Please Save Me from More Self-Help Books

I needed another self-help book like I needed another hair on my chin.

It started in college with Dr. Wayne Dyer’s Your Erroneous Zones, which I snagged from my father’s bookshelf, then M. Scott Peck’s The Road Less Travelled, recommended by my good friend, Valerie.

Since then, I have become an inspirational/spiritual book junkie. I really didn’t need another one.

Yet, there I was, in Soft Surroundings,, where I work a few hours most weeks (because it’s my favorite store and I get an amazing employee discount), picking up this book called YOU ARE A BADASS: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero.

I randomly opened up to page 103 and promptly started laughing out loud.

For me, one of the most exciting and on-purpose times in my life was when I was the singer-guitarist in a band called Crotch. I use the terms “singer,” “guitarist,” and “band,” all very loosely because we in Crotch weren’t concerned with things like learning to play our instruments or any of that snooty musicianship crap. We had bigger fish to fry, like talking in loud voices about our band and checking ourselves in plate glass windows as we walked by with guitars strapped to our backs.

Electric ones.

(My note: From there, Jen goes on to describe how she started Crotch with another emotionally needy, semi-musician named Paula, and how they eventually landed a demo deal with Columbia Records.)

Keep Being the Beginner

One of the best things about starting a band when you have no idea how to play your instrument is that you don’t care if you stink because you already know you do. Then once you learn how to play, you get all serious, you become overly critical and hard on yourself and don’t let yourself have nearly as much fun anymore. The trick is to let the Beginner live alongside the Expert, instead of pretending you don’t know who she is when she tries to sit with you and your new, cooler, more experienced friends in the cafeteria. The Beginner may be an idiot, but she knows how to party, and if you don’t let her play with you anymore, things risk getting droll around here. So hone your skills, take your craft seriously; learn what you need to learn; invest in yourself; practice your ass off; fall down; get up; keep going: get really really really good at what you do, but don’t lose the fun in the process.

There’s nothing as unstoppable as a freight train full of fuck-yeah. – Jen Sincero

I admit it…a couple years after I’d begun training with the Transformational Voice® Training Institute, my critic set in big time and I let the fun of singing leave me for a while. Carla (as I call my critic) and I have come to an agreement and singing is fun again, just like teaching!

Which makes me want to share a fun singing story. I was a little famous in my high school, part of a trio called “The Cadets.” Ruth, Lee Ann and I sang quite a bit of Andrew Sisters type music. After I moved to Oregon, I re-wrote the lyrics of Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B to Santa’s Comin’ to Willamette Valley. I asked two other women, Marcia and Linda, to perform it with me in the SAIF Corporation Holiday Choir. That was ballsy! And great fun.

You do the same, will ya? Keep being the beginner, as Jen recommends, and let the expert befriend the beginner.

Please spread the love and pass this along to a friend!

In only a few lessons with Laura, my voice quality improved tremendously, both for singing and speaking. I’m noticing more resonance, clarity, and range. Laura has a great ear, and her teaching and coaching style feels safe, friendly and professional. She is supportive and stretches me. Her acting, singing, and speaking backgrounds blend beautifully to support presence and confidence in her students, as well. I’m excited to continue studying with her, and highly recommend her if you want to improve your voice. -Cricket W.

Lake Oswego’s Transformational Voice® Teacher (Transformational Voice® is a registered trademark of Transformational Voice® Training Institute, LLC, and Linda Brice.)