One of the challenges faced in the pursuit of your singing success is the threat of burnout. In fact, the threat is substantial even without going after a career in the music business.
Let’s face it. Life requires a lot of busy work that often seems too great for time and space to accommodate. What often happens in the daily drive to make everything work and fit in is that you continue to press on and push through, making more mistakes and ignoring all the warning signs of a systems overload. If not properly addressed, this will lead to injury, burnout, or a breakdown. What’s worse, it can possibly cause irreparable damage.
Just as the voice needs proper care and rest to avoid strain and to recover from illness or injury, the body needs rest and care. In fact, your brain needs a break now and then. Your emotions need a little rest and relaxation to maintain proper control. And it’s all interconnected.
Lack Of Balance
Burnout comes most frequently because of a lack of balance. It can come because of insufficient rest. It can come because of abuse or overuse of substances, strenuous activities, improperly performed exercises, and so on. And once there is an imbalance in some part of your life, all other areas of function are susceptible to being thrown off-kilter. The biggest problem once burnout begins is that typically you push harder. That can quickly make the situation worse. But also, because your system is compromised, your judgment and function are not clear and healthy, and then things can quickly spin out of control.
Many that are seeking a career in music are trying to juggle voice lessons, music lessons, rehearsal time and gigging out, along with having to work as many as two full-time jobs. For many, shared housing becomes necessary to cut costs, and that can also create stressors that feed burnout.
Warning Signs – Obsessive
So what are warning signs of burnout? It will vary from person to person. But there are a few classic signs of potential burnout or indicate that you may be living in burnout mode and not realizing it. One is having a workaholic mindset. In other words, you are constantly working. This includes putting in extra time on weekends and holidays, not taking vacations, and even cutting your sleep time short, so that you can get more work done.
Another warning sign of burnout is the obsessive inability to surrender or share tasks or simply never asking for help, thinking you’re the only one that can get the job done. The key word here is obsessive. In other words, you have to do it or it won’t get done.
No Social – No Play Time
Another classic sign is having no social life or even avoiding it. This includes never going to parties, never getting together with friends or family, and not allowing time to just kick back and relax or to indulge a hobby. For those approaching burn out, leisure time is often viewed as wasted time, and there’s no sense of pleasure or purpose unless you’re working. Frankly, life becomes work. And that mindset is what eventually throws everything off-kilter.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t be passionate about singing or get excited or even energized by rehearsals or writing a new song or putting together a new set list. But, when all of your time is spent working without a break, and with no social activities or interaction, and no time for rest and play, burnout is one blown fuse or misfired spark away. Burnout then spreads like wildfire through dry underbrush. It creates more problems because you can’t function as sharply as you would if you had proper rest.
Dull The Cut-Throat
One behavior that can feed burnout, and is common to many that are serious about pursuing a singing career, is being ruthlessly competitive. It’s a good thing to want to be your best, fully develop your craft, and optimize your growth as an artist. The problem is that competitive thinking implies a “winner vs. loser” mindset, and that can be very self-destructive, because you then push yourself to try to outdo somebody else without recognizing and honoring the real true value of your unique gifts and talents.
Some of the signs of serious burnout include lack of concentration, unexplained mood swings, self-destructive behaviors, negative self-talk, and suddenly finding that friends, family, peers, and coworkers don’t want to be around you because of the negative behavior or because they’re made to feel they don’t matter.
Get A Check-Up
If you believe you’re facing some degree of burnout, it’s key to go see your doctor first, just to make sure that everything is ok physically. There may be some sort of underlying issue that could be contributing to your burnout, or there may be physical issues that could be serious as a result of an extended period of being burned out. So, you want to make sure that you’re physical health is good.
Check Your Balances
One key to avoiding burnout is self-care. It helps to take a good hard look at your life as a series of checks and balances. You want to make sure you allow yourself time for a healthy, affirming social life. You need to allow time for proper rest and to make sure you’re following a healthy diet, and getting lots of exercise that includes one or two 30-minute, peaceful walks each week. And do not underestimate the importance of allowing yourself time to simply play.
Just Say No
To avoid burnout, learn to say, no. That’s really tough sometimes because many singers and entertainers are naturally prone to being people-pleasers. But remember that you have the right to set your own schedule, routines, and priorities. If your plate is full, simply say, no thank you.
Paced To Embrace
It’s also important to pace yourself and make adjustments as necessary, erring on the side of getting rest and relaxation. Set reasonable goals you can accomplish in a reasonable amount of time. The goals should be specific, with a real sense of purpose, and should give you a feeling of accomplishment. Don’t forget to pat yourself on the back or reward yourself for the goals you reach.
But, if you find you may fall short or feel you might be better able to finish a task at a later time, give yourself permission to stop, checkout, and then regroup to finish at a later time. Don’t push when you’re starting to feel tired, edgy, cranky, or on the sizzling side of some serious deep frying. Also, do not push yourself if you’re sick or suffering from an injury.
Allow yourself time to indulge simple, playful pleasures. Go for a walk and listen to music. Go rock climbing. Run in the park. Go to the zoo. Give yourself permission to engage in a solitary activity that allows you to relax, refresh, and unwind.
A Grateful Hand
At some point every single day, take time to give thanks for at least five things, people, places – choose a handful of things that make you grateful. It can be directly related to career issues or artistry in the pursuit of your singing success. You can choose five people that you feel offer a helping hand in making you a better person or singer or friend. Write these down and actively give thanks for each as you choose.
Grief-Free Grab Bag
There is power in laughter and humor. Just like singing and music have a tremendous potential for healing, so does an infectious, side-splitting guffaw that leaves you leaking delirious tears. To tap into those healing powers, create a weekly grab bag of humor to shamelessly indulge. Your grab bag can include books, magazines, DVD’s, puzzles, Mad-Libs®, humorous websites, or numbers for friends that you know can always make you laugh. The point here is to have at your disposal an ongoing, living resource for making light of each day. It’s up to you to choose what goes in the grab bag that keeps you from taking life so seriously that you might get burned.
Exercise Your Senses
Take time at least twice a week to mix up your senses. Put on a blindfold and note what you hear, taste, touch, and smell. Think about images that are triggered and other senses it stirs that feeds your imagination. Cover your ears or put on headphones with white noise or natural sound like ocean waves, something that blocks out everything you hear around you. This forces you to really look at, touch, smell, and taste things. Blocking out a sense one by one keeps your senses fresh and alive and can even help with recovery if a period of burnout has recently dulled or compromised your sensory system.
Look Ahead Not Behind
Forget past hurts or missed opportunities. Look forward to leaning into what each new day brings. Remember that you have a gift as a singer, and your gift is unique. As you share that gift, you are serving others. Believe that your unique place in the world and your unique voice make a difference.
Whenever you start to feel burned out, give yourself permission to rest, step back, and assess your career, schedule, or training. Call somebody you haven’t had time for in a while, just to catch up. The key is to keep things in perspective while working hard and indulging some playtime. But you do not want to indulge anything that borders on excessive with a real threat of becoming an obsession.
Enhance Product Results
Make your down time a priority in you’re the pursuit of your singing career. Indulge activities such as giving thanks, or digging into your grab bag for a good laugh, as being absolutely vital to your getting the most out of programs such as Brett Manning’s Mastering Mix or Singing Success or one of the Top 7 product offerings. Your sense of balance will help you reap the full potential benefits of your SingingSuccess.TV experience.
Finally, allow for two or three people you know well to serve as lifeguards that will come to your rescue when stormy situations threaten to produce a strong surge or undertow that may bring you down. The best singers are commanding communicators and sensational storytellers. So always ask for help when you need it, so that the story of your singing success shines and resonates in the hearts of an adoring appreciative audience.
About this Article:
This article is reprinted from Brett Manning’s Singing Success Online. This critically acclaimed, celebrity voice method has been used by starts like Haley Williams, Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, and More! Sing any song you want in any key you like by adding a full octave to your range—Guaranteed! Be sure to check out the latest tools available at SingingSuccess.TV!
About the Author:
Randy Moomaw is a native of Virginia now residing in Tennessee. He writes poems, plays, and songs that reflect the journey between the glow of small town dreams and the shadows cast beneath big city lights. He also specializes in creating games to stimulate and encourage creativity. He’s a Samuel Goldwyn Award winner as well as a winner of more than 20 American Songwriter lyricist awards. His plays have been produced in New York, L.A., Nashville, and Washington, D.C. He’s a graduate of the University of Mary Washington in Virginia and has an MFA from UCLA.
To Subscribe click on one of these Icons: