New year, new me.
Some people roll their eyes at everyone’s favourite January cliché, but I honestly love it. New Year’s Day is my favourite day of the year. I love a psychic clean sheet. I love the vast emptiness of possibility and a cue – artificial though it may be – for change.
But I’m not always good at it.
At the end of every episode of the podcast, I remind my listeners that good things happen when you put yourself out there. I chose that as the topic for my first “solosode” because it’s the basis of everything I’ve done in the past eight years. I went from a struggling writer long out of music and frightened to get back in to a touring drummer with a self-published book and a blog and a podcast, all because I simply put myself out there.
I’ve gathered a lot of wisdom from the great teacher and writer Geoff Thompson. One of the things he wrote that I have taken to heart is that the things you want are waiting on the other side of your fear. For me that fear was getting back into music and performing. Fear of not being good enough. Fear of looking foolish. Fear of confirming the unflattering beliefs I had about myself. A profound moment at a Jamaican resort challenged me to face that fear and ultimately I did, which kicked off a decade that I just couldn’t have seen coming that fateful island night (read about that moment here).
The solosode is the next phase of facing fears. It’s just me and the microphone, and I’ve been reluctant to try that approach. What if I have nothing to say? What if I have things to say that have no value? What if I sound like a moron? What if this thing I would like – to be able to do solo podcasts that are entertaining and inspirational – blows up in my face?
One thing I’ve learned over the past decade is that there’s only one way to find out how something will go. Another thing I’ve learned is that even if it doesn’t go well, most often you’ll be just fine. The trying is the thing, and so here I am, trying to do a solo episode.
So it’s just you and me, gentle listener. As we get into a new year and a new decade, my encouragement is to find your courage. Face your fears. If there’s something you want to try, try it and watch the magic happen. If you had told me ten years ago that I’d be playing shows in Europe or recording albums or interviewing people like dUg Pinnick or Tom Keifer or Sarah Tomek or Jason Tait, I’d have thought you were nuts. And ten years ago you would have been, but one simple step into music – one small act of courage – changed everything.
Good things really do happen when you put yourself out there.
Now’s the time to start.
Enjoy the episode and let me know how you plan to put yourself out there in 2020!