Sing Without the Fear of Being Judged (Stop Feeling Scared to Sing in Front of People and What to Do Next Time Before You Sing)

You want to sing in front of people… but you just cannot do it.

“Why can’t I sing in front of people?”

One of the main reasons is you are afraid of people judging your voice.

Our voice is so closely linked to how we value ourselves as an individual. It is difficult not to feel rejected and unworthy when someone criticizes our voice.

As a singer, our body is our instrument. We cannot see or touch it. The way we learn to control our voice is through physical sensations and how our voice sounds. That means there is a lot of trial-and-error involved. Making ‘bad’ sounds is part of getting better as a singer. The better you get at handling negative feedback for your voice, the quicker you will improve as a singer. 

What to Do if Someone Says Something Bad about Your Singing Voice?


Give yourself credit
Look at it this way: you are putting yourself out there by singing your heart out - whether you sound good or not - and that is not something that most people have the courage to do. Give yourself credit!

You are going outside of your comfort zone. It is normal to feel anxious and insecure. More so if people criticize your voice harshly. Be your own cheerleader and be gentle with yourself. Are there people who are supportive of your singing, even though you may not sound great? Focus on those compliments and words of encouragement more than un-constructive negative feedback.

For example, I post videos of me performing songs a Cappella (without musical accompaniment) onto TikTok. There was one video that went viral and got 26K views.

Follow my music page on TikTok

There were a lot of compliments for how well I performed but there were also many negative ‘hate’ comments. I felt those negative comments were unjustified, but instead of reacting negatively, I ignored most of them and even reacted to some in a funny way. I analyzed my singing (and screaming) and felt the performance was pretty good. Therefore, I chose to focus on the positive comments instead.

My challenge to you is that the next time somebody gives you negative feedback or ‘judge’ your voice, see if there is any truth to it. If so, they just did you a favor and pointed out what needs to be fixed in your singing so you can get better. If there is no truth in what they are saying, choose to focus on any past compliments you had and let this negative feedback and emotions pass.

Why do people judge?
I am not a mind reader but I can make some educated guesses as to why people would judge someone’s singing voice.

Reason #1: Deep down, they may be jealous of you. They wish they had the courage to sing out loud but they never do. When they see someone doing it, their own frustration is triggered and they channel their frustration onto you.

Reason #2: They want attention. The fact that you already have the spotlight on you for singing, they want to bask in that attention by making outrageous comments.

Reason #3: They may genuinely want to help you get better. They may not know how to frame their feedback in a way that does not make you feel horrible, but there is truth in what they are saying. This is constructive feedback.

Handle Feedback Like a Pro

There are generally two kinds of thoughts that trigger and sustain anxiety. They are:

  1. Anxious predictions
  2. Self critical thoughts

Anxious predictions happen when you ‘predict’ something bad will happen before you do something. For example, you are about to sing in front of someone and you are worried you would forget the lyrics. The thought of that makes you anxious. That is an anxious prediction.

Self critical thoughts happen when something ‘bad’ happens and you blame yourself for what happened. For example, you forget the lyrics/words and people laugh at you. You blame yourself for not being a good singer and for singing in front of people even though you know they would be judging your singing voice. The negative thoughts you have after people laugh at you are self critical thoughts.

We cannot control our emotions. We cannot control what other people say or do. We cannot change how we act or respond unless we change our thoughts. The good news is: we have 100% control over our thoughts. They may be difficult to control sometimes, but with practice, it gets easier.

One very effective way to overcome performance anxiety is to reframe our thoughts. “Reframing” means to change our thoughts and to think about things in a different/more helpful way.

Using the example above: you forget the lyric of your song and people laugh at you. Instead of putting yourself down, think of it as performance practice. It feels different to sing on your own than singing in front of people because you feel their energy and presence. It gives you an adrenaline and cortisol rush and this affects your mind and voice. The only way to get better at singing in front of people is to actually sing in front of people. Next time, you will choose your audience more wisely and pick people who are supportive of your singing. That way, you can practice singing in front of people to build up your confidence - without having to risk too much embarrassment. When you get better at it, you will even have the courage to sing in front of strangers because you will have been desensitized towards the experience. 

shadowary music tiktok page

Keep Singing Anyway

Even if you do not feel you are good enough to sing in front of people, I encourage you to do it anyway. You need to choose your audience carefully though. If you are new to singing, start by singing around the house when your family is at home, but not actively listening to you. Then, when you have learnt a song well, you can sing only half of that song in front of one person you trust. After that, you can sing in front of two people, and so on.

If you choose your audience wisely, it will be a fun and bonding experience for you because your audience would feel honored that you trust them to listen to you sing, even though you feel super anxious about it.


In the end, the one who needs to be the most supportive person to you is yourself. Talk to yourself as if you are talking to your best friend. Only say things to yourself that you would say to someone you deeply admire and respect, even if you may not feel that way right now. Do it enough and eventually you will start feeling different (and more positive) emotions towards yourself and your singing. That is my challenge to you. You can do this and you have my support!


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