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How to Beat Your Fears with Courage on the Stage of Life

Updated: Feb 1


"I stood in the wings waiting for my cue to step on stage, knowing that once it came, there was no going back.


I counted down the songs my son, Jojo Mason, sang leading up to our song, and waited breathlessly for the piano and sheet music to be placed on stage.


Focus and breathe, I reminded myself over and over as I waited. Just breathe. And breathe again.



The energy was electric - a mix of excitement and nervousness.


I heard my name. I listened to the beautiful tribute Jojo honoured me with. Tears threatened to fall down my cheeks.


Breathe and breathe some more.


There was a collective understanding that this moment held special meaning only a mother and son would understand.


It was here. The moment I'd imagined, practiced for, agonized over, and which terrorized my dreams for the past three weeks.


As words of love and lasting friendship echoed into the audience, I stepped onto the stage.


There was no going back."


As I write this I'm filled with so many emotions: pride, love, exhilaration, a sense of accomplishment, courage.


Accompanying my son, Jojo Mason (https://www.jojomasonmusic.com) as he sang "All of Me" by John Legend, was such a profound and powerful experience.


Those precious moments on stage were filled with warm and painful memories, losses, triumphs, but above all, gratitude.


My own dream of becoming a concert pianist began when I was 8 years old. I poured my heart and soul into music for years until it became clear that I played well but not "good enough" to make it on the concert stage.


It was a defining moment.


I gave up. I quit playing the piano when I was about the same age that Jojo started his singing career.


His passion for singing and performing stirred in me a quiet longing to play again. And yet, I kept the desire buried and silent within.


I wasn't good enough. I didn't measure up. I couldn't find a way to accept that I just "played well".


Not feeling good enough sucks the life out of you and halts creativity. Feelings of inadequacy creates deep-seated fears that can stop us from taking risks, from reaching for the moon, from really living our lives the way we want to.

Why step out of your comfort zone when it's safe where you are? Why risk going after something you're really hungry for? What if you fail?


When I was given a keyboard for Xmas last year, I dabbled a bit, never imagining that I'd be playing on a stage in front of hundreds in just a few weeks.


And then one day I received a simple text from Jojo: "Mom, would you be interested in playing a song on stage with me on Valentine's Day?"


What made him think this was a good idea! It had been 3 decades since I played seriously!


I replied with a racing heart: "Wow! My heart's racing. I don't think I'd have the courage - it's been a long time since I played and performed on stage."


"I think you could do it, but there's no pressure", Jojo confidently assured me.


I agreed to practice the song. I could at least do that.


I had 3 weeks.


It was another defining moment.

  • Would I let years of old, outdated thoughts dictate my future?

  • Would I allow my fears to hold me back?

  • Would I risk missing this incredible opportunity to play onstage with my son?

  • Would I miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime? Really?


As much as I practiced the piano everyday, I worked diligently to slay those deeply rooted fears and silence those negative gremlin voices that were determined to keep from this amazing experience.


I knew if I was going to step on stage, I had to transform the voices that said:

  • "I'm not good enough"

  • "I can't learn fast enough"

  • "I'm not slim enough"

  • "I can't do this"

  • "I'm too scared"


Each day I challenged them until I could finally say "I've got this".


Here's how:

  1. Using Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT or tapping):

  • I tapped on each belief, one by one

  • As my fears emerged, I tapped on each of them and visualized them diminishing

  • I tapped away my worry that my hands would shake so much I'd lose control

  • I tapped away my terror about making mistakes

  • I tapped to reduce the nervousness I felt in the pit of my stomach

2 I visualized myself walking onto the stage, playing with sheet music in

front of me. I imagined looking up at Jojo as I played the last note. I

practiced ignoring the audience while I played.

3. I lowered my expectations. I thought about playing well instead of

perfectly (even if I made mistakes)

4. I practiced deep breathing to calm my racing heart and mind

5. I focused on how I would feel and how grateful I was for the opportunity

6. I reminded myself that the memory we would make trumped all my

nerves, worries and beliefs that no longer served me


"As I played the last note, I looked up at Jojo. It was a moment filled with pride and love between a mother and her son, respect between two musicians, exhilaration for pulling off what seemed like a crazy idea 3 short weeks ago."



So I say this to you with as a W.I.S.E.R Woman: Don't let negative thinking and old, outdated beliefs hold you back from stepping out onto your stage!


Are you ready to let go of belief and thoughts that no longer serve you? If so, I'd love to help!


Let's have a virtual chat about how you can find the confidence and courage you've been longing for.


Together we can design your step-by-step Journey to living more joyfully, confidently and finally free from what's been holding you back.


I invite you to Step Out on your stage, confident, joyful and FREE.

Connect with me by commenting below, on Facebook or coach@joanridsdel.com.


With gratitude,


Joan

Your Food Freedom and Body Image Coach

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