Boy, can I relate to this.
I take things personally way too much for someone in the performing business. Or even just in business.
I take it personally when people:
- don’t attend concerts I’m putting on
- stop taking voice lessons
- unsubscribe from my mailing list
- don’t pick me for something for which I’ve auditioned
- don’t read my blog (that wouldn’t be YOU, because you’re here)
- look at me funny
I’m not as bad as I used to be, and I think it’s because my Estonian-accented inner critic (now where could that have come from? And why is she named Renate?) is a lot quieter in her whispers of, “I guess they don’t like you” than she used to be. (Seriously, my mother actually did say that to me when something fell through. It’s amazing I can function at all.)
Some people schedule their blogposts for the whole month. I try to do that, and when I have something in mind that I’m working on, like, oh, I don’t know, the upcoming college audition panel discussion on June 30, I do structure my posts around that and write related things. Other times, I check my Notes file to see what juicy tidbits I’ve saved that I thought could be something.
That’s where today’s post comes from. Seth Godin wrote back in April that, “When I say I don’t like your idea, I’m not saying I don’t like you.” He goes on to say that we’ve been convinced that our identity is based on what we do and say, and that as a result, we find it difficult to accept feedback and evolve as needed.
As singers, having someone not hire you feels like they’re saying, “I don’t like your voice,” which then makes us feel like they’re saying, “I don’t like you.” And it very well could be that someone doesn’t like us, voice and all, or maybe they like the voice but not us. Not everyone is going to like everyone, for whatever reason. But it’s very unlikely that no one likes you, even if you do have a Renate in your head/life telling you otherwise.
Not taking things personally is the second of the Four Agreements:
Don’t assume (#3) that people don’t like you (#2) because they don’t like what you have to offer. Maybe it’s not for them – but it will be for someone else, as long as you’re honest (#1) and are working at the highest level you can right now (#4). All of these factors should be in place whenever you prepare for an audition, a performance, or just in your daily life.
And sometimes, you just gotta say: