I’ve never been a confident person. In fact, more often than not, I fight little battles with myself and end up losing to the pessimist in me. It was getting pretty bad at one point that you could kind of tell that I have these weird internal struggles onstage, which is really not the time to be conflicted. So I wrote myself a “pre-gig pep talk” to make sure I walked up to the mic with every intention of being awesome and having a good time. I still carry it around on my phone and every once in a while, I’ll need it. I wrote it on May 7, 2010 so it’s nice to see how far I’ve come in a little over a year.
I thought I’d share this in part because I think I’m not the only one who struggles with self-confidence and also with the hope that people understand that every time I get up onstage, I’m fighting (and hopefully winning) a battle with myself. Stage time is finally getting to the point where I can relish in the little victories.
This is your pre-gig pep talk. Take it seriously and read this out loud because in this moment, you are writing to yourself from a place that you should be in!
You are going to go out to PERFORM for these people. You are going to play your MUSIC and music you BELIEVE in. Don’t just stand still and keep your eyes shut. Be calm. BREATHE. Move. Feel the music. Feel your voice! Feel how good it sits in your soul.
Smile! It’s ok to be suggestive! Be engaging and confident! Be honest. Be fun and playful. Be HAPPY. Even on your worst days, you are all of these things. Show everyone that you are intelligent, loving and a CREATIVE person. Don’t just assume that they’ll “get it eventually”; help them understand!
This is your punk rock moment. This is your rebellion. You have something SPECIAL and it needs to be shared with the world. You can have attitude and still be you! You have nothing and everything to prove to anyone and everyone.
You are talented. You are a great guitar player and a formidable singer/songwriter. Your songs are honest, insightful and speak about personal experiences that EVERYONE has. Be PRESENT in the moment instead of going into auto-pilot! Embrace every moment. Enjoy your time to shine! If you have a bad moment, laugh about it and move on! It’s in the past, so there’s no use wishing you could change it. Just focus on constantly being BETTER!
Don’t worry about what other people are thinking of you, either. All your life, you’ve been in other peoples heads worrying about what they think of you. This is your dream and you are doing what you love. And you do it INCREDIBLY. You own the mic, so speak your mind! Be bold and daring with your thoughts. But also talk with purpose. Do everything with purpose!
If you are having a bad day, just remember that every little thing is going to be alright. Don’t worry about a thing!
In a little while, you will be standing in front of people who want to hear what you have to say. Share your soul with them. That’s what this is all about.
I’m very proud of you and I love you.
Have a great show!