I watched The Voice tonight on NBC and a few singers were having a difficult time at their auditions before their head-to-head competition with another singer. Time and time again, the coaches talked to them about committing to the part, committing to the song and committing to themselves that they had the talent to sing some very difficult songs.
When training for the improv stage, we talk about commitment. It's a crucial element in everything we do in a scene. If we are not fully committed to our characters, our reason for being on stage, or the story we're telling, the audience can tell.
Typically, we are not fully committed because of a lack of confidence. Of course, there are many reasons we may not be confident in something, but this hesitation shows and magnifies to the audience as we struggle through the scene we've set up, but haven't committed ourselves to the moment.
Sound familiar? Often times in life, people are seen (and probably rightly so) as lacking confidence when they don't commit to what they've "set up" or what they have to accomplish. Whether it's your beliefs, your physical presence, or who you are as a person, if you're not fully in it, you're audience (everyone around you) notices your hesitation and it can be a train wreck. They start feeling your uncomfortableness and nervousness as you focus on the wrong things.
So, what are the wrong things? The negative. The unknown. As soon as we start focusing on what we don't know, our minds wander and we begin to picture "worst case scenarios" which distract us from the task at hand. We're suddenly not in the moment and it's obvious.
So what does this look like for you in everyday life? It means being present in the moment and doing everything intentionally to accomplish your goals. It means focusing on what you know, not what you don't know. Learning to speak positive thoughts to yourself and putting it all on the line, so that when you walk away you know you couldn't have done it any better.
Give yourself the opportunity to succeed instead of the excuses to fail.