Self improvement books for women have their place... but diving into your long-lost love of singing is the ultimate self-help program!
For nearly two decades, I've worked with women over 35 whose path to self-improvement led them to reigniting their love of singing through taking lessons with me. And I watched over and over again, as their pursuit of singing became a clear avenue for success with self-improvement. Here are just some of the reasons for that:
- Reigniting an old dream reconnects you with who you really are.
- Learning firsthand that you can improve and love the sound of your own voice is empowering, motivating, and beyond rewarding.
- The genuine confidence and self-belief a singer has to develop to share her voice with the world leaks into every other aspect of her life.
- The pursuit of creative goals creates a sense of meaningful purpose that has clients looking forward to waking up each day.
- Success with singing requires mental, emotional, and physical self-care - and therefore provides internal motivation that leads to success in all those areas.
Using your love of singing as a tool for self-improvement can be a fulfilling and empowering journey. And more importantly, tying your personal growth to a creative pursuit provides longterm internal motivation, because singing is an ongoing, evolving goal. Meaning, it becomes a lifestyle change, not just a phase you go through.
Ready to blow past those self improvement books for women and use that long-lost singing dream to love your life?
Then here's a 10-step action plan to embark on that path...
Part One: Self-Assessment
1. Explore why you haven't pursued your love of singing before now. These obstacles may still be present, so you want to recognize them when they pop up again (they most likely will). It's a good idea to start a journal and write these things down.
- Was it fear and self-doubt? Did you believe you weren't good enough?
- Was it considered silly and "unrealistic" by others around you (or you)? Did you figure that if it wasn't possible to make a lot of money, there was no point in pursuing it? Or did you just never really consider pursuing your love of singing?
- Did it fade away after you started a family? Did you feel it was selfish to continue with it? Did you just feel too tired and distracted?
2. Assess Your Current Skills:
- Identify your current level of singing. It's best to get outside, impartial feedback for this. Women tend to be hard on themselves and friends tend to say unhelpful things like, "You sound great!" If you don't have a way of getting this feedback, consider a Single Assessment Consult with me.
- Identify you current level of performance skills. For most newbies, performance skills haven't been practiced at all. But it's worth assessing and noting in your journal to monitor your progress. Sing in front of a friend (or imagine an audience) and write down what happens - how you feel, how your body reacts, how well your brain works (did you forget all the lyrics?), etc...
3. Assess Your Current Self-Care. Since we sing with our bodies, how we take care of our bodies effects our singing. So, here are some things to assess and possibly tweak for the sake of your singing goals. Write your thoughts about the following things in your journal.
- Mindset. Do you employ the journey mentality (progress, not perfection)? Do you succumb to negative self-talk or recognize it for what it is (basically, fear)? Do you have a support system (friends, family members, online groups)? Do you need help with imposter syndrome (take this free quiz, if you're not sure)?
- Singer's health. Do you average 7 hours of sleep per night? Do you drink water regularly throughout the day (at least a cup every two hours)? Do you eat a healthy, balanced diet? Would you benefit from cutting back on dairy, salt, alcohol, and/or sugar (you can test each one over time to learn if you sing better when you cut back)? Do you take time for yourself to recharge your batteries and be alone with your thoughts?
Part Two: Skill Development
4. Create a practice schedule.
- Your practice time is your "me time." Schedule it and stick with it. This is a great way to develop your boundary-keeping skills.
5. Find a vocal warmup and exercise routine.
- This is how singers get better - not from singing songs. Song work is where you experience the progress. If you're not interested in paying a teacher who will give you a workout routine, consider my guided workout bundle for your practice sessions. It includes the Ultimate Quick Hit Singing Lesson, which teaches you how to sing from your body instead of from your throat.
6. Begin to challenge yourself to perform.
- Karaoke nights at local venues are a great way to do this. Remember that performance is it's own skill to develop through mindful practice. Be patient and work on one or two new things to improve at each performance.
Part Three: Artist Development
7. Expand Your Repertoire:
- In the early stages, explore various musical genres and styles to broaden your singing skills and versatility. Don't limit yourself to one genre. You may be pleasantly surprised by what you end up really enjoying or excelling at.
8. Assess who you want to be while singing.
- Even if you're not planning on creating a musical project yet, ask yourself how you want to be seen on stage. Party girl? Insightful thinker? Rocker chick? How would you want an audience member to describe you to friends? Dig deeper than just "as a good singer." What is your stage personality?
9. Practice your stage personality.
- The next time you practice performing, channel the stage personality you defined (or try out one of the possibilities) in step 8. This is likely the person you really want to be in the world. You can let her out to play when you're singing. Have fun with it!
10. Make singing about mindfulness and self-care.
- Singing can be emotionally powerful. It can help reduce stress, improve mood, and boost your overall well-being. It can be your "me time," your motivation for physical self-care, and your sense of adventure in life. It can be a way to share a piece of yourself with the world, a piece that might not get the air time it deserves in the rest of your life. You can potentially make money from your love of singing, but the most valuable return on investment is the joy, purpose, and adventure it brings into your life!
Remember that self-improvement is a personal journey, and progress may vary from person to person. Celebrate your successes along the way and be patient with yourself as you work towards your singing and self-improvement goals. And let me know how I can help!