No More Self Doubt: Just Bloom

Courtesy of Kelsey

 

Several weeks ago now, I attended a yoga class at Denton Yoga Center, and our guru, Becky, was teaching us and talking with us about a topic that really resonated with me. This is something that I imagine lots of you have experienced, and I am currently being faced with on a nearly daily basis as a part of the musical I’m working on.

Blue

Let me back up a bit and talk about where I was coming from on the day that I went to class, and heard Becky speak to us.

When I auditioned for this show, I just hoped to be a part of the chorus. That’s it… That would have been enough. I would have been honored and proud. As it turned out, I was chosen for a much larger role than I could have EVER expected. You’d think I would have been overjoyed, but I wasn’t (at the time)… All that kept replaying in my head were things like:

 

  • You haven’t done a show before.
  • They clearly don’t know how weak your voice is.
  • You don’t deserve a role of this size right out of the gate.
  • The other cast members will never accept you.
  • The other people you work with are better than you.
  • Dozens of people could have done a better job with this role than you will.
  • You were only cast because of a technicality… not based on your own merits or talents.

 

So, to review… I was surprised, and scared, and full of self doubt.

Needs a Shave

I wanted to be proud! I wanted to celebrate… but as I got into the script and went to rehearsals, I found myself leaving at night comparing my performance to EVERYONE else’s and generally remembering only the measure in which I missed a rhythm, or the one step I forgot the first two times we danced it.

Out of several rehearsals… I only left 1 or 2 feeling good about myself. The rest, I just left feeling like a crock. I felt like I’d snuck into this club, and I was only moments from being kicked out.  OR WORSE.

Just being left to SUCK on stage, no one telling me how to make it better, disappointing my cast/crew mates, and being blacklisted from community theatre for ever (A fate worse than death, I know.)

Several weeks ago, I went on a business trip to Austin, and  my travel mates and I were hanging in the hotel room one night, and these girls both told me that they were surprised at how self-deprecating I was.  What? Self-deprecating? But I love myself. Right? I post Operation Beautiful notes. Right? I tell all of my friends how amazing they are DAILY. Right?  I like myself, and think I’m a good person. Right?

But the truth was out.

I am cruel to myself on the inside. Really. I have a really crazy way of managing to seem collected (sometimes), chipper (most of the time), and positive/upbeat (nearly all of the time), but in truth, I am exceptionally hard on myself.  I NEVER give myself a break. I never take it easy on myself, and I am critical of myself in almost EVERY facet of my life.  While this musical theatre story gets the point accross, it is certainly not the only way that I am mean to myself in my life.

I criticize my worth as a singer, a teacher, a friend, a WIFE, and it isn’t even about words.

It’s just, setting that bar, unreasonably high… or being derailed by slight setbacks. But mostly its that ache for perfection. I want to be spot on, in what I do. And if I miss even by a little… I just feel crushed by sadness and disappointment.  I don’t know WHERE or WHEN these feelings started, or WHY this self inflicted pressure is applied… but it is.

Sunrise

So… back to the yoga class… Becky is a phenomenal teacher, and mentor. I learn from her during every session, and she is one of my favorite people on this planet.  She was talking about spring, and about all of the varied and beautiful shades of green that began to flood our landscapes.  She began to speak of flowers, and the amazing way in which they exist.

Flowers just bloom.

They don’t compare themselves to other blossoms.

They don’t want for more or less petals.

They don’t wish they were another color.

They don’t feel insecure if they open more quickly or slowly than another.

They don’t feel guilty if they’re more symmetrical or tall than another bud.

Flowers just bloom.

Fuzzy

They open, and blossom. They REACH for the sun! They spread their petals, and root into the earth, and they strive only to be the most full, complete, and beautiful flower that they can be.

I just want to blossom. I just want to bloom, and feel beautiful in my own patch of earth.  I don’t want to worry about what the other flowers are wearing, or what size they are, or how high they can sing without straining, or how fit they are, or how thoughtful they are.  So, I’m working on it. Just trying to bloom…

I hope this insight is as impactful for you, as it was for me.  And I hope those of you who feel this way too (I know you’re out there) will join with me… let’s not be so hard on ourselves.  Let’s just bloom.

 

This post originally appeared on Kelsey Toney.

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