Category Archives: creativity

Why You Need to Do Scary Things

What are you afraid of? Maybe it’s speaking or performing in public. Maybe it’s calling prospective clients. Maybe it’s doing videos or writing a book. Maybe it’s finally releasing your gifts or sharing your faith.

I had a birthday last Monday. I’m now officially over 60. I’m told that gets me free coffee at certain places and a 5% senior discount at the grocery store. I also know that it’s now or never for me to try certain things. I may be getting older but I’m also getting bolder. And I can’t believe I did this!

Stepping it up

No, I didn’t hop on a Harley or go bungee jumping but I did something that I’ve been petrified of for some time now. I played drums – in public. I know you’re probably thinking I do this all the time. So did some ladies at a church I’ve been visiting. I had just walked in as the worship pastor was saying that they didn’t have a drummer that day, so they hoped they could keep the beat. One of the singers shouted out “Yes, we do!” and she pointed my way.

I shook my head and told her, “No I play percussion (bongos, congas, djembe, cajon, tambourine, shakers, etc.).” But she and some other ladies kept calling out my name and egged me on.

I took some deep breaths and thought “I can’t believe I’m doing this.” I took off my bracelets and put them in my purse, walked up there, sat down, grabbed the drum sticks, and played. No music sheets, no set list – nada. I just winged it. I didn’t pass out. I didn’t mess up. And I didn’t fall off the seat. I’ve only played drums at home or with students. Never with a band on a drum set that was on a riser for all the world to see!

Yes, I’ve played percussion for years and perform regularly. But drums? I kept telling people “I’m not ready.” Well, the only way to be ready is to step up and give it a try!

How about you?

What would your life be like if you stopped being scared and just said “Yes” to that thing you really want to do? Once you take that first step, it not only boosts your courage but it also encourages you to keep going, try new things, or hone your skills.

When I work with beginning drum students, we don’t play the song the exact way the band on the recording is playing. Know why? My students aren’t ready yet. I may dial it way back, take out some beats or fills (the extra beats between parts of the song), or just pick a really easy tune. Everyone has to start somewhere. So…

1) Start where you are with what you have right now.
2) If you mess up, don’t give up! Tweak as you go.
3) Don’t compare yourself to others who are doing what you want to be doing. They’ve had way more practice. You’ll get there. Don’t beat yourself up.
4) Keep the faith! Take a breath – and then go for it!

What scary thing have you been putting off doing? Feel free to comment below!

Dori Staehle is from the Raleigh, NC area and is a certified drum therapist, drum teacher, percussionist, ADHD specialist, and owner of Next Stage Drumming. She loves challenging herself and encourages others to do the same. Dori is also an Amazon author, a rockin’ motivational speaker, and a mentor for creative kids and adults. To contact Dori or to hire her for a class, workshop, or event, click here. She brings drums for everyone!