Lose Your Self-Consciousness
by Cheryl Richardson
I’m a big fan of talent shows like The Voice (my current favorite), American Idol, and So You Think You Can Dance. I record the shows weekly (when each series airs) and I use them to motivate me to work out. I have a rule: I can watch a show as long as I’m moving on an exercise machine in our home gym.
I love these programs because I’m passionate about music, I love singing and dance, and I get so excited seeing people express their creativity and talent. Don’t you just love that moment of magic when a performer seems to transcend time and space and become one with the audience and their art? Just think of Michael Jackson dancing in Thriller and you’ll know what I mean.
I also appreciate the fact that, more and more, these programs are showcasing the benefits of having a mentor or coach. The feedback delivers clues as to what it takes to bring our best to the game. The most common piece of advice is always the same: be yourself. The mentors on The Voice, for example, are always suggesting that the singers relax into who they are so they’re better able to shine from the inside out without worrying about what others think. Easier said than done, I know, especially when you’re in the vulnerable position of being on stage in front of judges!
The funny thing about being yourself is that you have to lose your self-consciousness — the habit of judging yourself — in order to do it. You need to become so immersed in the moment and within yourself, that you begin to channel your pure creative spirit. It’s in this empowered state that we’re able to not only do our best work, but also experience the blissful joy of creative expression. As we link up with the Divinity in the present moment, we naturally connect with each other — the greater Oneness of all. That’s when the fun begins.
Learning to be fully ourselves without concern for the reactions, judgments, or expectations of others is a life-long journey. Regardless of how confident and self-possessed you are there will always be times in life when you feel vulnerable and afraid to be yourself. That’s called living as a human being on planet earth.
The important thing to remember is that self-consciousness is about you — not other people. I made the mistake of thinking that my awkwardness on stage, for instance, was about my fear of how others might judge me. But, I learned that my self-consciousness was really my fear of judging myself once I got off stage. This is such an important piece of wisdom to understand (thank you Debbie Ford). I now have a blast on stage and, as a result, my audiences have fun learning, too.
The more you become your own best champion, supporter, cheerleader, and trusted confidant, the better able you’ll be to fully and joyfully express your blessed creativity. That’s when your art becomes more and more successful in the world.
It begins with treating yourself with love, respect, kindness, and compassion.
If you’d like to lose your self-consciousness and empower your creative spirit, start by answering the following questions:
- What do you need to do (or stop doing), right now, to become a better friend and supporter of yourself?
- What do you need to stop saying to yourself?
- What kind of encouragement do you need?
- Who do you need to spend more time with?
- Who do you need to avoid?
The answers to these questions will get you started on the road to fuller self-expression in a way that feels good — really good.
This week’s blog post comes from my dear friend Cheryl Richardson. You can find more from Cheryl on her website at www.cherylrichardson.com where she generously “provides you with practical tools, challenging ideas, resources, and helpful information that will support you in living a life that honors your soul.”