10 Tips for Being Patient with Yourself

As the great writer Stephen R. Covey wrote in his wonderful book “The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People” back in 1989, one of the habits is to “begin with the end in mind”. However, there can be a serious downfall in focusing purely on the end result without being prepared to do the work to get there. How many potentially great singers and orators suffer from the “I just want to be where I envision I’m going to end up” syndrome? As a vocal coach and singing teacher, I can see the frustration on the faces of some students when the gears just aren’t clicking easily into place.

Many times, I have to remind them that most of the changes they need to make must happen in their head first and that the voice will follow. Many of the adjustments are actually quite small and once they have that "aha moment", it will start to become second nature. The most important thing is to not give up! Time and again I have had eager singers and speakers begin lessons but when a month has gone by and they aren't where they expected to be, they get discouraged and quit. It is very like the seed underneath the ground, ready to emerge, when it is abandoned, shrivels and dies. I’m always very sad for these students but at the end of the day it is their own internal fortitude and self-belief that is necessary for their success. It's not enough that I want it for them, they need to be patient with the process.

So, here are my top 10 tips for being patient with yourself: 

     1) Remember that anything worth having or doing is worth waiting for.

     2) It takes 10,000 hours to become an expert in your field (the least you can do is give it 6 months).

     3) Set achievable, measurable goals for yourself (for example, hold a note for 12 counts, reach a new note comfortably, deliver a
         solid 30-second sound bite).

     4) Acknowledge that even the most seasoned professional feels insecure about their abilities from time to time.

     5) The most successful people in their field never feel like they have stopped learning and improving.

     6) Celebrate your victories (focusing on the positive things that happen will strengthen your resolve to keep on going).

     7) Cancel out the negative self-talk (it is poisonous and entirely unhelpful).

     8) When you’re alone in the car or shower, SING (or speak) with total abandon. Remind yourself how much pleasure it gives you and
          why you are working towards your goal.

     9) Work to please yourself. If there are those who praise you, accept the praise graciously, if there are those who put you down
          release it and let them own it as it says far more about them than you.

    10) Always remember, the journey IS the success.


Leave a comment

Add comment