We live in a culture where people are expected to fit in. You’re expected to wear the right clothes, be the right size, sing like whoever the major pop star of the moment is, but will that create a lasting career or lasting fans?
If you’re switching who you are to fit the winds of change, how do you build fans who know who you are and will follow you throughout your entire career?
I was listening to a Brené Brown audio book and she defined authenticity as … “ The daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.”
I think what this is really getting at is understanding and becoming comfortable with our imperfections. I know it’s difficult for young artists to forget about being “perfect.” A totally unrealistic concept by-the-way. Even more difficult is to imagine that sometimes is that it’s an imperfection that really showcases your vulnerability as an artist. It is precisely this vulnerability that authentically connects you with real humans. This can create a real connection on a level you would never achieve if you are “trying” to be something you’re not.
Another essential concept is that you won’t give an authentic performance if you don’t think you’re enough just as you are. Here’s where a lot of you think.. “well, I’ll sing the song when it’s “perfect,” and I can do it that way every single time.” If I can’t do that … I’m not good enough to perform. This is a trap. You feel like you have to “do” something extra or pretend to be something you’re not. You feel like being you won’t be interesting or exciting enough. When you’re in this state, you’ll never give an authentic performance that can really reach out and touch another human. This is when you are the imposter.
You are different every day, and your performances, practices, and recordings will be different every day. Understand that if you can embrace and love who you are at that moment, that’s when you’ll let the magic, authentic self out, and THAT is where your best (not perfect) performance will come from!