BLOG 2: NOT GOOD ENOUGH
“I can see it in faces, people reading me like a book - Flippin’ through my pages, never a second look
Disapproval written deep within my soul - Makes me feel like just not good enough”.
From the song ‘Not Good Enough’
I have spent a lifetime suppressing some of my most meaningful dreams, my boldest goals. Dreams that seemed too far out of reach, too risky, too unrealistic. Who was I to think that I could even possibly do it. I would find people, events, tasks, jobs and challenges to fulfill. Truth - I competently fulfilled all of my responsibilities because I was raised with a strong work ethic. Never applied it to the deepest part of me. Surrounded by love but not encouraged to be a risk taker, to be bold, to follow impractical dreams. I had an overwhelming fear of putting myself on the line. Afraid of being judged and found to be lacking. Better not to know. The habit of postponing my life became a ritual. It would take nothing for me to have an idea for something, and then shelve it with ‘legitimate’ reasons. A consummate perfectionist procrastinator. Sound familiar?
Consequently, I had been in the music business for over 30 years before I recorded my first original CD, ‘Unconditionally’. My husband, producer and occasional mentor, Alfred, finally said “What are you waiting for? The wheelchair years? Let’s do it!”
I’ve been told that I’m one of those people who has a high fact gathering threshold before I move on an idea. There’s a lot of time that passes between my assembling and researching information and my actual physical action. I attend seminars, online and in person, read articles, talk to people, grow my vision, really see it, put together folders, label them with colorful markers. Then, somehow, the folders end up on the shelf. Truth. That’s all stuff to avoid doing the project, getting it out there and being judged, being found out. When I transitioned from classical to pop to jazz, I did a lot of listening to the greats – Peterson, Pete Kelly, Evans, Tyner, Chick, David Kikoski, the Duke and the Count, Ella, Sarah, Joni, Laura Nyro, Phoebe, Beverly Kenney, so many more – all incredible artists and the listening was necessary to my musical evolution and transition. For some reason, all my listening and studying didn’t just inspire me, but it kept me humble – too humble to develop a healthy ego and confidence about who and what I was. Did I say humble? No, scared to death! The more personal my music, the more fear I experienced - if people rejected my songs, they rejected me. Though my writing had evolved I was still insecure about my work. Been in a lot of bands doing a wide variety of music - only in the last 10 years have I truly integrated the different styles into my own style.
So easy to say “Let go”. We procrastinators are skilled at recognizing disapproval, we see it in the eyes, face and attitude of a listener. The unspoken NGE -“Not good enough”. I knew it had become a ‘thing’, a pattern that I kept repeating and I made up my mind to fix it. Again, sounds easy? It wasn’t. I sought help and was encouraged when my online research led me to seminars about chronic procrastination from which many people suffer, just like me! And I do mean suffer. Some of my creative ideas were actually born in high school! They were buried, never realized and haunt me still! Good, unique ideas, which is what you need to break through in the music business. Buried from fear.
I took a leap of faith, began a coaching relationship with Deborah Hurwitz – a talented woman who is skilled, compassionate and experienced in dealing with the very same issues I had. After doing some very serious, honest introspective work, she encouraged me to expand my journal writing by writing original songs that complemented the theme of the week. And lo, ‘Bloom’ was born! Each song and story is from my heart, from my life. In as much as we are all different and have a set of unique experiences and voices, every time I perform ‘Bloom’, I meet people who tell me things like “I felt like you were singing about me.” “I’ve decided to retire – life is short and I really want to spend my time and enjoy my grandchildren.” “I’ve always wanted to learn the tango – it’s time.”
I decided to start a Facebook page called “Bloomers” – a place for kindred spirits to discover, support, share and grow as we move towards our personal ‘Bloom.’
Would love for you to check it out, join if you are comfortable and share your stories.
I’ve included the first video I did on the song “Not Good Enough”. Also, a free download of the song demo as well. Just me squeaking out the song and banging on the piano. In the old days I would never have let it go, way to personal and, you guessed it, just not good enough. But now I’m putting it out there for your review.
“..and the days turn into weeks, months turn into years, life just disappears
Tired of feeling that I’m just not good enough.”