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Fearless On Stage: How I Ended Up Singing A Duet With Smokey Robinson

Smokey Robinson and Sharleen The Vocal Alchemist

Photo: from personal archive

Singing a duet with Smokey Robinson was one of the highlights of my career and it was also a complete accident. Let me tell you the story of how it happened.

I was doing a gig in Edinburgh for the BBC and I was in the house band, which consisted of the band that plays for Take That and Gary Barlow with a full orchestra. We played for all of the artists on that stage that day, which included Smokey Robinson. He was due to sing a duet with Jessie J and while we were at soundcheck, it was announced that she wasn't going to make it in time.

In a bit of a panic, the orchestra leader approached the background vocalists, including myself, to step in for Jessie J to sing this duet with Smokey so that he could rehearse. I was nervous but I accepted and before you know it, Smokey and I were singing "Cruisin'" together. I'll never forget it. He sang with me eye to eye, and when we were done, he gave me the biggest bear hug. His incredible warmth really struck me. I felt like I was on cloud nine after that duet and I was so glad I said yes, despite my fears.

This experience taught me that the concept of being 'fearless' is been used incorrectly. You don't have to be fear FREE to thrive on stage or do something at a moment's notice like I did. Being fearless just means having LESS FEAR so that we can at least enjoy the moment, even if we are feeling nerves as well.

We aren't required as humans to never experience fear but we can be in a place where we don't allow fear to control and dominate us. We can allow the nerves to be and we can use our will and determination to do that presentation and then shine far more than our fears.

It's a beautiful thing to rewire your body from fear to freedom. You can do that in the moment by doing the very thing that you are most afraid of. Doing this will show you that nothing bad will happen and even if you fall flat on your face, you can practice again.

This is how I built my resilience over the years - by doing things that I was afraid of. I didn't always thrive and I didn't always get it exactly right but I was able to teach my body that there isn't really anything to be afraid of.

I started to really love being on stage; it felt like home to me. As I began to embrace fear and just love myself no matter what, my confidence and certainty grew. Now, I won't have it any other way than to be in my body feeling safe, calm, and relaxed.

If you desire to discover the ultimate key to your confidence, then watch this video below.

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