In the previous blog “The Dragon at the Dressing Room Door” I wrote about my experience with criticism post performance. In this blog I wanted to share my tools in the days and weeks that followed that turned me away from the cave of shame and self criticism and directed me towards my own authentic creative life.
Don’t water what you don’t want to grow.
Don’t water the toxic story. Box it and set it to the side as the truly isolated incident it is. Don’t replay it, don’t role play “what I should have said”, leave it. You don’t replay your moments of praise over and over, why replay the criticisms as if they are more worthy of your attention? If you don’t want a plant to grow don’t water it. Telling the event over and over to anyone who will listen will only water it and create more energy around what your stewing about. I starved this Dragon and this story until it died. It had no audience so it became dust.
When you get s#%$* on, start a compost pile to grow something good.
Two weeks later when I did talk about it, it wasn’t to try and convince my fraud gremlin that none of it was true. I talked about it with a class of adult singers I was teaching as a tool in banishing the gremlins we have.
Be scrupulous with the energy you allow into your personal space.
Artists are delicate and when you are in a creative space you need to protect your space and be judicious of who you let in. Needless to say I will be more selective at my dressing room door in the future-and more aggressive to move on a dragon.
Dragon Slayers need a round table of knights
Have a few people you can go to who are your protectors. The ones who support you, who look after you and who will be fully on your side. Don’t let and external attack become a lone internal battle.
One month later I can finally write about it and it holds no real power over me. The dragon gave me an unpleasant foul dinner to digest and I am proud and strengthened at how I taste nothing of her now. I look back at it and I am grateful in an odd way that I was tested and passed. Through this I discovered that I cannot be laid as low by the gremlins as I was in my early career. I have had a chance to test my skills in taking my power back, and I have the opportunity to share it with you.
I tell my clients then when they get something they don’t want, it is always a chance to learn. I walk that talk. I didn’t’ want what she had to give me, but I am stronger for having faced it and I have learnt.
In the spirit of our common shared experience, I would love to have some input as to how you have dealt with the ‘dragons’ in your life. If you have a story or a piece of advice to add to the dragon slaying tool list, please add it in below in comments. I’m also looking for guest bloggers on this topic. Share your story with others and disempower the story and empower another person!