Everyone has a fear of something! I probably inherited mine from my mother who raised me on New York City take-out.

Even though I’ve done plenty of it in my life, I always have to get over a hump before I start cooking. It feels weirdly high stakes to me and every part tends to feel like a barrier.

Figuring out what to cook, which includes: how to balance taste, nutrition, and calories; considering who I’m cooking for and what will please them; understanding the ingredients and figuring out if I have them or not. So overwhelming to me!

And then shopping: Ugh! And once all the ingredients are sitting in my kitchen I think, “Man, this is going to take a long time.”

So many hurdles to get through before I even start…

And then… (surprise!) I usually enjoy it!

I’m pleased with myself. I remember that actually I do know how to cook! I love to eat and I love having homemade food in the fridge for later.

The period of time during which I’m deliberating (stalling; procrastinating; experiencing indecision) verges on painful, though. I feel bad about myself. I compare myself to the good cooks I know who seem to have so much confidence. It’s a really uncomfortable state of mind (and ultimately not really helpful, right?!)

But because cooking is an important life skill, I have strategies…

1. Choose something quickly.
 (Today it was curried chicken salad) Remember – it’s not that big a deal!
2. Grab the ingredients I already have and make a list of what I need.
3. Shop at the store I find the least overwhelming (our local co-op rather than the big grocery store.
4. Put on music or a podcast while I’m cooking, which makes everything feel fun.
5. Ask for company (today my husband cooked with me)

So of course, I’m thinking about how this correlates with SINGING and YOU!
My students and program members often talk about the barriers that come up for them. Thinking about my experience with cooking helps me relate.
“It helps me feel good. It helps me connect with myself and with others. I always feel better when I’m singing and the good feelings continue after I’m done. It relaxes me. It enlivens me.” (Which is how it is for most people.)
Singing is an important life skill — it’s as yummy as a good meal! And you can do it, and you deserve it!
Don’t take those barriers too seriously. Have a strategy…
1. Remember, it’s not that big a deal — pick anything! (Sing along to a your favorite song. If you have a guitar or uke just pick it up and sing anything. Go online for a quick breathing exercise. There’s no wrong choice!)
2. Grab a tool (a song sheet; a youtube video or karaoke track; if you’re a member, go to the Playground website and pick a lesson – any lesson.)
3. Get started! Just a minute or two is enough to break the ice.
4. Feel the fun of it. Love it up!
5. Maybe even find someone to sing with! (Again, if you’re a Playground member you can sing with me on the website or come to a Zoom sing-along)
Quick addendum:
Just came back from a party where a friend brought some fresh tortillas he’d made from whole corn kernels (a complicated process) — he’s a great cook but this is new for him. He talked about how he doesn’t expect to get anything he cooks right the first time — how it’s all an ongoing experiment and that he’s constantly tweaking. This also is a perfect analogy to singing!

Join the Fearless Singers Playground online membership program — a supportive and joyous singing community specially designed for beginners! When you join you’ll get access to great online skills & song lessons, as well as live sing-alongs, workshops, and open mics.

Such a great way to grow as a singer!