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    When I was young, I used to think that once you knew everything and were vastly experienced, then would you become confident. But one day I was in a singing workshop when I realised that this is not true. You just have to decide to be confident. Behave as if you are and the rest will take care of itself.
    Many years ago, when I was first starting out as a singer, I attended a singing workshop. At the start we went round the circle and introduced ourselves. I was horrified to discover that most people there were professional singers, singing teachers and choir leaders. I freaked! Then something unexpected happened: I stopped caring what others thought. It was taking so much energy keeping a lid on my singing voice and focusing on the others all the time, that something must have snapped. I was there to enjoy myself, not to worry and be a mouse.
    I decided then and there to be confident. What that meant was that I just did what was asked of me to the best of my ability. I sang out loud and proud, lost myself in the group, and stopped worrying what others thought of me. Suddenly I started to enjoy myself. I started to catch people’s eye and feel a real connection. Other singers began to smile at me. I really felt that we were making music together. People’s backgrounds and experience became irrelevant.
    To be confident is to express yourself as best you can given the circumstances, and not to focus on other people (how much better they are than you or how badly they think of you). That means that when you are starting out you can be a confident beginner, and as you get very experienced you can eventually become a confident expert. And in between you will be a confident learner.
    Chris Rowbury, Chris wrote this article for Natural Voice News - May 2019.