How karaoke changed me and helped me live a normal life

I’ve recently published a few articles on karaoke, which has had a great impact on my own life. If you read the this website’s about page, you would have seen that I mention I used have low confidence. I thought my opinions were not valued, that my actions were worthless and it really made it difficult to cope with life in general.

I have never really shared this story before, and it could sound a bit strange that I owe so much of my personal growth to one silly activity.

Through most of my life and most of college I had these feelings of inferiority, but one night during college some of my friends and I went downtown to a karaoke bar. We had few drinks, but I was still terrified of performing in front of others. For years I had been so frightened by the idea of public speaking, and I constantly had social anxiety. But this night I promised myself I was gonna try to sing in front of others, because it was with music in the background so nobody would really be listening to my voice. I actually love singing while I’m listening to music but only if I’m completely alone. This night I forced myself to step in front of the microphone, and I had a surprising discovery and realization that changed my entire life.

When I started I was shaking and my voice was cracking, but I just forced myself through it. Nobody actually noticed because we had all been drinking and the background music made my cracking voice less noticeable. After the first song finished, I was actually surprised I had completed one song, and I felt immensely powerful of having been brave enough to do so. The second song was a duet with a friend, and I was suddenly having fun.

At the end of the night, we had been singing karaoke for hours and a few had starting to lose their voice because of all the singing. In the taxi back to the dorms, I remember thinking what an accomplishment for a socially anxious person like me to break out of my shell and sing in front of so many people. I felt powerful, I felt in control, I felt relief. I promised myself that I would have to continue to force myself and push myself outside of my comfort zone.

My big realization: Everything I want in life lies outside of my comfort zone.

I started going to karaoke bars a few times every month, just to remind myself of the fact that people don’t really care about what you do and how well you do it. They care more about themselves and worry about how they are doing. It is perfectly fine to be a novice, to not be an expert. Nobody is flawless. And you can’t let the fear discourage you from living your life.

From the time I first had this realization, I went on to practice my public speaking skills and became a lot more confident. I was able to do things that absolutely terrified me, like job interviews and calling strangers. And the more I did these things, the easier they became as I understood that it did not have any consequences for me whatsoever.

I still love karaoke and singing though, and it will continue to be one of my biggest passions, as well as a very important reminder to myself.

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