Not a lot of people know this but I have a pretty big fear of singing in public. The thought of it makes me dizzy and nauseous. My heart races and I start shaking even when I'm just thinking about it.
When I was in college, some friends threw me up on stage for a karaoke contest. I completely froze, no sound came out of my mouth and I was humiliated. After that experience, I swore I would never try to sing in public again.
This didn't last long, I love singing too much.
The next year I ended up singing on stage for a pageant. I got on stage, started singing and I was so nervous I completely spaced out. I came back to people clapping. I guess due to muscle memory I made it through the song but to this day I don't remember singing a single word. I got off stage and the first thing I asked was - did I sing the whole song? Apparently I did.
I'm sure you're thinking this is weird because since then I've had concerts, shows and I sing at church. To clarify, I don't get as nervous singing at church, I think it's because it's not about me and we're all singing together. But I get really nervous for my concerts. I always think it'll get better with more experience but it still freaks me out and I'm panicking for weeks up until each show. The nerves never seem to go away. I love singing so much but I don't do it often because of fear, I wish I wasn't so scared. When people sing along to my songs or I see big smiling faces it calms my nerves but I think the initial fear and anxiety will always be there.
The last few years I've been asked to sing the National Anthem at Basketball and Baseball games but I've always said no because I'm afraid. Afraid I'll freeze up and choke. Afraid I'll get affected by feedback or the environment and be pitchy. Afraid I'll be too nervous and forget the lyrics. Basically, just afraid I'll suck.
But this year I'm trying to say yes more and do things that scare me.
I want to overcome my insecurities & fears. Even if it means trying and failing.
So I finally said yes. I'm singing the National Anthem for the first time at the Dodgers game tomorrow! I'm also singing the Korean Anthem as well. Two firsts in one night. My stomach is churning even as I'm writing this post and I already feel like I want to puke but I guess I have to start somewhere. I've considered backing out. But I shared it on social media instead, almost feels like it's keeping me accountable. It's too late to back out and no running away. I have to do it! I'm terrified but I really want to accomplish this, especially because I love to sing, I don't want to be afraid forever. Anyways, I'll let you know if I survive... wish me luck.
May love be greater than fear.