Monday, September 14th was Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish New Year and I did something I’ve been doing for a few years, which is to read a section of the Torah scroll (old Testament, handwritten on parchment) during the service. Actually, I sang it, because that’s how it’s done.
I have to learn the melody by heart. I have a book that helps me figure out the melody, but when I’m up there singing in front of the synagogue members, I have only my memory — which isn’t that great these days.
Plus I have to sing the words reading from the scroll, which has no vowels. This means I need to also know the words very well.
Each year, it’s scary
I practice a lot the days before, but I’m always a little nervous (and awed and excited because it’s an awesome thing to do) and I almost always make at least one small mistake, if not more.
Last year, I learned a new section for the first time and sang it both last year and this. I remembered a little from last year, but still had to practice both the new section and the one I’ve been doing for several years.
It will never be perfect, no matter how much I practice. I’m the same way when I record videos for this website or other websites I have. It’s hard for me to remember what I’ve planned to say. It will never be perfect.
But that’s OK. I don’t have to be perfect. I just have to help people enjoy the Rosh HaShanah service — it isn’t about me or what I think about my performance.
In my business, I just have to give out valuable information — or persuade people to take an action. If I worried about being perfect, I wouldn’t get anything done. I know people who are much better than I am at performing and speaking, but I can’t compare myself to them. I can only do MY best. In the end, that’s probably quite good!
You need to get out of your comfort zone
You need to put yourself in front of people, even though you won’t be perfect.
In the service, while I was up front, the prayer leader asked me to read some extra prayers. I’d done them many times in the past but the last time was a year ago! I agreed and sang them. Not perfectly, but quite nicely anyway.
Perfect isn’t the point.
So get out there and speak.
Even sing prayers in front of 100+ people!
Do your best
…and don’t worry about how it came out.
Some people say practice makes perfect, but that isn’t my experience. When a task is challenging, you may never get to perfect. Accept that and do it anyway. That’s how you progress and grow.
Tell a story about how you went out of your comfort zone and came out alive on the other end. And please share this story, so it can help many other people to move forward. Just use the Share buttons below.