March 8, 2024

Ep #9: Performer Perfectionism: Overcome Your Fear of Being Imperfect

If you find yourself being careful with your performance because you’re scared of putting something out into the world that isn’t perfect, today’s episode is for you. I can guarantee that, as a performer, you are better than you think you are, and by the end of this episode, you’ll believe it just as much as I do.

As a performer, it’s natural that you have a fear of imperfection. However, you can actively get started on conquering your perfectionism right now, and you’ll be amazed at how much progress you can make when you begin intentionally tackling your fear of imperfection.

Tune in this week to leave perfectionism in the past. I’m discussing why the perfect performance doesn’t actually exist, why your focus right now should be on your craft, and you’ll learn exactly how you can start tuning in to your gifts instead of chasing a level of perfection that nobody can attain.

If you enjoyed today's show and don't want to worry about missing an episode, be sure to follow the show wherever you get your podcasts. Click here for step-by-step instructions to leave a rating and review, and don't forget to share with other people who might benefit!

What You will discover:

  • Why you are a better performer than you currently think you are.
  • The qualities that make a performer coachable.
  • How you might currently be focusing on your imperfections, to the detriment of your success.
  • What real delusion looks like in a performer.
  • Why your focus should always be your craft and perfection isn’t a real thing.
  • How to start conquering your perfectionism right now.

Listen to the full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:


Welcome to The Confident Performer, the only podcast that guides ambitious, driven performers and entrepreneurs to show up authentically and confidently both on and off stage. If you are ready to make an impact in your life and community and start living your most amazing, empowered life, you are in the right place. You already have what it takes to make it, you just need to see it. And I’m here to show you how. You ready? Let’s go.

Well, hello and good day, performers. It is episode nine of The Confident Performer. And I want to address one thing first. We are going to talk fully today about fears of imperfection. And we’re going to talk about a few things to conquer that and actively get started on conquering that today, fast, massive action plan. Let’s change how we think so we can change how we feel.

I’m going to go straight into a quote that I have heard and reheard, I’ve seen and re-seen, so I’m not even sure where it originated. So if you know that definitely please let me know and send that information over. But the quote is, ‘your fears about perfection will kill you more quickly than your imperfections’. And I want to talk about a fine line with performers and something that I’ve run into in my past 15 years of coaching.

If you as a performer are aware that you are very kind of careful with your choices and very careful with your performance technique, I want you to know that you are better than you think you are. I can 100% guarantee it, I haven’t even met you. And if you have that quality and that quality lives in you, and that your carefulness about sharing your gift and the timing of, is it right to share your mom wants to have you sing for your aunts at Christmas time? And she just asks you right there after you brought out the pudding. “Hey, sing your aunts a song really quick. They haven’t heard you sing. They’re all the way here from Minnesota.”

And you’re like, “But really not now, I just put the pudding down and my voice is dry and I haven’t even had a chance to warm up.” And if that is you and you’re listening to this podcast, first and foremost, you’re my people. Second of all, I want to tell you, you are better than you think. That cognitive awareness and almost carefulness to the intentionality of your craft, of your focus, of something that is potentially a lifelong career or a dream. The fact that you even care so much is a really, really good sign.

And it’s funny because when I meet clients before and I have to interview everyone because I don’t take everyone. I don’t take you unless you kind of have three top qualities. And those top qualities are, are you coachable, which means is your brain malleable? Is it in a place where you are ready to learn new things, strive in the newness of I’m going to try this or maybe you’re still caught up in, you have to be right because it’s uncomfortable to be wrong. That’s totally normal.

But the overall willingness to say, “You know what, I’m going to try what she says and I’m going to try and see how it works for me.” That overall coachability, that’s one. Two, you have to be this nice person and I don’t say giving up your seat on the bus and picking up all the trash in the whole wide world that everybody’s dumped all over the place. But I’m talking, nice person where you genuinely care about yourself, about society, about doing good in the world, about potentially even giving back. And understanding that there’s something out there that’s bigger than us.

And I’m not even necessarily talking about a God or a universe, but that too. But it’s really more, there’s something bigger than you, than just our place in this world. And how we fit into this beautiful puzzle or beautiful pie, whatever you want to think about. And then that third is, this is for my younger clients especially, you have to have a parent who is not standing in your way. And by that I mean a parent who’s not living vicariously through you. A parent who is not explaining every bit of, “Well, she didn’t have enough water today. Well, when she had this and then she did that and then they did this and they did this and they did that. And I just want to let you know that she had a long weekend because she had.”

That’s fine. I don’t care about any of that. I can hear how someone’s voice is going to be. I can hear how they’re going to perform just based upon the overall vocal tone, timbre, musicality, the start of what the foundation is, if they trust themselves, if they don’t, all these different things. But a person standing in the way or a mom that has a bad attitude. Bad attitude, moms or dads get out of your kid’s way.

And if you know someone that is potentially, has a really talented kid, they’re pursuing this lane and you think that they need to have this information. Don’t hesitate to share this episode. That literally is one of those things where it can sometimes even make or break a situation. And I’ve been a director in shows, and if I cast a child and they’re equally talented and the mom is easier to work with, interestingly enough, I’ll cast the one that has the easier mom to work with because you end up working more with the mom or the parent.

So definitely want to keep that in mind, but this information is really to kind of get you on the brain spectrum of, are you able to be coached and that alignment in getting coached because you care about what your craft is. Now, with you caring, that’s what I’m telling you. I know you’re better than you think you are. Your focus on your imperfections will absolutely be a huge detriment to you, to your success, to your overall trajectory of when and how you can start really truly committing yourself to your career.

Now, I’m going to talk about one of my favorite things to talk about in this industry and it’s delusion. Beautiful, wonderful, entertaining delusion. And you know this, that’s why we tune into American Idol. That’s why we tune into AGT. That’s why we watch The Voice, we watch any of it. Now, the voice obviously not so much showing people who are like, “What in heaven’s name is happening in front of me? Can somebody, anybody, sweet baby Jesus, somebody explain what is happening.”

When I did Idol, I remember I auditioned and I was very methodical about my track there. I auditioned in Atlanta, Georgia, and I’m from California. So I auditioned right in the middle. But there was this one person and I will never ever, ever have their personality leave my brain. And it was very necessary for what I needed for my journey, and I needed to see it. So I’m not going to say his name. He was featured, absolutely. But he did ask me, of course, what I was singing. And then he asked me, “Will you sing it for me?” And I said, “No, I won’t.”

I was saving my voice for my actual audition and I had zero desire to sing in front of 10,000 people at the Georgia Dome. And now, don’t get me wrong, there were a lot of people who were doing that and who were singing their heads off, faces off, warming up, doing their thing. Some made it on the show. I didn’t see too many of the other ones in the top 10. but it was one of those things where he was like, “Well, I’m going to sing you my song.” I said, “Oh, great, great, great, great.” So he sings it.

And the happenings that I got to kind of watch and witness were a lot of different nuances. Now, going and studying later and studying sociology and studying psychology and different things like that is very fascinating to me. But then also obviously being a musician, it was something like, how did he get this mindset that this was good? That what he’s doing in front of me voluntarily should be happening, me, a perfectly beautiful lady minding her own business, being assaulted by the kind of ‘music’ that was happening and I say music in quotations and loosely.

And again, this is not meant to sound like I am a real jerk face. This is meant to reference the range of delusion that’s actually out there in the industry. And the delusion that’s actually in comparison to people who are doing this professionally on purpose for a living. If we, the people, the performers who get the jobs and do the things do not remember that there are a world of people out there delusionally doing this, we are discounting that sector. And I don’t want to discount that sector. It’s very important, of course, for a lot of people to be seen and to be heard, regardless of the noise they make, and that is metaphorical.

That is also very direct and intentional and not phrasing, but I want each one of my performers to know, if you have thoughtfully considered and you’re focused on yourself not being the best that you could be, at the range that you are, 13, 15,19, 22. I need you to remember the delusional people that are out there playing the same game you’re playing. And I need you to give yourself this understanding of, just explore. You don’t have to compare. You just have to take it as information. It’s all added information. You’re obviously not comparing because you’re not even in the same realm of possibility of actually being hired.

But the information is useful, the information of you deciding to tune into, well, I’m not that far over here. And I mean it was, he had a person carrying his luggage. He had a person fixing his hair. He had, I can never, like I said I cannot get this memory out of my being. And it makes my heart like, okay, well, would you look at that. And good for him and it could have been early on that again, watching it, I was just watching it. It was just very interesting to me. And again, I was in Georgia by myself. I did pretty much everything by myself.

None of my family went. They ended up going once I was on the show and then there was something to talk about. But no, I mean, I did it all myself. And so I had some amazing supporters. I did have a dude that I worked with that was super awesome, Gary, but he really helped and supported me. And he actually, even when I got a call back to American Idol, I had to fly back again to Atlanta and he actually raised some money and they bought my plane ticket, which I thought was really freaking cool. And I worked with him doing some makeup art and stuff. A super good dude.

But anyway, I want to tell you that being out there playing the game, I need you artists to know that your focus is the work. Your focus is not perfection. Perfection is not a thing. And even if I can say, “That was perfect.” That person next to me with a different education, different life view, different worldview can look and say, “Yeah, I’m not impressed. I don’t think that was perfect. I think it’s far from perfect actually.” We could have an equal opinion. We could have an equally weighted opinion in the position that we’re in. So perfect is just really, truly subjective and it’s opinion based.

And I want you to get yourself to this place where you feel so solid that the work that you are doing and the work that you are putting out constantly day in and day out is something that you are proud of. And if you are proud of it and I promise you, if you are so careful and mindful, you are the one that is better than you know you are. You are the one that needs a coach who is a performance coach. Am I a vocal coach? Yeah, I’m a vocal coach. I started as a vocal coach.

But once I started really working with high achieving performers and the performers that I started working with, I mean, we’re getting into the best schools and we’re doing American Idol and we’re doing bigger things that are bigger than us. And in part of the industry, my clients get booked. My clients do this professionally as a career. So when we’re in that game the most important thing is for them to understand what their unique special goodness is. And I can help you absolutely tune into that or find a coach that does that for you.

I want to leave you with this. I had this conversation with one of my top performers, her name is Brooke and exceptional, exceptional kid, wonderful performer, has been with me for a really long time. And I started actually working with her when she was little, she was six years old, incredibly brilliant mind too. So she does a lot of these academic decathlon competition type things. And out of the 90 people that she competes against, they’re typically in first or second. And she had a little bit of performance anxiety.

So this tip that I use and it’s kind of prompted me to start a pep talk series, because my performers, they end up doing very, very, very well when they listen and they understand and they’re coachable. If your brain is not coachable, this information doesn’t hit you the same way. If you think you’re the smartest person in the room, this information will not hit you the same way. If you think you know it all, if you think you’ve got it all figured out, life is all great, nothing’s better than what you’ve got going on in your brain and you’re not a lifelong learner. This information will not hit you the same.

I want you to hear this information as performers out there trying to play the game. When I referenced what she was doing and I said, “What are you doing? What are you nervous about?” She said, “I’m nervous about not being able to know all the right answers, to do the right things.” And so that’s the same thing with performers, sing the right notes, be super strong, be super solid on our audition.

Listen to me. I want you to understand that if you focus on just the thing, just the thing that you are there to do. I can promise you, you will be a success if you train, if you prepare, if you know you are worth it and if you know that what you are trying for is yours to have because you have prepared to get it. Prepared to get the job. Prepared to get first. Prepared to place. Prepared to be featured on a major television show, whatever it is you are working toward.

Now, I can break down these components and I can break them down even more in future episodes. But I did want to pop on here and really make that known before I started really digging in with our other performers and some of our people that are coming on the series, which I am so stoked. Because I’ve been doing some asks and some of the people that have said, yes, that I’ve worked with in my career are so cool, and have said, “Absolutely, I’ll do your podcast.” So I’m over the moon with that.

But this is that final, final, I told her, “Listen to me. The only thing you are there to do is solve problems. Her category is math.” And I said, “You’re the math girl. You are the person who is there to solve the problems. Out of the 90 other people that potentially compete against you, they have nothing to do with you. You stay in your own lane, you focus on yourself. You don’t think about them. You think about you. You think about your capacity, your preparation, your strength, your knowledge, your understanding. You tap into your capacity, your ability, your potential, and that is all you think about.”

You don’t think about anything outside of you. You don’t think of anything that doesn’t matter. You put yourself present in that room and nothing is more important than the moment that you’re in, because that moment will never happen again. And you have great faith and great honor riding on the moment that you’re currently in. I need you to be lost in that moment, go nowhere else other than that moment. That is how you achieve. That is how you win. That is how you place first. Never forget your capacity. Understand what you are capable of. Never let your fears of imperfection kill you more quietly than your actual imperfections will.”

Whoever has said that quote, thank you so much for that. I am founding this entire episode on that. Stay the course, my beautiful people, stay strong while you’re performing, warm up, prepare, hydrate. Fall in love with who you are. Radically begin to love yourself. That’s the fastest way to kindness, fastest way to success and the fastest way to confidence in your lifelong career. Take care and be well.

If you enjoyed today’s show and don’t want to worry about missing an episode, you can follow the show wherever you listen to your podcast. And if you haven’t already, I would really appreciate it if you could share the podcast with others who you think would benefit from it and leave a rating and review to let me know what you think now. Now, it doesn’t have to be a five star rating, although I sure hope you love the show. I want your honest feedback so I can create an awesome podcast that provides tons of value. Visit for step by step instructions on how to follow, rate and review.

Thank you for listening to today’s episode of The Confident Performer. If you want to learn more about living your truth and showing up as your most authentic, beautiful self, visit See you next week!

Enjoy the Show?