Ep.6: Stop Sabotaging Your Singing: 8 Steps to Eliminate Self-criticism and Doubt

Stop Sabotaging your Singing

We have met the enemy and he is us! Your thoughts may be sabotaging your singing.  Inside this video find out how to conquer self-criticism and doubt.


If you have watched or listened to episode 1-5, you should know by now that your negative beliefs about your voice (and yourself I might add) are not true.


By now you should you know the truth about your voice:


  • You can sing higher than you thought possible
  • It is possible to eliminate cracks and breaks in your voice
  • It’s possible to eliminate weakness and breathiness and develop strength in your voice
  • It’s possible to develop a beautiful strong tone
  • It’s possible to have great breath control
  • It’s possible to have tremendous confidence singing for others
  • It’s possible to understand how your voice works and how to improve it


Now that you believe these things, what are you saying to yourself about your singing? Listen to your self-talk. What do you hear?  Chances are you’re hearing very critical things about your voice. Who is criticizing you?  YOU are!!!!!!


You sabotage your own singing progress by letting these lies repeat themselves in your mind.


Negative Self-Talk

Your habit of negative thinking and feeling about your voice, fights against your new belief about the truth of your singing potential.


Why do we allow this negative self-talk? Why are we so critical and mean to ourselves? Here are a few reasons:


  • We want everyone to love our singing.
  • We don’t like the sound of our own singing… we want to sound like some famous singer.
  • We continue to believe a negative comment someone may have made or implied.
  • We believe past failure or disappointment limits our future ability to succeed.
  • We habitually criticize ourselves and surround ourselves with others who criticize.
  • We’re afraid of failure or embarrassment.
  • We aren’t putting in the time and effort.
  • It’s easier to be negative than to be positive about our voices.


You can change the habit of negative thinking about yourself and your singing voice!


Here are specific things that you can do now to stop criticizing and doubting yourself and change your thoughts.


8 Steps to Eliminate Self Criticism and Doubt

  1. Recognize that the critical, self-limiting voice within is not the truth.

As a teenager, I started feeling very self conscious and began being very critical of myself. This persisted in one form or another until it came to a head one day when I was feeling especially down about myself.


I was so depressed, I typed a whole page of things I hated about myself with the intent of reading them everyday…as some form of punishment.  Sick…I know. Here’s what I said. Oh, before I read it and….and yes I still have the original… here is a picture of myself at this time of my life.

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Chuck Gilmore, age 19.

I show this picture because seeing it you would never believe I was so filled with self doubt and disgust.


Here’s a partial list of things I knew were true about myself. I was 19 at the time I wrote this. This is very personal but maybe it will help you. I abbreviated this in interest of time. You can read the whole thing in the blog post. I took a picture of the original which I’ve kept all these years. Ok, here’s what I said. I wrote this…I admit it!

I’m ugly. I have pimples all over my face;  Greasy,  oily, face. buck teeth—  crummy, black,  hair— dirty glasses, crooked nose, muddy colored eyes, my eyebrows grow together— I’m skinny, awkward when I walk— insecure when I’m around other people so I walk with my hands in my pockets-swaying back and forth.

I have a terrible physical body-skinny. I’m not good-looking enough for any good looking girl. I’m not appealing. My personality is lousy. People laugh at me when I walk by. They stare at me when I go into a room. I can tell that when I go see someone they’re always glad to see the other person— but not so happy to see me because I’m stupid…

I’m shy. I can’t talk to just anybody. I can’t smile or talk to strangers…

When I see other people I immediately imagine what they see in me and when I do they’re always seeing less of me. …

I can’t look other people in the eyes very long because they are better than me…

I want other people to know I’m shy and a failure. Socially too. There are more people in the world better and more beautiful than I and thus…. I’m not good enough!


My intent when I wrote this was to read it every day. Within a few days as I was reading it I realized something very significant. I remember getting up and looking in the mirror. It wasn’t true! These things I had written about myself were simply not true. This was so liberating!


When I accepted the truth about myself everything changed. When you accept the truth about your singing voice everything will change for the better.


What negative things about yourself and especially your singing voice do you accept as being true but are not?


The negative, limiting self-talk about yourself and your voice is holding you back. The negative things you say and think about your singing are not true.


Recognize that the critic within is not the truth about you. It is not who you are, and is not a limitation to what you can learn and do today going forward.


  1. Watch your thoughts. Step away from them and watch them. Examine how they make you feel. Acknowledge they create anxiousness, fear and doubt. Realize these thoughts are not you and are not true.


  1.  Focus on the present moment. Not the past. Not the future. Now. Listen to and feel your breathing. Listen to the sounds surrounding you this minute. Feel the keys under your fingers, the press of the chair against your legs. Take several large, slow breaths and feel the air go in and out of your lungs. Focus your thoughts on every feeling of your breath. Notice that while you are doing this, your mind is quiet. The critic and doubt and fear are gone. Because they focus on the past or future, which are not real. They are imaginary. Only now, this moment, is real.

Stop Sabotaging your Singing by staying present


Read, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose a book by Eckhart Tolle. This will help you develop the ability to stay in the present moment and to recognize the critic within is not who you are.  It is not an accurate judge of your potential to accomplish great things.


  1. Accept the fact that not everyone will like you or your singing voice or your style, and that’s a good thing. This is a powerful mental strategy. Read or watch more about that here.


  1. Accept the fact you’ll mess up. Its ok. The very best mess up too. Here’s a video of Idina Menzel and John Lennon forgetting the words of songs they sang 100’s of times. It’s only failure if we quit or give up trying.

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  1. Find within you your passion and drive for your singing and let this be your reason for singing, not to please others. Forget everything else. When it’s darkest and blackest, remember why you love to sing and perform.


  1. Love to Work with joy and passion. Enjoy the process of working at it. Identify your weakness and your strengths. Systematically eliminate weakness and build on your passion and your strengths.


There is no substitute for paying the price of hours of working on your voice and all aspects of your singing. But this is a labor of love. Much of the joy is in the working and improving. It is in the journey.  And the performances.


  1. Practice. It makes the bad good. The good great. And the great greater. It also builds tremendous confidence.


Following these eight steps will eliminate self-criticism and doubt not only about your singing but in all aspects of your life. The only limit you face is the one you put on yourself. The truth is you can achieve your dreams.


Do you know your vocal type? I’m not talking about whether you’re a soprano, alto, tenor or bass. Your vocal type is what you tend to do when you sing. Once you know your vocal type you can begin eliminating weaknesses in your voice and get the singing voice you want.


Visit PowerToSing.com. Take the power test and the quiz. Immediately you’ll  discover your vocal type. Explore the Knowledge Center on Power to Sing’s website. Learn all about your vocal type and the exercises that will help improve your unique voice.


I’m Chuck Gilmore with Power to Sing. You can sing higher with beauty, confidence, and power.


I’ll see you inside the next video.


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Chuck Gilmore

Chuck Gilmore

If you want to do more with your singing voice it is possible. This is the first and most important message. It is possible to achieve your dreams to sing better, to sing higher, and to add beauty, confidence and power to your voice!

I know this because I’ve experienced a real change in my voice. I am reaching my dreams to sing and perform. You can find happiness and fulfillment with your singing too!!


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  1. Thanks Jeanne. It wasn’t until I started video taping that I realized I was revealing some things that are a little embarrassing about my past self image. But it really happened and it’s part of my journey, so I took a chance and shared it. I guess I was hoping someone might relate in some way. I agree that singing feels so exposed. It’s so personal and I can feel so vulnerable. At the same time that’s why it’s so thrilling too! Crazy huh?

  2. Thanks for this, Chuck! I have enjoyed all your videos so far. This is truly a crucial topic for so many of us. It’s just human nature, but vulnerability to self-doubt is magnified when you are engaged in something so ‘exposed’ as singing. So I loved your ideas on it, and it’s fun watching (not just reading) them from you. Keep up the good work!

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