It

Despite the fact that a substantial amount of people say I can sing, I often don’t believe them. It may be my in-built urge to dismiss any compliments that people give to me, and to try and prove them wrong, or because in my mind I tell myself that I can’t accept that I’m good at SOMETHING. Whatever it is, it causes me to laugh whenever anyone says I’m a good singer, and to only sing around people when I really, really want to or when I really trust them.

Today, I did something that shocked me a little, something I would never expect myself to do. I sang to strangers over the Internet.

Alright, they’re not REALLY strangers. I got added to this group chat on WhatsApp a week ago, with the majority of the people there being blind and teenagers, but from all over the world. So England, Germany, America, South Africa to name a few places. Apart from two people, I didn’t know anybody well; I’d been lurking in the chat for a while and alongside another group, with many of the same members, I’d read messages from the various participants. I didn’t often say much until today, just the occasional “Hi!” or messages to that effect.

I was bored today, and though I should be packing for Thailand, I decided to read what the people were saying on the group. Originally, I didn’t plan to join in, but the conversation turned to music and singing. That, I had a passion for, and so I took more of an interest because I knew that if I talked, I wouldn’t feel like an outsider.

One of the girls from Germany sang on a voice message. As I said that she had a great voice, some kind of urge took hold in me. If she could sing, why wouldn’t I? I still refused to think about it though, the nervous excitement buzzing through my body preventing me from forming any coherent music. Further discussions ensued, with another girl – one I knew vaguely – singing as well.

We spoke about instruments and music, and all through this discussion, people were encouraged by others to sing: “If anyone can sing, why not show us?” I said I would, as a sort of joke, but it was only until people shared how they liked to sing that something snapped. Oh fuck it, I thought. What’s stopping me?

Nothing stopped me but my fear. I took deep breaths, practicing a little before I sent the message. However, I soon realised that even if I DID mess up, it was alright: the exact words I thought were, “You don’t know these people, and you’ll never have to meet them. You’re just another person, who CAN sing, and you should be proud.” The thumping beat of my heart quietened a little.

I sang “Can’t Help Falling in Love” – you can find a cover that I did of that song a while ago here – shameless self-promotion I know. Because I absolutely love the song, I found it relatively easy to sing: I may have messed up a couple of times, when I couldn’t reach the low notes, but that was down to my nerves.

When I listened back to it, after I finished, I felt strange. For once in my life, I realised that I COULD sing. There was hardly any disgust when I thought that, because I didn’t feel arrogant. I felt, and still do feel, slightly in awe that I managed to get the courage to do THAT.

The response was really positive. It’s rare that I truly thank someone, especially a group of people I don’t know, on a voice message. This time, the “Thank you, that really means a lot to me,” easily passed my lips, and I felt no fear that they’d find me too weird.

These were people who I didn’t know. The people who would listen to my voice message I had not really spoken to before, so to display something that I’m usually shy about to them was stepping hugely out of my comfort zone. Yes, I may have things up on youtube and will sing when people request me to, but I often feel so much more nervous and upset that they’d think I was shit.

Even if it IS scary, do something that you wouldn’t normally do from time to time. You will feel so much better afterwards, more so if it’s something you love.

Don’t let fear hold you back. I wouldn’t do this every day – sing to random people – and once was enough for now. But I know that I CAN do that, if the situation arises, and that I shouldn’t let my worries dictate what I do. If you take nothing else from this post, remember that you’re the one in control of what you do and don’t do.

Singing is something I love. It’s something that’s mine, and I haven’t been doing it so much recently: something I hope to rectify. Instead of shattering my confidence, this situation has boosted it.

I have a smile on my face, and I hope that it won’t fade any time soon.

From Elm πŸ™‚

42 thoughts on “I Thought I Couldn’t Do It

  1. Yay well done! I’m a singer too, and despite years of people telling me I was good and winning almost every competition I entered (not bragging though πŸ˜‰ ) I didn’t believe them and thought my medals were just due to luck. I’ve suffered from really bad stage fright and performance anxiety since I was 11 which stopped me from singing for many years, but over the past 3 years I’ve regained a lot of confidence and started entering competitions again (and winning!). It was just a few weeks ago when I had a moment like you had, and realised I was actually good and didn’t need to be nervous anymore: I was away camping for the weekend and got quite drunk and sang all through the night :). Probably not the best or healthiest way to discover this but at least I did it! Congratulations on having confidence in yourself, and does this mean we’ll get to hear more lovely covers from you on your blog in the future? πŸ˜‰

  2. Oh my gosh I am so proud of you!!!!!!!! It is very difficult to do anything in front of people in fear of messing up, but mistakes happen all the time. But the difference between people who are good at something and the people who are not is that the people who are good get back up even when they make a mistake and people who are bad at something don’t. What I am trying to say is that you are GOOD!! Sometimes it takes time to become confident to do something but when you do it feels so great. I am glad you had the courage to share your voice, it is so beautiful, your voice. Keep on singing!!! πŸ™‚

  3. That’s awesome Elm!! πŸ™‚ You have a beautiful voice and I’m studying music at uni so you better believe me ahah and the fact that you’re passionate about it too makes it all the better… maybe you should try doing some gigs or performances? πŸ˜€

  4. The cover you sang sounds amazing.
    I sing too and I know how nerve wracking it is to sing in front of people or post videos online. Have you ever considered taking singing lessons as since i started taking lessons properly, I started feeling more confident about my voice and I can hear the improvement I’ve made =)

    • Thank you, Georgie! And yes, I have; I took a few lessons about year ago, I really want to start again because you’re right it’s made me more confident

      • Welcome πŸ˜„
        Over holidays (like this summer holiday) my mum teaches me so I still have some work to show my teacher in September. Singing every day really helps my voice to improve 🎼

  5. Elm, never let anyone tell you that you can’t do anything. Especially not yourself. Because you can do whatever you put your mind to. Including this, because hello, you’re awesome. And I say that with absolute certainty, because I just listened to it…. YAS. I’M SO HAPPY FOR YOU. THAT’S THE POINT OF THIS WHOLE COMMENT. HUGS ALL ROUND.
    -Amy

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