Five Questions for Future Focus

In the pursuit of your singing success, there’s a natural tendency to focus so intensely on what you need to work on, that you forget to acknowledge what you have going for you that’s not only working but working well. It’s also important to have a clear, realistic understanding of your strong points so that they are recognized, affirmed, put to use, and showcased as often as possible.

Those strong points are a potential positive resource for personal power. The confidence, comfort and gratification that comes from engaging your strengths can be tapped to help you face fears and address insecurities or areas of discomfort that present challenges both on and off stage or in and out of the studio.

Take Five – At Least

Set aside some time to identify and honor your key strengths as you assess your role as a singer, singer-songwriter, or singing musician. You don’t want to be too analytical in this process. Your primary goal is to identify the strengths that give you a genuine sense of confidence, comfort, gratification, and satisfaction in your role as a singer, singer-songwriter or singing musician.

Strengths + Fears

Begin by answering this question. What are your five greatest strengths as a singer, singer-songwriter, or singing musician? After you have written down your top five strengths, then answer this next question. What are five of your greatest fears? Answer the question as it relates to your career-pursuit of singing success.

Define Character

After writing down your five greatest fears, answer this next question as it applies to your career: what are your five strongest character traits? Think in terms of how you define character. It may be something as simple as you feel you are loyal or honest or trustworthy. It may be related to work ethic such as commitment or discipline. What do you feel are those five character traits that most clearly define you as an artist seeking a career in the music business and entertainment industry? You can also asses your character in terms of offstage behavior and personal walk outside of your career pursuits in this process if it helps.

Biggest Mistakes

Now, move on to the next question. What are the five biggest mistakes or most embarrassing moments you’ve had with music? This can be a school performance from kindergarten or your first gig as an opening act, or it might be a slipup that took place at a rehearsal.

A Fist Full of Songs

After noting these five moments or events, answer the following question. What are your five favorite songs? This can be songs you love to sing. It can be songs you wish you’d written or songs you simply enjoy listening to. Write down the first five that come to mind.

Link The Chain

Once you have answered these five questions with your top five choices it’s now time to take a closer look at what this tells you. You start off by noting any common links between your fears and the mistakes or embarrassing moments. Make note of any fear or insecurity that seems to be a recurring theme, concern, or issue.

Next look at those strengths you’ve identified and see if there are any connections with the character traits you’ve identified. It may be confidence or generosity or honestly. Make note of any common factors or strong links between the strengths and qualities of character.

Next, look at your top five songs and see if any fears, traits or strengths are represented in the themes, lyrics, style, or feel of each song. Make note of any connections or common links between these five songs and any of your strengths, character traits, fears, or embarrassments.

Play Your Strengths

Now, look at your strengths and character traits and see how any of those listed can be used, are currently being used, or have been used in the past to help you face a specific fear or recover from an embarrassing moment or mistake.

Finally, look at your list of songs and see if any applies to the use of a strength or character trait to tackle a fear or to recover from a mistake or embarrassing moment. You may find a potential signature song to include as part of your song set.

Choice Material

This can lead to future choices or focus in material for singing or songwriting or both. It can help you discover themes to explore in your shows and song sets. It also will help you reinforce your strengths and tap into resources for fighting fears and discomfort as you gain more experience as a performer.

Private vs. Public

Make note of any changes that occur in your private and public sense of character. This is not necessarily a bad thing. But it needs to be acknowledged and kept in check so that it does not become an issue. What you’re looking for here is anything that might create a conflict in terms of behavior or values that you personally and privately hold. Many singers are very shy when they are not onstage or in the studio, but they came alive when performing. If your values are consistent and your character traits that frame your personality are consistent, you’ll be fine. Just be aware of any differences between your public and private persona. Keep conflicts between your personal and professional life in check.

Common Bonds

This is also a great group exercise for you to engage with band members, your support team, as well as other singers, singer-songwriters, and singing musicians. You can compare notes, share stories, and also gain a better understanding of your peers and friends. It can encourage positive growth and serve to reinforce strengths and affirmative character traits as a singer, performer, and songwriter.

Tie Into SSTV

Share your results with others in the forums at SSTV and use the exercise as a springboard for further discussion and brainstorming. The more you share at SSTV, the more you grow and learn. Check out the clips and product offerings. Tap into the resources at SSTV to help you achieve all you desire in the pursuit of your singing success.