EXPECT Success!

by Shirlee Emmons and Alma Thomas

based on their book for Oxford University Press:

Power Performance for Singers:

Transcending the Barriers

        Do you want to be a successful singer? You can be. It is in your grasp, and it is certainly within your control. Count on it!

        Successful people are not born that way. They empower themselves to create their own reality and are aware that the only limitations on their accomplishments are those imposed by themselves. Successful singers are committed. They remain completely in control of their own destiny. Successful singers believe they can succeed. Their attitudes, being right, result in appropriate behavior. Therefore they perform consistently well at their own level.

        How do you learn to expect success? Here is an easy four-step program and some simple exercises to see you on your way.

1. Your first step is to achieve self-awareness.

            The more aware you are of how you view yourself, of what you are saying and thinking about
            yourself, the more likely you are to begin your journey to success.   But, do you have adequate
            self-knowledge? Do you understand how you think or why you respond and behave in a certain
            way under particular circumstances? To reach your full potential you need to become more aware
            of your own physical, technical, and mental strengths.

    Try the following self-awareness exercises:

     a. Write down your strengths and qualities as a person and as a singer, grouping them under physical, technical and mental. Do not give up too soon; you have many more positive qualities than you think. Once the lists are completed, keep reading them and saying them aloud,
 “Yes, I am ..........................................”    “Yes, I can .........................................”

    b. Sit quietly and imagine yourself feeling wonderfully confident as a singer,

                completely at ease with yourself and your surroundings. Watch how you stand, breathe, smile,
                etc. Work with your positive image and say to yourself,

                     “Yes, I am ...............”

                     “Yes, I can................”

    Repeat this exercise 8-10 times a day for at least a week so that your subconscious mind will have
    fixed your positive image.


Through self-awareness you will gain more mastery and control over yourself and your thinking.

2. Your heightened awareness and determination to change will help reach step two,

which is to acquire self-control.

Successful singers control their own destiny. They differentiate between the
things that are outside their control (such as an audition panel) and that which is
within their control (such as their perceptions). When you become responsible
for your own actions, then control is yours. Then you are free from luck, good or
bad, from any accidents that might occur, and, most importantly, from other
people. Your voice teacher, coach, partner, or colleagues do not control your
performance--you do.

     Try this exercise:

          Go back over an audition at which you were not successful and ponder the details of the
          following sequence:

          a. The event

                      Was the audition not in your control?

          b. Your perceptions

                     How did you perceive your lack of success?

                     Others luckier than you?

                     Not appreciated as a singer?

                    Audition not within your control?

           c. Your self-talk

                    What were you saying and/or thinking about yourself?

                     Not as good a singer as others?

                     Not as deserving as others?

                     Audition not within your control?

            d. Your feelings

                     How did you feel?

                     Rejected? insecure? unhappy? angry? depressed?

                    Out of your direct control because they were within yoursubconscious?

            e. Your behavior

                     What was your resulting behavior?

                      Less enthusiastic? less interested? too determined? too anxious?

                             all resulting in a lower performance?

                      Out of your direct control because it came from 
                             within your subconscious?

Never surrender control to external forces. By changing what you can directly control you will have more success.

3. Once you are self-aware and in control, then you can reach level three,

        self-confidence. Many think that self-confidence comes before self-awareness and
        self-control.  Unfortunately it is the other way round.

Your self-confidence, and therefore your success, is built on your positive thinking, your positive
        self-image, and a positive self-esteem. All of this comes from within (your subconscious self)—not
         from outside (your conscious self).

If you consciously (outside) hope to succeed as a singer, then you cannot go on imagining, worrying or
        fearing unconsciously (inside) all the things that may go wrong. The internal mental program of your
        positive image will not let you down, because your subconscious will make sure that your thinking
        and behavior areconsistent with this positive image. However, if your internal image is negative, be
        warned--unless you make a conscious effort to change that image, this negative “picture” will
        continue to be what others see. To be self-confident you must first work with your confident,
        positive, internal image as a singer.

4. The fourth and final step toward success is self-actualization. Through your own actions,
        your dreams and beliefs become reality. You begin to know that you have the knowledge,
        competence and personal control to achieve highly. You understand that you have the
        capabilities of becoming the singer you want to be, and that you are learning to realize
        your full potential.

You can be successful. It’s a choice. You can climb the four steps simply by making a conscious decision to change your internal image. It’s a wonderful journey. Remember,

you deserve to be successful.

©Shirlee Emmons and Alma Thomas

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