Appearances can be Deceiving!

Jan 26, 2023
Christine on stage, leaning on her Dad. They are singing. Caption: On a scale of 1 - 10, how confident do you think I am?

I'd never told this story in public before sharing it this week.

I've never written a personal blog before either, so I figure, why not "slam dunk" it, and go for the two at once.


Hospital & and a "Sexuality" Complex

Two months or so before this photo was taken, I'd had an operation on my throat. It was swollen so much that it looked like I had an Adam's apple. Apparently, it was something to do with my hyoid bone. I don't remember exactly.

For many years, (now reader, I have never shared this with anyone, even my parents)...I'm not sure why now, but why not, I suppose.......I wondered if I might have been born a boy. 

I realise that might sound a bit dramatic. 

But before I realised that society 'sexed' our behaviours, I thought I behaved more like a boy than a girl was supposed to. A "tomboy" they called me. It was not untypical, and still is not, to find me hanging out of things.

For quite some time, this remained a silent complex and fear. I'll share a bit more about how it impacted my life, and my connection to my femininity, in later posts.

Back to the Surgery...

I shall not share all the details with you. Suffice it to say, it was a shambles. After an anesthetic, my throat being opened (sorry, gross, I know), and a bit of ice cream, I was unceremoniously 'sent packing' a mere 8 hours after being admitted to hospital. 

I still remember groggily hanging out of my mother and grandmother, one arm lopped over each of their shoulders, as they gently walked me out to the car. 

Needless to say, I was readmitted, to a different hospital under a new surgeon, a few short weeks later. This time for a week. This time with....well, I won't share those details here either. Maybe in a future post. 

This post is about confidence. 

There I was, 15-years-old, with a nasty-looking laceration across my throat and my singing voice altered forever. Though I didn't realise that at the time. 

I did realise the impact it had on my confidence and self-image. I did try to hide it as much as I could, but that's not really possible when it's throat front and centre. This is how it looks now. 


Appearances can be Deceiving!

The photo of me on stage was taken in 1998 in Florida, USA. I was 15, singing with my Dad. I'm pretty sure we sang Danny Boy, one of my signature songs.

I look like I'm really calm, resting on Dad's shoulder, but I'm actually doing that because I was so afraid, and I wanted to look "cool".

I'd had my voice classically trained for years. I'd sung in multiple competitions, but I'd never won...👎 despite having 8 octaves, like Mariah! 


Why did I never win? 

Because I was always too nervous to sing properly. 

🆚 It was a perfect contradiction.🆚

I was so afraid of making mistakes and people thinking I couldn't sing well,...that I never sang as well as I was able to.

So, when I stood on stage in America, post-operation, I leaned on Dad to keep me up and make me look "cool, calm and collected!" I was shaking like a leaf. My cheeks were hopping! (or, red with embarrassment). 


Public Speaking Fear

The fear people get when speaking in public is the same. It's all about the words we say to ourselves.

I can't say I feel afraid before going on stage, unless it's a TEDx, I haven't practised with a timer, and I have to 'play by their rules'. As a public speaking coach, I'm not a big fan of speaking 'rules', or rules in general for that matter! But again, let's keep that for future posts. 😛

I've been in front of audiences since I was 7-years-old in some capacity. I've been studying and performing the art of spoken word performance since then too, over 30 years now. One of my favourite things in the whole world is to gee up a crowd (gee up = encourage / excite) or give a poetry recital.

But singing is different. 

🎤 I'm still always afraid when I sing, especially the first song. 🎤

I have to manage my mind🤯, manage my breath 🌬️, and connect with my heart.💚

It's a constant work in progress.

Maybe I need to apply for a "Got Talent" to fully kick the fear...face Simon Cowell or something. What do you reckon? 


Fear is not a foe! It's there for a reason. 

"The power we choose to give it positions it as an enemy or friend."

When fear overtakes you, natural brain mechanisms are at play. Here are the 5 Rs of Release: 

  1. Respire (breathe & regain courage).
  2. Rationalise your thinking.
  3. Refocus on the gift you are giving your audience.
  4. Remind yourself they are not looking for mistakes.
  5. Repeat a mantra...

"What I'm sharing will help someone. I'm giving a gift."

If fear overwhelms you a lot, I invite you to join my free "Breathe & Relax" mini-masterclasses as a starting point. We are each gifted at the moment of birth with a breath. You are welcome to share a few with me. 

Please feel free to share a comment, thought, or your story. I'll be only too delighted to read it. 

Until next time!

SECRET Bonus....

for all you dedicated readers who scroll right down! I've got a Secret Subscribers' Page where I recite poetry, speak prose, and soon will upload some songs. Subscribe below for access! 

When you're ready to unleash

the 💥Phenomenal Presenter💥 inside,

I am ready to help you.

I am waiting to hear you rise!

Ready to Unleash!

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