Today, I found out we didn't win the songwriters contest that we entered back in December this past year. My initial reaction was disappointment, I failed to win with a song I felt had the potential of becoming an award winning song. I was totally bummed :( Over the past six months I had put so much energy toward promoting it, creating a video and excitement around it, sharing it with our audience and enrolling others into my excitement.....and now there was no celebration......no finale...no fireworks! Now what? What does this mean? Am I a failure? Should I just give up on writing music? Do I crawl off into a hole, forget the song all together including all the work I put into it? What do I do about the let down? All of these thoughts came flooding into my brain.....uuuggghhhh!!! Hold that thought! Right now in this moment I have an opportunity....for what you might ask ;) I have an opportunity to choose my reaction!
Let me unwrap this just a bit. A few years ago I was playing a game and during that game I got to experience how I show up in life first hand. During this game a fellow teammate revealed to me that they had seen something about me. My immediate initial reaction to their observation was anger and defensiveness. In that moment, I stopped....it felt like forever and I probably appeared to this person as a crazy person as I took the time without responding to just stare at her while I pondered and thought this whole experience through LOL. Then I realized that this was just an observation, their perspective, it didn't mean that it was right or wrong or even that it was true, they just saw something I wasn't aware of!!! WOW!!! This experience has changed my life!!! I now have the power to choose my reaction, to dissect and determine how I want to feel, does this information even apply?- and more importantly what do I get to do different to improve moving forward?!
That experience alone has been a GAME CHANGER for me. Now, when I feel a strong emotion come up for me: anger, disappointment, fear, defensiveness -the list can go on and on- instead of reacting with anger, resentment, and frustration (which are all negative responses that have the potential to grow negative responses), I get to choose a positive response that promotes growth, learning and opportunities for better!! I continue to practice this and my responses get easier and faster all the time. In fact, I no longer look like I am lost in space staring at people while I work through how I want to respond LOL. I am not perfect by any means and there are still times when I revert back to old habits of frustration/anger AND with practice they are fewer and farther between. One thing I do know now is that my reaction is my responsibility and I can no longer blame anyone else for how I feel...that is my choice.
Well let's get back to the beginning of the story. Yes, I was bummed and had a flood of reactions show up for me and I have taken the opportunity to look at each one and made these decisions. Yes, I do get to celebrate! I get to celebrate that we took a chance, we stepped out of our comfort zone to enter our song into a contest, it was scary to put ourselves out there for everyone to see. Our audiences have encouraged us, given us wonderful feedback and want us to keep doing what we do. We have an opportunity to improve our song, after writing and recording we discovered some things that we want to do to make it better! This experience has given me the drive to keep going, I know we will keep improving, learning and creating more, better music together! I know I love what I do, our recent extended break from music has given me the opportunity to reflect. I am more determined now than I have ever been that this is where I am supposed to be; singing, writing, performing....I am LIVING in my purpose!!! So look out world....LET THE GAMES BEGIN!!!