what people think about you

— September 15, 2020 —

A few weeks ago I gave an interview on my friend John’s online interview series One to One. It was so much fun to talk to John: a novelist and former editor at CNN, he had probing, sensitive, and curious questions about singing from a “non-singer.”

But I had to laugh (and inwardly groan): as my image filled the livestream screen, my title was, “Allison Mondel, Reformed Self-Critic.” (I am laughing out loud as I write this!) I joked about it with John at the time. But following the interview I thought, hm, that detail is what jumped out to him from the little teensy bio I sent along prior to our talk.

Then I thought: that is NOT how I wish to be perceived.
And then: how DO I wish to be perceived?

I realized that I was still rather unclear about how I wish to be seen, and had not stood on a platform that was truly reflecting my work, viewpoints, experience, and knowledge. I needed to own it and state it.

So, I wrote it down. Maybe I will publish it.

I also know that I have ZERO control over how other people will respond to me, to my work, and importantly, to my voice.

You know this, too?

In singing, I recognize that one of our greatest fears is the negative perception — and reception — of other people. This external focus can be slightly distracting for some, and absolutely debilitating for others.

Dear One: placing our trust in the validation of others is a dangerous game. It is also an illusion. What others think about your singing is as flighty as the wind and a projection of each individual.

Mind you, it is wonderful to receive praise and to be supported by others. But this sets up a pattern in which we hungrily seek validation, but end up singing from a place of mistrust, uncertainty, and fear.

Get off of that boat quickly, my friend. It is leaking. You can only find your Sacred Voice from the inside-out, not the outside-in.

Singing well is an inside job. The sooner you let go of your need for external validation, the better you will feel, and frankly, the more brilliantly you will sing. Focus on building trust in your Sacred Voice, and learn how to operate from a more loving and trusting user’s manual. Not one that harms you.

You get to choose how you show up. If you don’t, then you will allow others to make that choice for you.

So how do you choose to show up with your Sacred Voice?




Allison Mondel
Allison Mondel is a musician, philosopher, advocate, and mentor. Her greatest delight is to understand how things work, and share her hard-won wisdom with others. She writes about the higher nature of music and the voice, alchemizing personal roadblocks, and the pursuit of one's creative vocation.

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