Standing Out and Taking Your Place in the Spotlight!

09/17/18 by Jeri Gaile

Jeri Gaile

Director of The Music Center’s Spotlight program

We all want to be accepted, loved, admired, popular….and the list could go on and on, right? We want to fit in with others and basically…be liked! It’s a ton of pressure to wake up every day and have to think about whether your clothes, hair, intelligence, talent, etc. will stand up against the judgy eyes of other kids. And that’s just if you’re a normal average teen! What if you’re a singer, dancer, artist, actor, or musician? How do you fit in with other students and at the same time, stand out?

Our friends are our family away from home. We want them to cheer us on and clap for our successes and also give us a hug when we miss the note, forget our lines, trip on stage or mess up the music. Probably, most of your friends are huggers, which is great; you’ve picked awesome friends! The problem is that even though you’ve got terrific people around you, there is still that voice inside of your head that…………Wants    To     Fit     In! Stay with me on this: If you need to fit in, you won’t stand out, and standing out as a performer is extremely important in the long run, if you want a thriving career.

Think about being in class or a competition. The moment comes when you have to get up and perform in front of everyone. You are at your most vulnerable. Everyone is staring at you and doing a few things: comparing themselves to you, looking to see if you do a good or bad job, and deciding whether or not they liked your “performance.” Sometimes, whether you know it or not, you dim your own light in order to, (here it comes again)…….Fit In. In other words, internally you worry that if you do a fantastic job, maybe your friends will be jealous and they won’t like you. So, we sometimes mess up, or don’t do our best just so that our friends won’t feel threatened. The problem with this is that we don’t get to shine and stand out! We don’t live up to our fullest potential.

We also want to be noticed by the teacher, judge or coach, but if they complement us in front of our “friends,” we worry that our friends will think we are snobby, self-centered or stuck up. So, it’s easier sometimes to not stand out. How do we get over that? And………you have to get over that!!!

First off, don’t let anyone dim your light and brilliance. You need to be your own best friend! Don’t let other people feel good about themselves at your expense. You need to let others deal with their own feelings of self-worth, because it’s not your responsibility, and it’s part of growing up. Now, this is not an excuse for you to be mean or snobby. You can still be a good friend, supportive of everyone else and be kind. But you can no longer waste time worrying about whether your friends won’t like you if you shine! Here’s what you can do:

  • Challenge yourself to do your very best, always
  • Inspire others to do their best and be inspired by others’ success
  • Focus your attention on living and breathing your personal goals instead of worry about how others handle your success
  • Celebrate the success of others, so that they can learn by your example
  • Don’t apologize for your beauty, talent, smarts or anything else that sets you apart
  • Practice being humble but not diminishing yourself in the process

Participating in programs like Spotlight can help you gain self-esteem by challenging yourself to step out of your comfort zone and shine a light on who you truly are. Be brilliant, kind, dazzling, supportive, powerful and nurturing to yourself and your friends! Everyone wins! Now is the time to…….. Step into the Spotlight http://bit.ly/Spotlight18