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Do you ever wonder what would have happened if you followed your silly childhood dream?
For decades, I've imagined myself singing on a stage in front of a small crowd in a speakeasy. They'd be nodding their heads to my sultry melody and my words would shift them from a state of urgency to a state of understanding. I'd fill their spirit with the jazzy melodies I grew up listening to as a child.
THAT was my dream.
This year, I swallowed every ounce of you-can’t-do this + its-too-late + you’re-not-good-enough and took the first step.
I promised myself that I would sing on stage at least once.
I didn’t know how it would happen or who’d be crazy enough to put me on a real stage, but I convinced myself that no matter how small or what audience, I would find a way to make it happen. After all, I can’t teach people to create vision boards and go after their dreams if I’m not doing it myself.
That’s when I got the email. Last year, my daughter’s artwork made it into a gallery and we signed up for the email list. That same gallery doubled as a theater - and was holding auditions.
When I received the email I thought “I gotta do this. What’s the worst that can happen, right?”
I auditioned for a musical - and got one of 5 roles. (I played a ballet-dancing novice Nun in a silly musical called Nunsense.)
I could finally consider myself a real singer.
As a singer, I started my new life:
Practicing 3-4 times a week with the cast
Learning to dance ballet and tap
Memorize dance moves, harmony and words to 10 different songs in my free time
All to perform well for 5 shows. Then after those 5 shows, the magic was over.
People clapped, we bowed and then my life went back to normal.
To accomplish this goal, I gave up my free time. I pushed myself physically harder than I ever had. I gave up time with my daughter that I'd never (ever) get back. I traded the morning and evening time I used to work on my blog for learning ballet via YouTube.
Even though I lived my dream of singing on a stage (and had awesome pictures to show for it), I didn't feel like the spotlight was worth everything I lost.
That feeling is the number one reason you must start living your dreams today.
I Liked The Outcome, Not The Work It Takes To Get There
It wasn't until I actually started rehearsing for my first real show that I truly understood what it took to do the work.
You might be dreaming of yourself holding a best-selling novel, standing on stage in front of millions or amassing millions of followers on your award-winning YouTube channel. The end goal sounds AMAZING, but the work lacks the same glamour and recognition.
The work requires you give things up.
The work challenges your persistence.
The work makes you second guess your abilities.
If you don’t start living your goal, you’ll never know if you’ll love the day-to-day the same way you love the end result.
I Loved It As A Hobby
I needed to take a step back. My body ached, my feet begged for relief and my daily productivity suffered due to lack of sleep.
All after just one set of performances. I couldn’t imagine getting back up to do this again. I loved the experience. In fact, I wouldn't mind doing this again… once a year - max.
Singing Is Not A Priority For Me
The more I had to leave my daughter at home each week, it started to eat at me. I was too busy during the week to spend time with her and too tired from rehearsals on the weekends to do anything with her beyond watch Netflix.
Surprisingly, I missed blogging. I couldn’t impact millions of lives all over the world with my little musical. I couldn’t encourage the women at rock bottom. I could barely find the time to support myself with the little pockets of time I had.
I realized the cost of singing was too high of a price to pay. My ability to impact others with my story is more important to me than I had ever realized.
I Wasn't Missing Out On Anything
Since college, I blamed my parents for pushing me to become a doctor and not nurturing my natural ability as a singer. They knew that it was a passion for me and instead, they wanted stability for me, they wanted me to do the college thing (which led me nowhere) and get a more stable career.
So I did.
I went to school, I looked for jobs, I started my career - all with the idea that I'd never do what I REALLY wanted to do. I'd never become a singer. Because of them, because of my daughter, because of society at large, I'd never accomplish my goal.
I thought about it as a thing far in the distance, that because I didn't have the courage, time or money, I'd never reach.
After singing on a stage, I realized that it was fun, it was satisfying, but it didn't change my life. It didn't make me any more or less of who I am. The heavens didn't open up and reveal a new life that I'd been missing out on.
I'm still Exactly. The. Same.
I needed to accomplish this goal in order to see that I could. I needed to see what it felt like practicing and rehearsing for one amazing show to know what it feels like in my body. I had to study harmony and ballet to know that my life was already filled with all the music I desired.
I needed to try my goal to stop wondering…… what if?
Maybe you do, too. Maybe it will be super amazing and you’ll start living a life that you never thought possible. Or Maybe you’ll be happy with your accomplishment but will decide to move on to the next thing. Either way, it’s better to have the answer than to always wonder. What have you been wanting to do that you’re holding back on? Time to find out the #truth.
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Chantl founded Thrive Lounge to give women the kick in the pants they need (lovingly, of course) to uncomplicate their goals, stop making excuses, get productive and start living the life they always wanted. Her book, Goal Doing: Practical Advice For Goal Setting, Action Planning and Achieving Your Dreams, gives women a step-by-step guide to create, plan and achieve their grandest goals.