One of my own favorite diva mentors is Denise Duffield Thomas. So much so, that I joined her Lucky Bitch Money Bootcamp years ago and it has had a significant impact on my life. As you can surmise, Money Bootcamp is all about revolutionizing your relationship to money so you can uncover your stumbling blocks, clear them, and get on with living your own version of a first class life—whatever that means to you.
The bootcamp was a full six weeks of lessons to which I’ve returned time and time again. In fact, after I did my first round of bootcamp, I went back and did all of the lessons again but this time from the vantage point of singing/having a career in music. To say it was eye-opening would be an understatement. One of the most important takeaways I had from the experience was to discover my own limiting beliefs. So, I’d like to share that with you, divas, for today’s micro-action.
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Your 29 Days To Diva – Day 17 Assignment: Discover Your Limiting Beliefs
Throughout my many years in music spaces, I had soaked up a bunch of limiting beliefs that were just hanging out in my subconscious. These underlying negative thoughts were the cause of my self-sabotaging behaviors. My limiting beliefs were and are always at the root of my overwhelm. When I feel like I’m working twice as hard as everyone around me to pay my bills and barely able to carve out the time I need for my musical life? Yep, there they are again. Maybe you’ve heard these phrases too:
- You’ll never make any money in music…
- You have to look a certain way to be considered an opera singer…
- Your voice isn’t big enough… [insert literally anything in the space for your voice isn’t _______]
- If you don’t do Merola or Glimmerglass, then you can’t have a career in professional singing…
- You have to live in X city to have a career…
Discover Your Limiting Beliefs and Sabotages
Maybe you even began to believe them over time. Maybe you still do… That’s really the point behind today’s assignment. Denise writes,
We all have sabotaging beliefs and behaviors around money. Often these are completely unconscious, but very predictable, and they will follow you throughout your money journey.
We sabotage ourselves for self-protection, preservation and even as an excuse to stay in our comfort zone. And if you don’t learn to understand and recognize your sabotages, you’ll find it hard to get past resistance and procrastination.
I want you to take time today to discover your own limiting beliefs and sabotaging behaviors around your singing life. To identify yours, there’s a high probability that this is going to bring up some deeply uncomfortable feelings. Remember that it’s okay to postpone this type of exercise for when you have the spoons. If you’re ready to look at some of the painful memories of your singing life, then let’s move on.
Make A List of Every Negative Singing Memory
Please make a list of as many memories around your singing life as you can that still carry an emotional response of rage, shame, bitterness, embarrassment, and jealousy. The more you can list, the deeper your awareness will be. Then, you can work to release those negative memories. It’s okay to have over 100 memories to start. Also, I know that femme-presenting people are especially conditioned to avoid acknowledging these types of feelings. It may take time or multiple tries to get into the nitty-gritty music memories you’ve been suppressing. Brené Brown, who studies vulnerability, courage, authenticity, and shame, writes, “Shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing we are flawed and therefore unworthy of acceptance and belonging.” She goes on to say, “Women often experience shame when they are entangled in a web of layered, conflicting, and competing social-community expectations.” For this exercise, you are trying to mine your memory for every instance you can recall in which you felt flawed and unworthy of acceptance and belonging in a musical community.
When you’ve had a chance to write your list, review what you’ve written for recurring themes. Honestly, one of the reasons that Money Bootcamp was so transformative for me is because many of my money memories are an overlapping circle of a Venn diagram with my negative musical memories. Do your music memories also reveal anxieties around money? Maybe they reveal a self-sabotage around “being seen.” There’s a lot to learn about yourself here. Each one of these memories is lodged in your subconscious and informing each micro decision that you make in your career.
The Proof Is In The Cumulative Effect
The micro-action for today is to make your list and identify your own limiting beliefs. However, it’s pretty rough to just leave you there in the muck of all of those yucky feelings. After discovering your negative memories and how they’re continuing to impact your singing life now, the next step is to clear those memories through forgiveness work and re-programming your thinking/mindset. As you’re able, start forgiving yourself, the situation, and any of the people involved with each memory in the most specific words you can find. Alongside that forgiveness work, you can practice changing your mindset for each situation that has been informed by a limiting belief. Remember, affirmations and changing your language and self-talk take time. The cumulative effect of these micro-actions, though, can transform not only your singing career but your overall life experience. It’s worth it.
Divas, this is a deeply personal topic so I know that it can be hard to share. I want you to know though that I am here for you. Find me on social media and drop me a message. I’d love to know your takeaways and a-ha moments! I’m @mezzoihnen. It makes my day whenever I hear from you.
Want more posts about inner work and mindset? Diva, I’ve got you…
There she is again. She strides, practically floats, onto the stage and takes her place in the crook of the piano. She smiles warmly. Her body seems so at ease. It doesn’t look like her palms are sweating. It doesn’t look like she feels her heart about to burst out of her chest. She makes steady, but not awkwardly prolonged, eye contact with a few random listeners. She takes a calm, relaxed breath and then golden notes seem to come pouring out of her. She’s practically radiating confidence.
And you’re sitting there going, “Ugh. Why don’t I look and feel like that?”
Read all of A Singer’s Inner Work: Building Confidence here.
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