You’re not born to do it

People who are struggling with performing often wonder if perhaps they just weren't born for it, they just don't have it in them. This is rubbish, if this is something you want to do, you can do it. Take a listen to this episode to find out why being born to do it is rubbish and the reason we think in those terms.

I mention my short course in this episode, if you are interested, you can find it here:

The Free Your Voice Course

Podcast 18 Title

The Courageous Performer Podcast

You're not born to do it

Read the episode transcript here:


Hi, I'm Hattie Voelcker from Find Your True Voice, and today, I want to talk to you about the idea that you are either born a performer or you're not, you've either got it or you haven't. And I hear this again and again and again, and it drives me nuts. So this is a little bit of a rant warning, because, in my humble opinion, it just isn't true.



Now, it is definitely true that you might be physically predisposed to be able to sing in a certain way. But there are millions of different voices out there. In fact, every single voice is different to every other. And just because you can't sing in a particular way doesn't mean you can't sing, and lots of people's can sing in lots of different ways.



And I believe that everybody has the capacity to sing and whatnot. But what I'm really talking about here is that ability to stand on stage and perform. And that I know is a skill that you aren't just born or not born with. That is something you absolutely can work on, and everyone can work on. Because it's this idea that if there's an audience that you can perform in front of whether it's you into a mirror, or you and your best friend, or perhaps it's you and 1000 people because you find that more comfortable than a group of one or two, or three or four, or an audition panel. Then if there's one audience that you can really produce whatever your best is in front of, then it's your assumption, the assumptions you're making about your audience, about yourself about your material or about the venue, that are changing the way you perform and changing the way you feel which impacts how you perform. And these assumptions, you might be right you might be. So let's take some examples of these assumptions, the assumption, let's take the basic one, that you're going to mess up, you might be right, you might mess up, you might also be wrong, because you don't know you can't guarantee you might think it's an almost certainty, but you cannot guarantee that you will mess up, you just believe that it's really likely based on your past experiences, but your past experiences have also been based on the way you currently think.



So these assumptions you might be right, and you might be wrong. If you make the negative assumption, you are actually making it more likely that you're gonna mess up. Because once you assume you're gonna mess up, you increase the tension, you increase the overthinking and the self sabotage, and so becomes more likely that you will mess it up.



This applies to other assumptions that people make, so the assumption that you you think you're going to look stupid, or you think you're going to be boring, or people are going to see that you're nervous. All of these are made worse if you believe they are true. And so learning how to be confident and engaging on stage is all about challenging these assumptions and replacing them with positive assumptions. Those also might be untrue. So you might assume you're not going to mess up and actually make a mistake. But if you assume you're not going to mess up and you go in it with that attitude, you are actually less likely to mess up, you're less likely to feel tense in that moment of performance. Now, some people say, Well, if I assume I'm going to mess up, I will do more preparation, I say there are better ways of getting yourself to do more preparation, whether you agree with it or not in the moment of performance, if you assume you're going to mess up, you will put more blocks in your head and in your body to actually doing a good performance. And so challenging these assumptions and switching these assumptions, letting go of the old ones. And replacing the most positive ones is the way forward layer onto this. Once you throw fear in the mix, and you become afraid that you're going to look stupid, you're layering on more stuff that makes it harder for you to do a good job.



So the first step is to get rid of these old assumptions. They are not serving you. They are beliefs, but they are not certainty. And if you assume the positive rather than the negative, you will automatically perform better.



Once you've done that, it allows you the space to look at your fears and the things you're worried about doing badly or wrong. Or the fact that you're going to look stupid, do you think as practical issues, not existential features of who you are. It's not about what you're born as or not born as these are just current situations. So for example, if your fear is making mistakes, and your assumption is that you



We're going to mess it up, break it down exactly how are you going to mess it up? Exactly? What are you going to do? That is not good in your opinion? And then what can you do? To try and mitigate against that? What can you do to help yourself not make that mistake?



So, for example, remembering words, the first thing to do is let go of the assumption that you're gonna forget the words, because that's the fastest way to forget words. And then have a look, have you learned the words? Have you got them into your soul? Do you know them? So they're like poetry pouring out of you. If it's a script, or lyrics of a song, if it's public speaking, do you know the subject you're talking about? Do you understand the journey you want to take people on?



And if you don't, then that's where the work goes in. And there's work to be done. And it's hard work. But it can be really rewarding. If your fear is that you're going to look stupid, what's the reason you think people will think you're stupid?



Is it about getting across your message, because this was always my black beast, my bête noire, the fear of looking stupid. And that was because I thought I wouldn't be able to show what I knew. Okay, so what is it I want them to take from what I'm doing? What do I want to them to take? And how do I get them to take that away? And there are really good practical tools you can use to work that out and apply it in the same way with boring. What's the reason you think you're boring? How will you make it engaging? Again, there are really useful practical tools you can do, you can use to do this. And if you're interested, my free voice, it's just a mini course, it's just 25 pounds. My free voice course shows you exactly takes you through the steps in terms of making mistakes, learning words, looking stupid, boring, how you get this into your body and your soul and how you communicate it in a neat how you communicate whatever you're communicating in a really engaging way that that captivates your audience. And I'll put the link to that next to this podcast.



If you're worried about looking nervous, again, this is in the free voice course. But again, it's looking at the reason you're nervous, digging into that fear analysing it, challenging it.



And, and then you can start to do do practical things to actually get better, you then know the work to put in to get better at what you do. So not only are you more likely to go out and do the best your current best, but you now have the tools to improve what your current best is. So you get better and better and better. And this is where the skill learning comes in. So once you can stop assuming you can start solving.



Now I just want to talk a little bit about the reason people seem to say this all the time that you're either born with it, you're not born with it. For me, it's quite straightforward, because it makes it simpler, it lets you off the hook. Because if you discover you're not born to do it, well, then you don't have to put all this work in.



And you can just give up. And I think for lots of people, they go, Well, maybe I should just give up, maybe I was never born to do this. And I should just go off and do something else. If that's what you want to do, go do it. But there's a reason you're here. And you're trying to solve this. And I would suggest that's because you actually want to be able to do this.



And so I'm telling you, you can, the other side of it is if you weren't born to it to do it, then there's this idea that there's just this silver bullet out there something that you will just flick a switch, and suddenly it all just work for you. Because you were born to do it. There's no silver bullet, there's no magic wand, it does take work. And once you acknowledge that you can start putting that work in and then you will start to become better and better and better.



So number one, let go of negative assumptions and replace them with positive assumptions. And there's a process you can use to do this. Number two, once you've done that, it'll enable you to identify the areas for work and then work out how to do the work on it and do the work, and so  that's number three, work on those areas and you will get better and better and by the time you get to this stage it will be obvious what the work is you can do to get better and better. So you really aren't either born with it or not born with it. This ability to perform and connect with an audience and deliver a message however whatever your medium for delivering that message is, it really is about how comfortable you feel in your own skin.



How comfortable you feel in front of your audience, and how comfortable you feel with your material. And there's work you can do to do that. And the first thing to do is to let go of the negative assumptions because they're the things that are making you feel uncomfortable. I hope you've enjoyed this podcast, listening to it. I'm Hattie Voelcker from Find Your True Voice