Believing in Your Limitations
November 24, 2014
If a perfect stranger were to come up to you and say that you are the prettiest or most handsome person he/she had ever seen, would you be inclined to believe that person? If you gave a speech or a presentation, and everyone in the room gave you a standing ovation, would you embrace their praise or feel like crawling into a hole? Are you the type of person that often says, “No, really?” to a compliment? If you answered yes to one of more of these questions, then, perhaps today is a good day to tell you that you are all that and more! It’s time to start believing in your good, especially if you expect others to have faith in you and your expertise.
I have been talking a great deal about “your story.” What you believe about yourself often differs greatly from what others perceive about you. It would surprise most people in my life that I used to consider myself a very shy person. Most of my friends and people who kn0w me as a speaker and singer would think that this “story” about myself couldn’t possibly be true. I would agonize over performing and speaking. My stomach would ache for days before a gig. Most often, I had the professional expertise to pull off the performance, but I never felt good about what I had achieved. I would pick the one tiny flaw and make it larger than life.
I remember, early on in my career as a singer, it was my first time singing on a professional stage. I was a senior in high school, performing at the Governor’s School for the Arts. My friend, Tim, who is now a professor at the Escuola di Musica in Rome, convinced me to sing and play the piano for a cabaret he directed. I was the first to perform.
I sat at the piano and began to play the introduction of “What I Did for Love.” In the second stanza, my voice cracked on a high note. I was so embarrassed that I almost got up from the piano and ran back to my dormitory. A hush rolled over the audience, as I regained my composure. I started the song from the beginning. I remember deciding that I would do my best to finish the song with as much gusto as I could possibly gather.
At the end of the song, to my surprise, the audience gave me my first standing ovation. Even though I still wanted to crawl under a rock, I had to recognize that, sometimes—actually, most times—an audience is more concerned about the message a performer communicates, rather than the vocal performance. So, I held my head up high and listened uncomfortably to the rest of the show, replaying the horror of that moment so many times in my mind that I had no recollection of the rest of the evening.
The next day, I got so many compliments that I stopped counting. Still, I found it difficult to believe that my performance was good. Especially if you have been in a situation as a child where you had one or both parents often being critical, self-esteem is hard to garner, even in the face of success. You have to work hard at creating a new story, instead of replaying your childhood over and over again in your mind.
Today is a new day. You are a gift, a bright light to the world. Start sharing that gift by recognizing that you are a part of God. God doesn’t reject itself. God doesn’t make imperfection. God creates replicas of Itself!
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