8 Easy Steps to Confident Performing
This 8-step exercise will give you a powerful practice
to ensure performing confidence!
It is a well-known fact that athletes not only train their bodies, but also their minds. Mental rehearsal or visualization has been around for decades; used by Olympians, pro golfers, soccer players, boxers, and hundreds of other professional athletes.
We too are athletes, singing athletes. Our bodies are our instruments. And it is my firm belief that each of us will be greatly served if we take the time to not only become vocally consistent, but develop the metal edge for peak performance.
Join me as I share with you a mental exercise inspired by the book “The Art of Mental Training” by DC Gonzalez.
Let’s create your personalized mind movie in 8 easy steps!
The Goal: Crafting a 5 -10 minute relaxed visualization based on successful past and future events that conjure strong positive emotions. This visualization will become part of your pre-event ritual to put you in a powerful state of action.
When I first started this exercise, I found that my mind immediately ran wild, remembering all the bad memories… the time my sister gussied me all up at the age of 5 and took me to a cattle-call audition for Oscar Myer Wiener. Yuck! The Shakespeare play in 7th grade when I forgot my lines feeling sooo embarrassed, and the college basketball game when I was singing the National Anthem and the person standing behind me in the crowd was singing off key and I followed him… modulating what felt like a 100 times during my solo.
Yikes! Not a very empowering mind movie!
I knew I had great memories to recall, so to help me through the process I knew I needed to get the memories out of my head and on paper….
Travel back in time to your earliest memories and then work forward, making a list of all the significant memories, both good and bad.
*If you don’t have any – or very few – memories, make-up memories that you desire to have.
*This is also the place where you can add the future events you want to become real.
2. Call-Back List
Circle the events that when you recall them, make you FEEL the best.
3. Get In The Feel
Next to each event, write 1 to 3 positive emotion words that this event makes you feel.
Need help with positive emotions?… check out this list…
4. Through the Lens
Now, next to the positive emotion, write an image trigger…
5. Story Board
You now have a very powerful list of events, emotions, and images… but until it becomes second nature to recall these events, let’s give ourselves one more tool…
Let’s create a storyboard for our mind movie…
– Take a piece of paper, or cardstock… I chose to use an 8×10. This is so I can slip it into my music binder and have it with me on auditions and performances.
– Get creative with this … use markers, colored pencils, throw in a few crayon accents… maybe even cut out a few images. If you want, it could be similar to a vision board, difference being that this board is grounded in the wonderful-feeling things you have already done mixed with future events.
– Write your favorite feel good events.
– Write your powerful positive emotions.
– Write your vivid image trigger all over your paper.
* This is where I snuck in a few of my future events. I also added some of my favorite words; faith, surrender, guided…
6. Workshop it!
Let’s test it out. Set a timer for 10 minutes. Place your image board in front of you. Sit or lay down in a relaxed position. Gently close your eyes and walk yourself through your powerful events, positive emotions, and passionate images. Flooding your brain with the FEELINGS that connect you to your joy, love, happiness… or whatever positive emotions you have chosen.
If you get stuck, distracted, or lost (that would be me… all of a sudden thinking about what I want to eat for dinner) – open your eyes and simply glance at your storyboard. It is there to help you get back on track.
7. Dress Rehearsal
Practice. Take 10 minutes every day to cultivate and refine this mental exercise. It is unique to you and only you can “plant fruit and pull weeds.”
Edit, change, add, practice until you get to the point that when you are done you are relaxed, focused, and connected deeply to your strength and purpose.
*I started playing my mind movie when I went on a walk or jog; still staying relaxed, but adding physical movement.
Play your mind movie…
– Before you go classes and lessons
– While you wait to give an audition or start rehearsals
– Before a performance, adding in feel-good elements of that event
*For performances, I like to “walk the stage” and play the mind movie including visualizing my current performance executed with precision and joy.
My Big “Ah-Ha” Moments
This exercise was powerful for me.
It felt so good to look at all that I had done and feel the emotions that accompanied those memories. I discovered that what I cherished most about the experiences was the collaboration and team-work that I felt while doing the work. Growing as a team to create something of beauty to then give away to an audience. This insight is very valuable to me. It is not the solo-spotlight that I seek, but relationships that are built through creative collaboration and contribution to the greater good. This is why doing a solo recital is so unappealing to me.
I could also feel the fear and resistance come up when I wanted to place my future desires on my initial list. This is why I waited until I felt really good… which happened when I was making the story board. By that time I was feeling so happy remembering all the other events that those new venues didn’t seem so unattainable. This helped me break through the fear and state my desires clearly.
You are a Champion Singing Athlete
This practice is not about ignoring fear – but rather stacking the scale on the champion side of your performance art. Event-emotions are inevitable, but with a powerful foundation of positive emotions, practiced and refined, once the adrenalin starts pumping, the truth of your passion, joy, resilience, and love will override the fear.
Cultivate your creative mind to be that of a champion singing athlete. With your mind, body, and soul focused on that what feels good, your confidence and performance success will increase.
I will be practicing this mind movie exercise right along with you.
Let me know how it goes… share your insights and breakthroughs in the comment section below!
Support your fellow creatives by sharing this post with your friends 🙂
Until next week… Rejoice In Your Voice™!
P.S. Would you like to take voice lessons?
Email me today for your free 30-minute singing lesson and voice assessment in-studio or via skype – my email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I look forward to hearing from you!
July 3, 2014
I love this! It’s useful for a variety of situations.
July 4, 2014
Thanks, Dorothy! I am so glad you connected with my journey 🙂 Have a beautiful weekend!