You’ve been given the diagnosis, you’ve been given treatment, you’ve had an operation… What now?
Are you feeling positive? Are you hopeful? Inspired? Are you determined to move through this and come out bigger and better on the other side? If not, I hear you… when I was recovering from my own injury and operations the last word I would use to describe my out look was optimistic. Frankly, I was scared, ashamed and feeling pretty lonely and if it wasn’t for the support team I had around me, I doubt I would’ve been motivated to carry on. The fact is, for many singers post operation recovery can be a bumpy journey, one moment you’re smashing out the positivity, and the next you are being smashed with crippling negativity.
Common thoughts and feelings that singers go through after experiencing vocal trauma or injury:
- Imposter syndrome (“I’m a fraud”)
- Shame (“I should know better, what must people think?”)
- Loneliness (“who can I trust to get some of these big feels off my chest?”)
- Fear (“what if I screw things up forever?”)
- Impatience (“do I really have to do those exercises every day – why cant I just SING?”)
- The “why’s?” (“why me?… why didn’t I…? why didn’t they?…”)
- Apathy (“cant be arsed!”)
- Re-navigation (“my voice feels different now, its not the same, what do I do with it?”)
All of those feelings and thoughts are completely justifiable, and it’s important to listen to them because they are revealing things to you. When hard feelings show up, real change can begin. Now is a perfect time to give yourself full permission to take a difficult experience and use it as a catalyst for personal growth. Taking the time and effort to learn more about yourself, your voice and your body.
This is where an attitude of excellence comes in extremely handy! Excellence is not a skill in and of itself – it is a state of mind, or attitude. How brilliant is that? If you decide to adopt this attitude I guarantee you will not be disappointed because you will be able to look yourself in the face, and know that you have given yourself the very best opportunity to thrive in an adverse situation. You will definitely need a supportive team around you, because you will be going through an ENORMOUS amount of growth.
Pathways to an EXCELLENT recovery:
Decide to adopt an attitude that reflects what you truly want out off your recovery (an attitude of excellence!)
If you haven’t got a totally awesome teacher – then GET ONE!
Find a Physio that understands vocal recovery and have them work with you. Ask them if they are familiar with “Vocal Unloading”.
Get physically strong – regular pilates, yoga, swimming or even just a decent walk
Find a life coach to help you decide what you ACTUALLY WANT for your future. Start planning, setting goals, dreaming big! They will also kick your butt and make sure you stay on track.
Commit to daily practice and DO IT diligently (not in the car!)
Affirm your voice EVERY SINGLE DAY…. (I can send you some great affirmations if you message me!)
Surround yourself with people who will lift you up and are “excellent”
Seek inspiration from other singers/artists – listen to as many people as you can.
If you are feeling down, then make space to “feel”. Do not run from it, but instead have compassion and curiosity. Once you’ve allowed time for the feeling to pass, you can move through.
A moment of recognition
I want you to take a moment right now to be fully present with what you have gone through. I want you to congratulate yourself for doing brave things and going through hard stuff. I want you to realise that the future is FULL of endless possibilities. I want you to commit to finding the people who will support you over the next few months as you begin to grow. You will need them.
Last thing, never forget the love you have for singing. Never lose hope. Commit to getting help. Enjoy this important season of growth, and take every opportunity towards being “excellent”!