Episode 31 – Singing Perfectionism
Updated: Sep 24, 2022
I got tricked by my conditioning, wiring, programming – again.
Okay, I don’t care for traffic – I know, who does?
Why is it so hard to be where we are?
Often when I drive I just want to be where I’m going. When I sing, I just want to be where I’m not vocally. I want to be better.
When I’m on a plane I just want to be at my destination.
The journey has never really been fun for me. That’s too bad. The journey is the real joy. Does the journey ever end? Do we ever arrive?
Is life a destination or a journey?
Okay, I’ll lighten up. (-:
I do think you’ll enjoy today’s podcast as I did it from our mini-van!
If that’s not enough reason to listen then there is no convincing you. (-:
But I do cover a lot of the above and you can here my process if that helps.
Listen to my bout with perfectionism…it’s only been going on about 40 years!
The Inner Singer Podcast
Episode 31- Transcripts
Welcome to episode number thirty-one.
Welcome to the Inner Singer Podcast, providing tools and techniques to strengthen your inner singer, your beliefs, your confidence, your mindset. And now, your host for the Inner Singer Podcast, Mike Goodrich.
Well, hey there everybody. Thanks for listening to the inner singer podcast. This is Mike Goodrich here again. And I must admit here, I am sitting in a car. But I’m actually on my computer. I’m waiting for my little boy to finish a class. We homeschool him and therefore he has lots of fun classes with his friends and I’m sitting out at nine o’clock in the morning in my minivan. Not a van down by the river but an actual minivan out. Which incidentally is the favorite car that we’ve ever had. We’ve had all kinds of different cars since my wife and I got married and this Chrysler minivan is our favorite.
We’ve had Land Rovers and Volvo’s and all kinds of things. This thing is just crazy. It’s like riding in a plane. But anyway, I digress. It’s fun. Cracks me up. A minivan. I’m a minivan guy now.
Here I sit with computer in hand, actually on lap and no good microphone because I didn’t plan on doing a podcast. So I’m speaking into the onboard computer mic. So I hope this is not too bad.
I’ll do the best I can and editing to make it sound better. But anyway, I did not plan on making a podcast or I would have brought a better mic. But the reason I was inspired to make it is because of my drive here and the state that I found myself in. I don’t mean the state of California. I mean that the emotional and mental state that I found myself in during the drive and what I did and what I’m doing to shift that a little bit one of the things is just this podcast actually.
Thank you for helping me shift my emotional state after this ride, which is not bad at all, but I’m going to tell you exactly the story behind it and this whole thing. See if this makes any sense as far as singing. And if I find that it doesn’t make any sense as far as singing, you’re not listening to this anyway because I didn’t publish it anyway. If this does come out the other end and then then it’ll make sense. Here we go.
I take off from the house my little boy in the van with me. So we leave the house and the first street that we turn left on, there’s usually nobody on. I never wait. I just pull up to the stop sign. Look both ways. Turn left. There’s never anybody on.
Today all kinds of people on it. So, I’m looking and I’m feeling into this and it’s like 10 to 9. The class starts at 9 and it takes 10 to 12 minutes to get there with no traffic and making all the lights. I’m starting to feel this already. And I look off into the distance on the left, which is the direction we are to be going. The light is green. I’m thinking, what are these people doing on the road in my way when I have places to go? Seriously. This is what I’m thinking. Why are these people on the road? Why is everybody out to get me here?
Finally the road clears, the land clears. I turned left. The light now that I’m heading towards has finally turned red and now I’m behind a few cars. Finally turns green and off I go. I’m just about to make it through another green light and it turns red. In the distance, I see the light that I need to get onto the freeway which is an arrow turning left under the freeway and it’s green. I realize, if I’d only made this light, I would have made that light. I’d be sailing on the freeway, I’d be on time.
So, now which tracking through my mind is if they’d been nobody on the road, there usually is nobody on this road. Would have made that I would have made the first light. The second light, I’d be on the freeway. I’d be sailing instead of stewing in my own emotional pot right now as I look off into the distance to see the freeway light turned green and I’m still at a red light. By the time my red light turns green and I’m a hustling to get to the freeway light which is red by now. I don’t get there in time to trigger the light because it’s a left turn light and you have to be there to trigger it. So, the light turns green, but not my light.
I have to sit there through the whole round of light again, and it seems like it’s just taking forever. I’m not saying anything, but I’m kind of stewing. I’m looking at this now but by now, sooner than that, but certainly by now. I’m looking at this thinking, “What in the world what I have to believe to be getting this upset about people on the road and red lights. What’s going on here?”
So, I thought well the first thing is I could have left earlier. But then I think well, I don’t know. Could I have left earlier I got up really early. I was ready. It’s got to be my wife’s fault. She slept late. So let’s see we can blame her. And my little boy, he picked up the iPad to show us some Pokémon stuff when he shouldn’t have and he wasn’t eating his breakfast. So it’s his fault. And I’m thinking “Was I actually ready? Was I waiting for anybody? Or was I like loading the van and getting everything?”
Okay so number 1, my responsibility. I’m really angry at myself. I’m projecting it onto all these people. onto all these lights and I’m looking for some way out, right? And the other thing that hits me as I’m pondering this and becoming aware, I’m just creating awareness at this point. Always really kicked off, but I’m creating awareness of thinking this does not that great estate. Can I create some space here? Some awareness? Clearly, there’s a part of me that’s really upset about all this. I know intellectually that it’s completely ridiculous and yet I still feel it in my body.
Sitting there and I think “Wow. Okay, so my responsibility. Okay, I could have gotten up later. I could have made sure I was ready to go” And then I have no control over other people although some would say you theoretically, should have control over your son. But those of you who have kids know that that’s not always the point or the case.
So anyway. Okay. What else? What would I have to believe? They’ve whoa, I’m really looking for perfection here. I don’t want anybody on the road. I don’t want any traffic. I want all the lights to turn green. And I don’t want anything disturbing my flow here. I don’t want anybody get in my way. No challenges here.
I’m thinking, “What in the world is that about?” And it hits me. I’m the same way with whether you live in Southern, California. Most of the time it’s like “Man, it’s just too hot. Why is it so hot here all the time? You have no Seasons. It’s just Groundhog’s Day every day you get up.”.
Last night it was freezing and this morning it’s cold. Then I realized I’m coming outside last night to move all the cars and pull the trash cans in and everything. I’m thinking, “It’s freezing. Why do you have to be so cold.”.I literally started laughing at myself. I’m talking to myself like in relieve saying, “Dude, you are the biggest perfectionist on the planet. You want perfect whether. You want your child to be perfect. You want your voice to be perfect. You want traffic to be none. And basically you want to have the perfect life. How did you ever pick that up?” And I thought, well, I was involved in a practice years and years ago for many many many years that led me to believe, and sort of this was my interpretation of it, but it led me to believe that if I got a cold or if I didn’t find a parking place right away, or if there was a big line at the grocery store or anything kind of interrupted my flow so that everything wasn’t really really easy. I was doing something really wrong.
I wasn’t an awakened guy. I wasn’t a spiritual guy. Whatever. But it was my fault. I was doing something wrong. I was missing the boat. I would always turn that against myself.
So, I’m feeling that this morning, same old thing, right? I’m feeling it this morning as I’m driving here. “What’s wrong with me?” “Why did I not leave a second or two earlier?” “What’s wrong with me?” “There should be nobody else on the road. If I was doing things right in my life I would have made these lights.”. This is the conversation on that, right? And I was like, “Yes, of course, okay. I left a little late. But really, if I was doing things right, there would have been nobody on that road. I would have made the left turn. I would have made all the lights. I would have been totally on time things would have gone my way. What is against me?” And seriously, I mean, these are the thoughts that are going through my mind, just like the biggest victim in the world, right. All because there was some traffic, some red lights.
I created some space. I couldn’t create space. I allowed for some space. Some awareness to come in. I looked at it and tracked it just like I’m doing now. I started to see a little bit of the humor of it. And thought I’ll make a podcast about this and talk it out, share my process, share what’s going on.
If you’ve been with anybody who’s been with me or listening to this podcast for a while or been on any kind of a path to awaken for a while. You realize that the same things kind of come up in different areas of your life. As I’ve said before, the way you do anything is the way you do everything. So you notice things. The perfectionist in me and perhaps maybe if you have that tendency as well, we really want these things to go away fast, don’t we? I mean, come on. I don’t like feeling like this anymore. This is ridiculous. How long do I have to work on myself?
The whole working on yourself of mentality and whole working on yourself of idea involves so much mental exertion. It comes from the same operating system if you will or belief system that’s creating the whole habit trail of this pattern anyway.
Let’s talk about myself. What I really need is space. To be able to create that awareness and become aware of the pattern and see it in action enough so that I come to a place where I can make another choice. Sometimes that other choice happens immediately. And sometimes you have to talk your way through a podcast to get to it.
How does this relate to singing? Let’s think about that for a second. I’ve certainly had this in singing. If you’re out there auditioning, if you’re performing, you certainly have had with the audition idea where you go in, it doesn’t go as well as you think or as you had hope. And you get in the car and you sing the song and it goes great. You beat yourself up. “I’m such an idiot. Why couldn’t I do this on the audition?” or the performance or the lesson or you know those singing for somebody or whatever. Or “Why didn’t it goes well today is it when yesterday.” “What am I doing wrong?” “What’s wrong with me?” “My wife should be perfect.”
And yes. I realize I already did a podcast talking about perfection. But this is a little bit of a different take on it and certainly bears repeating. Because the awareness of this is really important. We need to create/allow for some space between our reactions, our behavior, our patterns, our wiring on our conditioning and who we really are. The awakened part of us. The part of us that can say “Wow. I see that part of me is really ticked off right now at all the people on the road” or at my voice or at this producer or at this director or at whatever. Then we have a little space to see “Yeah, but what is the part of me that is aware of this other part of me that’s angry, upset and frustrated.”.
There’s another part that seems to be aware of that. At that moment I’m becoming present with it. I’m separated from it a bit. I’m no longer just in it. I’m no longer the guy sitting at the lights thinking “I can see this lights not going to turn green fast enough for me to make the light up there and actually get on the freeway.”. So I’m stewing, I’m stewing, I’m stewing.
As long as I’m in it, it’s really hard to allow that space. The breathing in. Taking a breath. Being present with where you are. Being present with where I was. “Okay. I’m here. I’m sitting at a red light. It’s totally okay. So I’m supposed to be.”. Don’t look to where you think you want to be and create stress because you’re not there.
I read a quote recently. It was something to the effect of stress comes from being here but wanting to be there. I think it was Eckhart Tolle. My father-in-law loves that guy totally. He is a member of his membership site and sends me his emails. I started reading his emails and watching videos every once in awhile. I quite like him. I really do. He’s very very cool. That’s not where I came up with the whole idea of presence by the way, but he certainly talks about that a lot and it’s hugely important. I just thought I’d share that with you. I believe that’s where the quote came from, and it’s really really true.
As I was sitting there, I really experienced that. It’s like “Wow, okay. I’m here. If I was okay with being here and if I was present with being here, I’ll be fine.”. Except I’m actually physically looking at a light that I want to make so I’m there but I’m really here. I’m upset that I’m not there. So I’m not being present while I’m here. That wanting to be there when I’m here is creating all this stress. It sounds like at all, who’s on first, who’s on second, I don’t know who’s on third. Now what is it? Who’s on first what’s on second. I don’t know, old joke. I’m probably much older than you guys. So that joke’s way older than I am so anyways, I digress yet again. This is what you get when I do a podcast in a car.
I hope it’s decent information for you today.
What’s the moral of the story? I guess, the moral of the story is be present with where you are. Where you are vocally. It’s okay to have intentions, ideas. Even goals, I guess. I’m not real big on goals as I talked about in a previous episode, but that’s okay. You can certainly have goals provided that you bring a real awareness and presence to where you are now and real appreciation for where you are now vocally and a real gratitude for where you are now vocally. Be where you are vocally. Goals are great goals are fine. We talked about mental rehearsal, even visualization. All kinds of things.
The important thing is that we don’t focus on where we want to be so much that we lose the presence in where we are. We’re not present with where we are. It’s darn near impossible to get where we want to go. As I said in the episode on goals, if you haven’t heard that it would be a good listen for you. I think. Whenever we set goals. We generally setting goals from the wiring in the programming in the conditioning that’s current to us. Instead, sometimes a really wonderful practice is to just be present where you are. Look the mystery in them and the magic of life open up. Rather than being so linearly focused on a goal. That it’s like “Okay. This goal or bust. I’m burning all my bridges. I’m going there.”. We caught you hear all these people all the time that are successful, business people. Or their making lots of money or their whatever. They say “Set a goal and I burnt my bridges.”.
Just like those explorers used to go. They find land and they burn their boats because they didn’t want any way to leave. They’re going to win or perish. Really? Yeah, I’m sure that works once in awhile. That doesn’t feel like my goodness road. That stresses me out just thinking about it.
My invitation is to be present with where you are with your voice. Bring love. Bring appreciation to where you are. As you do that and pay attention to that, you’re really present. In the moment with that, I think you may be very surprised with what begins to unfold with your voice. You can be led to the right program, the right teacher, the right book your intuition, whatever. You may end up having so much more facility, so much more voice and so much more fun than you ever dreamed of having. How do you set a particular goal? In other words, the goal that you set no matter how lofty, may pale
in comparison to what you may actually grow into if your present with every moment with your voice.
Anyway, I look down and as usual it’s about 20 minutes. So I am going to sign off now. I hope this was useful to you and I hope sound quality is okay. I will talk to you in the next episode of the inner singer podcast. Bye now.
Thank you for listening to the inner singer podcast and please share this with all of your singing friends and head over to iTunes and subscribe. And if you found it of value, give us a nice rating.
Thanks so much.