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Success on the Fly: Intimidation

Posted: Tuesday, Dec 4th, 2012


Chris Waugh


Who remembers having a childhood dream of being a performing singer? How fun would that be? A few years ago, I jumped into the opportunity to sing in an ensemble. We play popular standards, like “Willow Weep for Me” and “Honeysuckle Rose.” (We’re called Trav’lin’ Light - come and see us at the Samaritan PCH Festival of Trees on Dec. 6.)

And it is fun. I love discovering and learning the old music my parents listened to.

But it’s also frustrating. I’m finding out how much I don’t know about the basics of music and the nuances of popular jazz. It’s easy to feel that everyone has vast experience compared to me. One night, I admitted that I was intimidated. Someone said, “Don’t be.” But I was.

I told a close friend about how intimidating soloing can be. She told me, “Don’t be.” But I was.

And when I told our amazing local trumpet player, John Bringetto, I felt that way around him, he told me. “Don’t be.” But I was!

What’s wrong with being intimidated? I should be feeling a little timid - and working like crazy to come up to speed. Intimidation is a positive emotion, even though I don’t always appreciate it. It means you’re stretching and getting out of your comfort zone. Your awareness is heightened. It’s like stage fright.

The key, I think, is to feel the intimidation and proceed. Push on. Try. Grow. Don’t let it hold you back!

• Talk to your boss about a well-deserved raise - you might get one

• Bring up that issue that’s really bothering you - maybe it will improve

• Take up a new hobby - see how it enriches the rest of your life

• Register for a class at the Oregon Coast Community College

• Audition for something! Or try out for a recreational sports team.

If you’re not feeling intimidated sometimes, you’re probably missing out on some opportunities to succeed.



Chris Waugh is a business consultant, author and speaker who “lends wings to your success.” Visit ChrisWaugh.com or Facebook.com/chriswaughonthefly for more.

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