So...confidence. It's a biggie. Sometimes we feel confident and sometimes we don't, for me sometimes there is just no rhyme or reason to it. I know I personally have days when I feel on top of the world about my voice and other days when I feel like I have lost a little control and it is unable to do what I want it to. There are many factors in this of course; the amount of sleep I've had, my health and even what time of the month it is (yes ladies this also affects your voice). But one thing that ALWAYS ensures that I am sounding in fine voice is confidence and the one thing that ensures I sound, in my mind, a little crap, is a lack of it! Which leads me to ask; on those days are we inconfident because our singing is bad or is our voice being affected by our confidence?
EVERYTIME, the latter! You will be your own worst critic on those days, psycologists call it your 'inner critic', I call your 'bad idea bear' for the musical theatre fans our there. It's that little voice in your head that says 'You can't' when really you can. I have had some truly tired days vocally when I haven't slept much because I've been having too much fun with the people I am working with and shouldn't have been able to sing to my full ability (naughty I know but hey I was young once and I learned from my mistakes). But I have had an injection of confidence from working with inspiring and like minded people meaning against the odds I nailed the gig (phew)! And other days when I have felt more fragile and heard the little voice in my head saying that I won't be able to hit that note and of course I don't.
I have witnessed extremely talented people talk themselves out of auditions, jobs and nailing songs that should be easy for them. Imagine for a second that you are talking to a friend and that you are telling them that they cannot hit the big note; that they sound crackly and strained and that they should probably stop singing because it sounds awful. HARSH right?! You wouldn't say it to a friend because you care about them and you can visibly see the negative affect it has on them. Undoubtedly they will either be extremely hurt and stop singing, give you a dead leg or at worst mentally log those comments and it will inform how they perform in the future.
The damaging thing is that every one of us is saying these things to ourselves whether you are aware of it or not and it directly affects what comes out of your mouth. You may not get it right first time but be a friend to yourself. Keep encouraging yourself and you will get there, the more you tell yourself you can't do something the more it will manifest and come true. If it helps, physically write down that negative idea on paper as it pops into your head then cross it out and turn it into an encouraging one. Don't let that little gremlin sit on your shoulder and fill your head with negative thoughts, there really is no time or merit in doing so. Give it a short sharp punch to the face and say to yourself 'I can do this' and let your full potential shine!