Rob from Greenville, SC says:
Figure out which is worse: Fear of trying or Fear of never knowing would could have been? May the force be with you!!!
Terry in Safety Harbor, FL suggests:
First, try hypnotherapy. It can unlock many issues you don't know you are holding onto. Secondly, take baby steps to gain confidence. If you can play for friends and family, that's already a huge step. Go to a karaoke/open mic night when there's only a small crowd or practice on a stage when no one is around if you can get access. Also, singing with someone helps a ton. Gradually increase your audience and one day, you will notice it won't be there.
Lorelei from Ontario, Canada:
Darrell: Firstly, I would like to state that I understand your diliemma as anxiety is obviously a very real impasse for you. Try inching out to friends with your songs and gathering feedback. What about sendng out your tunes to all the counry stars that would suit this melody? I can think of several. Remember that All feedback can aid you to center yourself and perhaps re-group; even if the feedback is less than postive, it is just their subjective view. Try to stay centred in your core belief that you have something worthwhile to offer. Most importantly, stay centred in your heart and don't let the negative thoughts, that come around, get the better of you. Spending some quality time daily, in quiet mediatation, focusing on the positive will potentially help.
In the end, the rocking chair test works too...looking back 15 years from now, what will matter more. The "ney" sayers--- or the memories of knowing you gave it your best try to push forward? The ol' "no guts no glory"; as there will no doubt be trials along the path to triumph.
Best of luck, my friend. You've got a fan here.
Cida from Santa Cruz California says:
I can totally relate to what you are going through and I know you can do it.
Some suggestions are:
As strange as it may sound: try to give a voice to your fear. Have a dialogue with it and then visualize it going away from you.
Rehearsal, rehearsal, rehearsal! Do as much rehearsal as possible with your family than invite your friends and perform to them. Ask and be open for their feedback.
Take improve, free form dance, or any creative class which can help you to free your soul from this phobia. You are not your phobia. So, don't let it run the show!
Last, but not least, fake it until you make it!
Good luck to you!
Roxann from Torrance, CA writes:
A hypnotherapist can help you with your social phobia and anxiety in short order. Hypnotherapy produces better results faster than traditional therapies. One study showed a 85 – 90% success rate with hypnosis after 5 sessions. Behavioral therapy showed 72% recovery after 22 sessions.
Erik from Belle Mead, NJ
This is in response to the call for advice for Darrell in Wisconsin:
I would suggest stepping back for a moment and thinking about the big picture of what you do. For example, something led you to write country songs, whether it's the love of creating music or this specific genre. I would realize that performing them or taking your biz to the next level is not "all about you" but rather it's getting this terrific music out to an audience that will love and appreciate it!
Good luck! :-)