Some of us struggle to find our OWN identity. This can come from many things in life. Some people always expect for others to approve of who they are and what they do, and when others don't respond in that way, they doubt themselves. Another reason may be that the attention they craved for as a child was never received. This is, I would consider, a disease! It really is, maybe not in medical terms but it can do so much damage to a person. All in all, I believe that being yourself begins at home with some "training" from Mom, Dad, or both.
As a child my mother would always say "good job", "don't give up", "don't be afraid", "be yourself" even if it wasn't my best work- She always pushed me to do better. With that kind of positive attitude coming from my mother, her voice would always play in my mind in times that I was not so sure about certain things in life. She made me understand early on that I am one of God's child and if God can love and bless his other children, what makes me so different? I can still, till this day remember that beautiful conversation that I had with Mami.
Lets talk a bit about CONFIDENCE and Being self-assured or self-approved. As you all may know I have been on a musical Journey for quite some time! The very first time I sang on a stage I was 6yrs old and from then on it became my passion. I dedicated time to writing songs at the age of 10 with hopes of one day bringing my ideas into life. I did grow up shy, so I struggled for many years to finally decide that if this was something I was planning to get into it must be done right now, at that very moment! It was exactly what I did! I forgot about the shy young girl that I used to be and I became more focussed and persistent, just so my dreams can one day become a reality.
It has not been an easy journey! For anyone to be an artist you must be SELF-ASSURED. Why? So many people have opinions (some good others not so good) and if you do not know yourself well enough, you will fall face first into hard concrete! Long before I decided to do live shows, I studied myself! I would always put myself in difficult situations, even though at that time it had not happened. I remember stepping out for the first time to do a live performance, and boy was I a nervous wreck! It seem so much easier when I was at home just God, Myself, the camera, and the walls. Its another feeling when you are live in front of an audience. But that very first time, I did it!! Just stepped out and did my thing. The reviews were nothing like I had expected, Everyone that approached me were just so beautiful and positive! Encouraging me that no matter what happens I shall always continue the journey.
You all must know that the more you study your craft, the better you become at it. So, I went on to do many, many shows- and they only got better and better.
But just when I got comfortable, I was invited to perform live at an underground TV show (The Block party). The show is based on promoting underground and unsigned artists. Right after an artists performs they receive calls from the viewer expressing what they thought of the artists performance. I was ready!!!! I watched the show the previous week just so I know what I was coming up against. I remember two male rappers were onstage doing their thing and when they got the phone calls from the viewers, lets just say you could have compared them to a stick of gum. They literally got chewed on and spat out!!! I thought to myself, well that wont be me next week, they are gonna enjoy my performance!! NOT! lol
It was the moment of performing live for "The Block Party" TV show! I was excited! I couldn't wait to hear what the viewers had to say! My performance of 4 songs, I believe, was finally over. The moment of truth! First caller chewed me up, second caller swallowed me whole, and the third caller spat me right out! All my life I had longed for a moment like this! You must be asking yourselves why. Am I crazy? No! But it comes with the territory of what I wanna do, what I have been dedicating my life for years! I used to be afraid that one day someone was not gonna have something nice to say about how I sing. Sometimes it worried me but never to the point that I would ever stop doing what I love! And finally here I am, one of my fears was finally staring me in the face. The feeling that I got was unpredictable. I mean, all this time I feared people's opinion and now that I am face to face with these negative comments from the "unknown", It wasn't bad! I did not feel any different then when I did perform and people said good things about the show. I could not believe that it didn't phase me. I was not bothered by it all that I could ever come up with saying was "THANK YOU". And it came from a very sincere place in my heart. It was not me being sarcastic but that's all that kept spinning in my mind (Thank you).
Can you believe that after getting dissed so bad by the viewers of "The Block Party" I became the host of the show? How ironic! How boldly courageous of me, how stout-hearted! I did it! And it was in that moment that I admired my strength. That all those beautiful advice my mother had given me as a child has paid off. As the host, I also noticed how there was never an artist that recieved good reviews! Every Monday night I had to stand before an artist that had no idea how harsh the viewers of the show could be. Honestly some artists did deserve the bad reviews, but there were some artists that were truly talented and yet no one ever gave them a good comment or advice as to how they can further themselves in their career. Its really a shame how people who choose to do absolutley nothing with their lives want others that are doing well be in their same position. Whoever came up with the phrase "Misery loves company" is a very wise person because this saying couldnt hold up more truth than what it does.
Now, if I was a doubtful person I would believe the negative things they said and would have simply given up. Because honestly, does it ever get any worse then someone telling you that you are not good enough? well, it does not. The way that I function is this way, if people doubt me, I become more hungry and persistent in getting better at what I do. It is the fuel that keeps my flames alive and strong. On the other hand it easily becomes most of our down fall. The answer to why most of us fall is because as I have stated before, we never took the time to study us- to be honest with ourselves about who we are and what it is that we wanna do and accomplish in life.
Leading to becoming the host of the show, I also won two awards a couple of years later! One for Best female R&B at the Upper Sate independent music awards and one from my agent Cocochyna (Coco nation) for Female song stylist. I was so humbled because I know how hard I had to work to achieve such reward. It had been years of work- frustration- dedication- and love for what I do, God made sure that my work was not left unnoticed. When I was announced winner, the feeling that one gets is really beyond themselves. I am very proud of accepting me, all of me. The good, the bad, positive and negative. The things God has yet to bless me with and all the beautiful things he has allowed me to achieve in life. I am where I was destined to be :) and that alone paints a big smile on my face.
I also went from an amateur performer to a paid act as of 2008! Hired for funerals, weddings and live artist showcases. If I can hand you all one advice it would be, love yourself unconditionally, accept your flaws and work on them. Never allow anyone determine who you are or who you can be. The good fruits of your labor will grow and grow the more you get to know YOU. Stop believing the devil's words, instead follow the good Lord for when we are in army with him who dare challenge us? Delete all negative thoughts about yourself, instead encourage someone else to keep doing what they love no matter what may come their way. Because in the end, I'm telling you all, what does not kill you makes you one solid rock that cant no one destroy!
Still I stand strong, and I will remain "solid as a rock". All because I am SELF-ASSURED!!!!!