As I was recently watching an episode of “The Voice”, I was so frustrated, as I watched a contestant perform and thought to myself, “Ahhh, stop trying so hard!”
This person is an incredibly talented vocalist with an uncanny ability to mold and adapt to any situation, but it was obvious in their performance that they were desperately trying to just win over the crowd.
Now, “The Voice” is a talent show, and I am not a total idiot, so I am completely aware that the crowd’s support, and in this case, voting, is what takes you to the next level. However, in this case, it was the focus on that very fact that kept this particular performer from reaching the next level.
Note: I know that everyone reading this article who has heard my humming, singing, attempt to play guitar, slightly unrhythmic drumming or even off-tune noises would question my opinion on this matter, but it really got me thinking.
I know I recently wrote a blog article on the whole “what does success mean to us?”, and how we often confuse our approval by others or worldy accolades received from our performance as our checkmark beside “successful” on our resume. But, even deeper than that….how do we keep ourselves from performing?
No really—it’s easy to come to conclusions about a certain way we should live or conduct ourselves or on something we should or should not do, but the big question is: How do we implement that lesson/conclusion?
For the contestants on “The Voice”, I believe the most convincing attribute that a singer can have is believability. Even when their pitch is off key, they forget the words, their nerves are shot or whatever it may be, it is absolutely obvious when the singer believes the words they are saying into the microphone.
There is a story behind the heartbreak or the victory that travels through the harmony.
There is a purpose behind the pain that led them to the bright lights on that stage.
They have people in their lives that have transformed these words from lyrics to life-giving words, full of passion and soul and strength and fire.
Suddenly when this happens, the singer starts to throw in a few ad-libs, change up the way they sing a line or two, throw in a choir in the background and extend the runs, making the song their VERY OWN.
How did they do it?
They believed it so much that it became their own. They stopped trying to “cover” the song as the original artist did and realized that the only way a new piece of art is truly seen as artistry is when you can see strokes of the artist in the way that they paint – or sing, write, teach, etc.
Well, as a follow-up to my previous post about performance, I felt it was only necessary to share this tonight. If you want to give a winning performance, you have to care about the words you are singing FAR more than the votes you are attaining or the claps you are hearing.
Your performance is your vehicle to show it but it is your belief in something that gives you the fuel to ever go anywhere meaningful.
Do you believe in what you’re doing? How you’re living your life? The friendships/relationships you are maintaining and seeking? Even the words that are coming out of your mouth and the thoughts you have while you drive in the car—are you living out your heart song?
Believe in you and the song that you’re singing, in everything that you do. And if you don’t, invest in a new song.
It’s never too late to believe a new melody. If there is breath in your lungs, there is a song in your heart and you should be singing it.
I promise, once you start believing more than performing, the more you will realize how much you don’t care about four chairs turning around and that will be exactly when they do.
Not trying to make something that isn’t deep into a Shakespeare novel, just reminding you that we have to remember who we are and not lose that in the day in and day out.
The heart of the singer that is evident in the words of a song are what makes it come to life.
What makes you sing? What is your song? Do it. Follow it. Be it.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” –Matthew 16:33