Tuesday, February 19, 2013

You're Good!

Helloo0O Ladies and Gentlemen!

Welcome back to Graceland Ontario, your one stop location for success advice from the greats. Today, we’re doing a post about moving past the fear of failure (dedicated to my brother, who’s birthday it is today).

So, as you may or may not know, I am a musician as well a writer (and, man, I don’t think you can have better occupations than those). And I perform all over the place − with my brother. But we all have to start somewhere.

I remember a couple years ago being backstage at a school Talent Show. Everyone was going green in the face, looking like Macbeth when he realized his overconfidence would be his ruin. Guitarists suddenly lost mastery of their instrument, singers’s voices died, dancers started getting cramps.

And, like many, I began tapping my feet and fidgeting, as I always do when I’m freaking out.

So, I started talking to my brother. I’ll tell you, I was a senior and it was his first Talent Show. What’s more, he was brand new to the school. But it didn’t matter. He was standing there, as calm as can be.

I said, “well, it’s a big crowd. Don’t get your hopes too high.” All the usual crap you’ll start saying when you’re about to do a show. And you’re scared.

But my brother nearly lost his temper, “so what? It’s a show? You’ve played them before, haven’t you?!”

I wasn’t convinced. “But these are high school students. They’re harder to impress than some.”


I tried one last time to freak him out. “But look at everyone else around − they’re all scared”.

And God be thanked he didn’t bite my nose off. “And they’re acting like idiots! We’ve practiced this a million times. And we’re good. Calm down!”

And you know, I did. Long enough to perform the number. Long enough to stand through the judging. And would you believe it, we won third place. My brother, first year in the school, had accomplished what I’d never done by myself in all the years previous.

So, what am I saying? Take it easy when you’ve got to perform, for a show, for a business presentation, when you’re talking about something uncomfortable with a family member. If you’ve played smart, you’ve practiced a ton of times and you’re prepared. If not, you’ve got to do your best anyways, and freakin’ out won’t help.

After all, as my bro said, you’re good. It’s only a matter of telling the people at the other side of the table that. And you’ve only gotta relax and speak with passion to get that settled.

Thanks for reading, talk to you later, and happy birthday, bro!

Alex H.

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