How Understanding Your Giving Philosophy May Help You Perform Better
We often talk about the “gift of song” and this week I realized how closely my gift-giving philosophy and my giving-of-song philosophy were related. I discovered some interesting things – some I liked… others need some revision.
How we live is how we sing and I found this area to be no exception. Join me as we take a look a giving in our lives and in our music…
Since my mother’s passing, I have received many meaningful cards, care packages, emails, and gifts. While I was taking in all this love and support, there was this little voice in my head asking… would you do the same for others in this situation?
I know we all have different ways of showing love and support – but this type of abundance got me thinking about my own giving philosophy and, as all things are connected, I became curious if there were any similarities to my “giving of song” philosophy.
Just for fun I headed over to Gary Chapman’s “5 Languages of Love” website and took the free quiz to find out my main love language. From the five categories of Physical Touch, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, and Acts of Service, I was most dominant in the Acts of Service area. This made a lot of sense to me, as handling tasks for others and helping people meet their goals is a driving force in my life. (Click here to take the Love Language Quiz for yourself.)
But there is always room to grow in personal awareness, and because I was receiving so much comfort from others, my heart is to pay that forward. The better my awareness the more full my giving will be.
First I took an assessment of where I am today… I asked myself what are my gift-giving habits?
Below I share my insights… let’s take a moment to do this together…
Reflect on your process – What steps do you take to prepare a gift for someone to receive?
Do you choose something they need or want?
Do you covertly investigate their desires?
Do you observe your time together more keenly, taking note of needs that could be filled?
Where do you find the gift? And how far ahead to you plan?
How do you choose the container?
How do you dress the package?
Do you use fancy wrapping paper, repurpose, or hand-made?
Do you color-coordinate the bow?
Do you take hours to pick out a card, use stock cards, or design your own?
Do you find a bargain deal or go with the high-end brand?
Do you give from a place of abundance or scarcity?
What are the thoughts that are supporting your actions?
Take a look at both the light and dark sides of your giving.
As I observed my process – here is what I came up with…
And remember, this is not to feel bad, but rather to see how clarity and making a small shift can make a big impact in all areas of our life.
– For me, I love giving… but, I have boundaries or self imposed guidelines I follow – I give only to those I know really well, and for those people, I will sacrifice and do whatever it takes to give them what they want.
– There is a part of me that is nervous about giving gifts to people I don’t know so well – for fear of judgment – it is not expensive enough, not what they wanted, not the right brand or color.
– I also feel like my gift may not be very important and no one will notice if I don’t give anyway.
– I also tend to over-give… if they need a shirt, I give three. I definitely buy into the idea of more is better.
– I want to fill a desire or a need… and I find myself always listening and looking for clues as to what may be a good fit.
– I really want to buy the best, but try to be responsible so I settle for the bargain deal.
– I tend to wait until the last minute to purchase… a great excuse – “I wanted to get you ___________, but this is all I could find.”
– I skimp on wrapping paper and have been know to use Christmas wrap all year long.
– I recycle bows and ribbons.
– I make my cards… because paying $5 for a card feels crazy!
– In the end, what matters most to me is what is inside the box and that is something that their heart desired.
Some of the above didn’t sit right with me. I see conflicting thoughts, areas that need to be reworked, and concepts I need to ditch altogether.
So, now comes the interesting part of the reflection…what if we line-up our gift giving philosophy on one side of the page and our giving-with-song philosophy on the other?
|Giving of Song Philosophy
|For me, I love giving… but, I have boundaries or self imposed guidelines I follow – I have a strong sense of loyalty and give only to those I know really well, and for those people I will sacrifice and do whatever it takes to give them what they want.
|I don’t give my song away to just anyone. I am choosey about the directors and companies I work for and will give them all I have. But, I would rather sing for the elderly in a retirement home than work for an icky director that could forward my career.
|There is a part of me that is nervous to give gifts to people I don’t know so well – for fear of judgment – it is not expensive enough, not what they wanted, not the right brand or color.
|Quality is a big deal to me and I would rather not perform than give something to the audience that will not meet their or my expectation.
|I also feel that my gift may not be very important and no one will notice if I don’t give anyway.
|I know the performing market is saturated and I underplay my unique performing ability by saying “anyone can play my role.” There is a part of me that doesn’t perform because I feel no one “needs” it.
|I also tend to over-give… if they need a shirt, I give three. I definitely buy into the idea of more is better.
|This is where the over-singing comes in – Rather than settling into my own body and voice, I have the habit of trying to connect with the audience by trying too hard.
|I want to fill a desire or a need… and I find myself always listening and looking for clues as to what may be a good fit.
|When I have a clearly defined audience, I know how to deliver 🙂
|I really want to buy the best, but try to be responsible so I settle for the bargain deal.
|Creatively settling… not what dreams are made of.
|I tend to wait until the last minute to purchase… a great excuse – “I wanted to get you ___________, but this is all I could find.”
|Cramming… yes, I am guilty of that! Rather than doing the daily detail work, I rely on instinct to kick in. This action really robs me of the fun of crafting the song.
|I skimp on wrapping paper and have been known to use Christmas wrap all year long.
|Same audition dresses I have had since college. So far so good 🙂
|I recycle bows and ribbons.
|Nothing wrong with that!
|I make my cards… because paying $5 for a card feels crazy!
|I won’t pay top dollar for headshots or business cards.
|In the end, what matters most to me is what is inside the box and that it is something their heart desired.
|This is where my heart lies… in the end, old dress, borrowed jewelry; I deliver messages that connect deeply with the crowd. I want them to feel my song.
Holy cow! I can see right now where my giving mind-set is affecting my singing and performing… I can see what is working for me and what is working against me…
From sending hand written cards and making phone calls, to allowing my self more prep time with my songs and not over-singing – I’m making some commitments to shift my gift giving and song-giving philosophies.
How we live is how we sing – the clues to deeper singing awareness are everywhere!
Let me know what you discover in this awareness exercise in the comment section below?
Until next week, always Rejoice In Your Voice™!