Uncovering 9 (Not-So-Obvious) Reasons Why You Lack the Motivation to Sing Now and How to Quickly Boost It
We all have days when we just do not have the energy or motivation to be productive. The common reasons are stress, lack of sleep, feeling unwell, having emotional issues and so on.
When it comes to singing, these factors can really wreak havoc on our motivation to practice.
The purpose of this article is not to talk about these common factors, but reasons you may not know about.
9 Reasons Why You are Feeling Unmotivated to Practice Singing
1. You’ve reached a plateau and you don’t know how to break through it
No matter what stage you are at, in your singing, you will get to a point where you are not improving.
In the past, you improved very quickly and you were happy with the results you get. After a while, the results became less obvious, and they happen less often.
The things you do when you are practicing are not working as well as before. You do not know why this is happening or what to do next.
You have hit a plateau in your singing.
Congratulate yourself, first of all! It means you have been making progress.
You have reached the end of a learning stage. Now, it is time to transition to the next one.
To break through the plateau and move on to the next learning stage, you need to set new goals for your singing. These new goals should be challenging but achievable. They should push you out of your comfort zone but not to the point where it gets overwhelming.
Start to work towards those new goals immediately. You may have to try different things and see what works. It may take a few weeks of tinkering around your practice routine before you start seeing results.
For example, you had trouble singing in tune. So, you did a lot of ear training exercises. You paid a lot of attention to whether you were singing songs in tune or not. You recorded your voice and played it back to check your pitch accuracy.
After a few months, you could now sing in tune consistently. Your goal of singing in tune had been achieved. You felt satisfied but also a sense of loss.
Listening back to the recordings you made, you realized you sang with a really bright, nasal tone. It did not sound pleasant. You decided you were going to work on that next. You felt motivated to practice again.
2. Not having clear and realistic goals
Goal-setting is super important if you want to be a good singer.
You probably do not have clear goals for your singing because you have always been singing around the house, or maybe you are too scared to sing out loud, or maybe you have just started to learn singing and you do not know what to expect.
A lot of people avoid setting goals because they:
- Are afraid of failure
- Do not know how to set goals
- Have the incorrect notion that setting goals will take the fun away from singing
It is better to set small goals that you can achieve rather than a goal so big you do not believe you will ever achieve it. Make them fun, challenging but achievable.
This will lessen your fear of failure and increase your self-efficacy in singing (every time you achieve small successes).
You want to set clear, measurable goals with a deadline. Those kinds of goals help you measure your progress and give you a sense of urgency.
Setting goals and eventually achieving them increases your enjoyment of singing because the better you get at singing, the more fun it will be for you.
Rewarding yourself after achieving a goal is a great motivational tool. Make sure the reward is actually pleasurable, and not extra work!
3. Self limiting beliefs
Self-limiting beliefs are beliefs you have that stops you from fulfilling your full potential in different areas.
Those beliefs are usually formed after going through negative life experiences.
Often times, those beliefs are so ingrained into our subconscious we do not know we have them.
Those self-limiting beliefs make us anxious and want to avoid the things that trigger our anxiety.
For example, Elise sang out of tune in choir at her primary school. Her teacher called her a “crow”. She felt so embarrassed and quit the choir immediately. She was convinced she was a bad singer. She never sang in front of other people again.
Self-limiting beliefs can lower your self-efficacy in singing. Self-efficacy means how well you think you can do something. It is part facts and part opinion.
When your self-efficacy in singing is low, it makes you unmotivated to practice singing. It makes you avoid “trying so hard” because you are not confident you will make progress.
By addressing your underlying self-limiting beliefs, you will regain your motivation to get better at singing.
If you want a proven method to address your self-limiting beliefs in singing, my singing academy can help you with that.
4. Don’t know how to incorporate it into your daily life/routine
Practicing singing may feel like a chore to you. You just do not have the time or energy to set aside 30 minutes or 1 hour to practice singing.
Good news! You do not have to.
Can you set aside 10 or 15 minutes during your lunch break to practice? Or 5 minutes during recess? Or 3 minutes while you are waiting for your dinner to heat up in the microwave?
Find little pockets of time and do what you can during those times.
You do not have to go through your full practice routine if you are really struggling to make time.
You can do a few repetition of breathing exercises or lip trills while getting dressed for school. You can sing a few lines of the song you are learning while you are making lunch. You can try and memorize lyrics while on the bus ride home.
All those little practice sessions eventually add up. What is more important is that you will rewire your brain and form consistent habits for practicing. You will get to a point where it does not feel right if you do not practice. Your motivation will stay high.
5. Don’t have a practice space
If you are like me, you get self-conscious if other people can hear you practicing.
Finding spaces to practice in private can be hard if you live in an apartment or live with other people/family.
Much like finding the time to practice, you can find new practice spaces by doing a bit of brainstorming.
Here are some places you can practice in private:
- Backyard shed
- Laundry room
- Walk-in closet
- Rehearsal studios (ask for a small room and drummer rates for affordable price)
- School’s music room (during recess/lunch)
- University lecture hall/tutorial room (when there are no classes)
- Hire an office space (at an hourly rate during weekends)
- Church hall
- Community creative spaces/performing arts rehearsal studio
- Dance studio (when there are no classes)
- School hall/dressing room
- Make an arrangement with housemates to leave the house so you can practice in private (in exchange for doing dishes etc)
Can you think of anything else?
6. Don’t know where to start
Learning to sing is such an abstract activity. You cannot see or touch your voice. It is like learning to play the piano in the dark, while standing 5 feet away from it.
You decide you want to learn singing. You do not want to get private lessons yet because you feel nervous about it. So, you look up singing tutorials on YouTube.
There are so many, you do not know where to start. You play the video at the top of the page. There are millions of views for that video - it must be good.
After watching it, you find it helpful, but at the same time, there are a lot of things that confuse you.
You feel frustrated.
Learning from a structured curriculum taught by a qualified and experienced teacher will save you so much time and energy.
You will not only get the peace of mind knowing you are learning the right stuff - in the right order - but you will also avoid picking up bad habits.
Your motivation stays high because you are getting small successes along the way to your ultimate goal of singing in front of people.
By the way, I have an online singing academy that helps you to do that. Find out more here.
7. Don’t know if you’re doing it right… and you don’t want to pick up bad habits or hurt your voice
As mentioned in the previous tip, learning from a structured curriculum, taught by a credible teacher helps you steer clear of bad habits and vocal damage.
If you are learning to sing or practicing singing on your own, there will be times when you are unsure if you are doing the techniques right.
We do not hear our voice as clearly as other people hear us. That makes it hard for us to assess ourselves.
Self-monitoring and self-assessment skills are helpful in this case.
To build up your self-monitoring skills, pay more attention to the sensations you feel, rather than the sound of your voice. You will still want to ‘listen’ to your voice, but only dedicate 30% of your attention to it. The other 70% of your attention should be on how you feel and the imageries that come up in your mind.
The voice recorder app on my phone is my best friend when I am practicing singing. It tells me things about my voice I am not hearing. That way, I can assess myself and correct my technique accordingly.
Some people like using the mirror but I like using my phone’s camera if I need to check my posture and stagecraft. I simply put it on a tripod, set it on selfie mode and press record.
8. Don’t know what to do and/or how to do it
The solution to this is quite similar to the previous tips - learn from a structured curriculum taught by a credible coach.
Something more I will add is to make sure you learn about the anatomy of the voice, along with how and why you need to do certain techniques.
You do not have to go too in depth into the anatomy of the voice. Knowing the basic parts of your throat and larynx will be more than enough.
The first thing beginner instrumentalists learn is the different parts of their guitar/piano/violin etc. It is baffling how a lot of singers do not know the different parts of their voice.
When you are learning a new technique, find out what happens in your voice to make that technique work.
Then, drill that technique into your muscle memory by doing it separately from your songs. Be aware of the sensations you feel and the imageries you use to make it work.
You will feel less frustration this way and be more motivated to keep improving your voice.
9. You’re not doing things you enjoy or inspire you vocally
Yes, I understand you want to get better at singing. That is why you have been practicing the same exercises and songs a lot. There comes a point where you will get bored of the same routine. That is when you start to lose motivation.
I want to tell you about “achievement” and “pleasure”. There are tasks that give us a sense of achievement more than pleasure. There are tasks that give us pleasure, but not so much a sense of achievement. There are tasks that are a balance of both achievement and pleasure.
List the things you have been practicing for the past 2 weeks. Rate each task for the “achievement” and “pleasure” factors. Give it a score from 1-10 (1 being the least, 10 being the most).
You want to aim for a balance of achievement and pleasure tasks. Do some exercises that improve your technique. Sing some songs just because you love those songs. That is how you will stay motivated to keep up your practice.
Sometimes, it can be hard to tell why you are lacking in motivation. I hope this article has given you some inspiration to spice up and fine tune your practice routine, so you can keep your motivation sky-high.
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