We were in Hollywood Studios for the day, and I heard there was an American Idol Experience attraction. So obviously, I thought that my husband – who is a true music lover, but can’t hold a tune to save his life – should audition. Wouldn’t it be fun, I thought, to sit in the audience with my little princess, and cheer for him?
Well, it turns out that you actually have to be able to sing to get into the show. There are real auditions before they let you in. So Hubby said that I should do it.
First, I had to go into a small room and audition for one guy who was sitting behind a desk. I was told to stand on a star on the floor and sing any song I wanted. I chose Lady Marmalade.
The judge told me I made it to the next round.
The next round involved practicing a few songs with musical accompaniment, and then singing two of them in another small room for a different judge.
I passed that audition, too. So now I was going to perform in the American Idol Experience show for an audience of hundreds of people.
It was pretty exciting. I hadn’t sung on a big stage in years. Everyone was cheering, and the judges – even the mean “Simon-like” judge – were pretty nice to me. There was an audience vote, and I won!
My story could end here. And it sort-of does. I had accomplished something fun. But it all felt easy and natural. I wasn’t pushed too far out of my comfort zone. I like singing, and my earlier experiences on stage and with bands all came flooding back, so I had a good time rocking it out to “Hot Stuff.”
But now I was in the Grand Finale. The stakes were higher, the prizes were bigger, and my daughter really wanted me to win (that was the biggest stress of all!). I tried to have fun, but suddenly I was attached to the outcome (mistake #1).
Thinking back on the original show, I realized that I was really doing it just to do it, to have fun, to feel good about singing again. And my enjoyment of it came through.
Now, in the Finale, I felt pressure. The judges were not so nice this time. I allowed their energy and their words to affect me. I really didn’t think I would win, so I lost confidence (mistake #2).
What does this all have to do with business? Well, how you do anything is how you do everything.
It became clear to me that this is how I approach business, too. There are many things that come easy to me, that feel natural. So I do those things a lot. But I only go so far.
I stop myself when it gets too hard. I lose confidence when other people say discouraging things. I let others affect my mood.
Why am I telling you this?
Sometimes it seems that other people have it all, and we wonder why we can’t have it all, too. Many people tell me that they think I have “made it.” And they wish they could “make it,” too.
But it’s not about arriving somewhere. It’s about constantly pushing past your blocks, your fears, your challenges. Then those challenges become easier. They aren’t so challenging. BUT, there are new challenges! Every day.
Each day in business presents us with our own challenges. If we can become aware of them and take steps to work on them, we become stronger. Will you join me in committing to this?
I lost the Finale to a 14-year old boy (he was pretty awesome). But I came home with some great memories, and a renewed commitment to keep growing.
Where do you stop yourself? Become aware. Take a baby step to go past that today.
To your success!