The Real Holdup To My Single Release03 / 25 / 2017
March 22nd 2017.. My debut single was sitting on my computer. Album art done. Music video complete. But I couldn’t do a damn thing with it. It was in legal limbo and I had been trying to resolve that for the past year.
It’s been an uphill battle trying to get this music out! Financial issues, music video challenges, an unresolved contract.. Every time I looked up, it was something else… I felt like I was at the mercy of all these situations that were beyond my control!
Now the contract challenge is a very interesting story, but that’s actually not what I’m sharing today. I want to tell you about the real holdup to the release of my music. I just discovered that it had nothing to do with waiting for other people. I was actually waiting for myself.
I’m big on the Law of Attraction. I believe that I have the power to manifest what I want in life. I believe that I’ve attracted/manifested/created my current life through my thoughts, actions, and subconscious beliefs. So why haven’t I manifested this music release yet? I’ve been working at this for YEARS.
Author Nancy Levin says (and I’m paraphrasing this), “If there’s something you really want, and you don’t have it yet, it’s because there’s a part of you that actually doesn’t want it.” This part of us will manifest a bunch of “situations beyond our control” to keep us stuck. There’s like this.. energetic self-sabotage going on.
It didn’t take a whole lot of digging for me to pinpoint this as a fear of visibility.
A performer with a fear of visibility? Yep.
Basically, on a deep level, I was afraid that being in the spotlight would illuminate my flaws. Think about it, what do most people do when they see flaws? They gawk. They point. They laugh. They criticize. They attack. And if they’re on Facebook, they tag their friends to join in. But who cares what other people think?
I remember so clearly this one day in my middle school art class… The popular kid called all of his friends around my table. “Look at her! She’s got a mustache and sideburns! Pretty soon she’ll have a full beard!” As they cackled away, I kept my eyes down on my paper, just wishing I could be invisible in that moment. It wasn’t the first time they made fun of me, and I knew it wouldn’t be the last. So I just stewed in my humiliation and anger, feeling powerless to do anything about it. At the end of the day, he was simply “telling it like it was.” I was (still am) hairy and U.S. beauty standards aren’t with that.
I bypassed whatever lesson I was supposed to learn from my middle school experience. I just woke up one day and suddenly I was in high school, puberty was over, the glow up was real, and I was surrounded by different kids who thought I was pretty! *Whew!* As long as I made sure everyone liked me, I would be safe from those icky middle school feelings.
Fast forward several years later, and I started really pursuing this music dream, dipping my toes in the ocean of visibility through social media. Everything was going great until I decided to post my thoughts on my YouTube channel. Now who told me to do that? One controversial video led to hundreds of disrespectful comments from angry, bitter men. And there was that icky middle school feeling again… Note to subconcious self: Visibility leads to icky feelings. Stop that.
My desire to sing has forced me to push past these feelings. I’ve used my personal Facebook page as my training ground, practicing openness and vulnerability in front of an audience.
Then in January 2017, I woke up one morning to find one of my favorite singers, Chrisette Michele in the middle of a political shitstorm. After she made a controversial decision to sing at Donald Trump’s inauguration, I watched thousands of people take time out of their day to publicly call her a coon, a sellout and a liar. I saw her “fans” make judgments about her character and her motives. The level of disrespect on her social media pages was astounding. Grown ass people, cyberbullying. And once again, that icky middle school feeling was back.
What stood out to me most prominently was that most of Chrisette’s cyberbullies didn’t fit the description of the trolls in our imaginations – ugly, lonely, bitter, insecure hermits that are easily dismissible.. Nah.. These were thousands of regular people, some of whom are probably smart, witty, good-looking or successful – just “telling it like it is.” What do you do when the “cool kids” are now adults and their attention is fully focused on attacking you?
On a deep level, even as a grown woman, I was afraid. The message I heard was: It’s not safe to be an artist. It’s not safe to express myself if I’m going against popular opinion. If I release my music and it’s successful, I will be signing up for another seat at that table in my middle school art class. I will be volunteering for people to call me all sorts of names and tell me that I’m inadequate. I will be signing up for people to hate me and make judgments about my character and my motives. I will be signing up for people to trigger me by pointing out all of the things I’m already insecure about.
So while ‘conscious Cindy’ was saying, “I’m so excited about releasing my music! Let’s get this done!” Subconscious, ‘inner child Cindy’ was like “Hell naw! I’m not ready for this! You’re not going to throw me out there to the wolves!” Cue financial shit storm. Cue music video delays. Cue long legal battle. And suddenly I’d manifested a laundry list of legitimate excuses to be stuck – things that were ‘beyond my control’. In a weird way, these obstacles were actually a gift from the Universe, providing me with exactly what I really wanted more than anything else.. to feel safe.
I was 100% sure that THIS was the underlying reason why my debut single had been in legal limbo for over a year. I knew intuitively that once I addressed this, the unresolved contract would be signed within 48 hours.
So I dealt with it. I allowed myself to fully feel the pain I repressed as a child. I sat with the hurt of being insulted in school. Acknowledged the pain of having my character attacked by hundreds of strangers on the internet. Released all of the tears I’d held back over the years to save face and appear strong. I let all of that out.
Once I gave a voice to my emotions, I challenged myself to remain open and vulnerable… To express more openly instead of hiding… To create a safe space for myself… To love on myself more and more each day… Then I was able to say “Okay Universe, I’m ready to release this music now. Let’s do this!”
And yes.. By the end of the following day, that damn contract was finally signed..
April 28th. Mark your calendar. I’m releasing my first single and my music video.
Leave a reply