audacity is the cure for self-doubt

an image from my MBA sketchbook - lisa sonora beam, anatomy of a songbird

Back in music school, my jazz piano teacher used to tell us: it’s not raw talent or how much you practice that is going to make you a superstar.

But there is one thing you absolutely need to become a rock star (or a jazz star)

That one thing is audacity.

Audacity looks like: getting out of your sound-proof practice room and playing piano in front of people, before you think you’re ready.

Audacity looks like: getting on stage with other players you admire (maybe even envy) and jamming with them.

Audacity looks like: letting your love of the music drive you forward, even as your innate self-consciousness would hold you back.

Audacity looks like: Daring to come forward, from behind the backstage curtain, in front the audience of a smoky club, even when you don’t feel “ready” or “good enough” to play.

Think about the analog for this in your art for a sec.

i really wanted to be a jazz singer and pianist...but it didn't turn out that way..

I disappointed myself and my teacher because I never got a handle on audacity back in the day, in my teens and early twenties when I studied jazz piano with him.

When I  said, “No, Thanks.” to Art Blakey and Reggie Workman when they invited me onstage to jam, during one of their after-parties in the hotel bar where they stayed during the jazz festival.

Self-doubt is the enemy of audacity.

Root: A 30 Day Journal Project, with Lisa Sonora BeamDaring to put the ROOT: 30 Day Journal Project into the world is audacious of several fronts.

I’m at once eager and passionate about doing it, and I’m sorta terrified, too.

What if no one wants to sign up? What if I run out of physical energy or get a weeklong migraine before all the 30 prompts are ready? Aren’t people too busy and bogged down with the holidays already? Why should anyone care about this?

You see, if I were really coming out with my big audacious dream here, I would tell you that:

I dream that 10,000 people find out about ROOT: 30 Day Journal Project and decide to participate.

Because creative journaling quite literally saved my life, it’s the #1 tool that I’ve developed to share with others.

And because it’s time I get out from the backstage shadows and stand out in front with the gift that has been given to me.

Which is the leap that everyone has to make, by the way.

Creative journaling helps us take this leap. Big time.

Self-doubt is the enemy of audacity.

Audacity is the cure for self-doubt.Tweet: Audacity is the cure for self-doubt.


Will you help me with with my audacious dream?

Share this, talk about it, tell your own story of audacity and self-doubt.

i really wanted to be a jazz singer and pianist...but it didn't turn out that way..

About the images:
These images are from the sketchbook I kept while in business school, getting my MBA. (Just one of my long, strange detours in life.)

That little girl in the photo is me, about seven years old, playing the organ at my grandmothers house. Looks like I am taking a pause to over think my next move. I’m still trying to think less, and create more. It’s a process.

33 Responses to audacity is the cure for self-doubt

  1. Sharon January 27, 2014 at 5:52 am #

    Just came across this audacious site today, Jan 27, 2014, so have missed most of the month , but it being about audacity, I decided to sign up anyway and see what happens! As it turns out I feel very inspired(empowered maybe?) already, so at least I’ll have that! Very excited to be involved! Thank you for the opportunity to sign up. It is Fun to find so many like minded people!

  2. Lexi Smith January 18, 2014 at 8:04 pm #


    Just wanted to drop you a quick note to say how very much this blog post meant to me – how much it motivated me – and that my life took an amazing shift after reading it … It’s taken a couple of weeks to internalize the message through journaling and meditation … But I got audacious 😉 Thank you!

  3. Ann Grasso January 15, 2014 at 5:07 am #

    Today is the 15th day of the journal project. Nothing came into my in-box. Is this a problem on my end???
    Thanks, A.

  4. Darlene Rose DeMaria January 1, 2014 at 4:35 pm #

    I am welcoming the GROUP SOUL that is planted today and will grow to a most magnified magnificence in this process.

    Bless you for this opportunity to grow in the ART of giving to the ARTIST within.

    I send us all pleasantness and beauty for the most incredible New Year!

    Love from my warm heart,
    Darlene Rose

  5. Lisa Easterling December 29, 2013 at 3:42 pm #

    Audacious isn’t exactly a word that has historically described me, although I think deep down in here somewhere that spunky girl has always been hanging out waiting for her time to shine. I’ve been a writer my whole life, but have always told myself I’m no artist because one can’t write AND make art. Right? So about a year-ish ago I decided to get all…okay, audacious…and try art journaling. Gosh, it was like coming home. I couldn’t quite wrap my brain around the thought that I actually COULD do both, but I kept on doing it and even did an acrylic that now hangs in our dining room. Then I went and got all frisky and published my first book on Nov. 25th, and by that time I had book fever and now have three more in outlining stage. Creativity for me is like breathing and when it is stifled I feel like I’m suffocating. All that to say I feel like I’ve found kindred spirits here.

    • Lisa Sonora Beam December 29, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

      Thanks for sharing your story, Lisa. That’s exactly why I’m on a journaling mission here. It’s such a powerful tool to take us wherever we want to go. Even if we don’t know exactly where that is yet.

  6. e tobin eckian December 29, 2013 at 11:05 am #

    Audacity is the name of my free digital music program 🙂 I can relate to playing piano out before I feel ready – i have done this! I teach piano.

    this feb. i am slated for a one woman show with video, fiddle playing singing and my art. Do I feel Ready??? nope!!!! am i going to do this? YEP!!

    x tobin

  7. An December 28, 2013 at 5:20 am #

    The world needs the audacity of art. Of goodness. Of hope. The transformative power of art. Audacity challenges the status quo and offers a vision of better life.

  8. Ruth December 27, 2013 at 10:40 pm #

    I totally agree, that “Audacity” is the password, and definitely a major cure for the
    hanging back in the shadows. I am still courting my piano, and only now finding, that whatever
    I am playing is really and totally the right space for now. Creative journaling is my open door,
    and I am looking forward to these 30 days of magic.

  9. Diane Hunt December 27, 2013 at 10:39 pm #

    Lisa, Your post spoke to me. I remember being that audacious youngster that would get up in front of people and play the piano or show off artwork I had done. Somewhere along the way of my life I lost the ability to be able to do that. Getting my inner audacious self to come out again is something that I’ve been working on. It’s much harder than I remember it to be when I was a youngster. Looking forward to going on this journal journey with you.

  10. Karenann Young December 27, 2013 at 7:43 pm #

    Your Root 30 day journal project sounds amazing! Can’t wait to start! Just love your words on Audacity!!!! Really hit me in the right place!!!

  11. Mary Alice Long December 27, 2013 at 7:27 pm #

    Thank you Lisa! I listened to you this morning while on the Artist Summit and just read your blog post after spending time writing and pasting in my visual journal. Two major AHAS! There is room for being truer to myself! Lots more audacious and playful action!

    Working on completing my memoir’s manuscript. Can’t wait to share it with you. All signed up for Jan writing, I start every day with meditation and journaling. Your prompts are a new year gift, thank you! I’ll be sharing your gift with others in my playful tribe.

    P.S. Don’t neglect to share when & where Portland collaborative show will take place.

  12. Virginia December 27, 2013 at 3:25 pm #

    Such a great post. I’ve been audacious through many periods of my life — but somehow I let the coals grow cold. Looking forward to fueling and feeding the audacious fire for the month of January. Glad i signed on!

  13. RENE December 27, 2013 at 3:00 pm #

    I am so looking forward to ROOT 30 DAY journal course. Thank you. I love The Creative Entrepeneur and I enjoyed hearing you speak on the Thriving Artists interviews.

  14. Usha December 27, 2013 at 2:59 pm #

    Gorgeous! Audacity is a root word for me. Prompted me to leave a comment. Thank you so much for shining your light.

  15. Helen December 27, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

    I found my inner artist lurking in the closet just over a year ago. She has been tapping on the doors, desperately trying to get out ever since. Feel that this is her time to emerge!
    Looking forward to stepping into the new year with audacity! Thanks Lisa.

  16. Lyza December 27, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

    Oh this is going to be so much fun, Lisa! I look forward to creating with you! And I am VERY excited for your dream to hit 10k participants… WOW! And I really love the theme of roots because I’m seeing just how important it is to have a deep, strong root system in place to really grow. So here’s to an exciting new year of abundance, growth and creativity! 🙂

    P.S. you should have a counter somewhere on your site or something to show how your progress is going, that could be fun for all of us to celebrate with you.

  17. Rachel December 24, 2013 at 1:25 pm #

    I am so excited for this. I am in the midst of packing to move across the country and yesterday Ian was helping me. He said “what about the paints, we can pack the paints” and I looked at him and he said “oooohkay, keep the paints out.” 😉

    Your ROOT 30 day journal project is the ONLY thing I’m signing up for at the turn of the year. I’ve qua-bashed several other things because it IS an exhausting (and necessarily fallow/rejuvenation) time of year for me… that’s why your ROOT sounds soooooo good. spaciousness and learning what I think and color.

    In all my packing one thing is continuing through… I STILL need a space for messy paint and journaling. Right up until the end.

    thank you!

    • Lisa Sonora Beam December 24, 2013 at 1:41 pm #

      Rachel: Oh I am SO excited! Hey, now that you’re in the Dreaming On Paper online class – make sure you ping me to get in to the private FB group. I want you to see what one of the participants did with her journal supplies while on a long road trip. ! exciting!

  18. Jackie December 24, 2013 at 1:13 pm #

    This post speaks loud and true to me….I think there is an element of introversion at play for those of us that need to step up and be more audacious. That is really the only way for us to be heard…to share such beautiful and healing tools such as creative journaling. Can’t wait for the New Year to begin:)

    • Lisa Sonora Beam December 24, 2013 at 1:42 pm #

      Jackie: I was hoping to ignite some New Year passion – we need a boost after some the stress of the holiday season. Whenever I’ve done workshops DURING the holidays, it’s been a refuge for folks.

  19. Michelle Andres December 24, 2013 at 1:07 pm #

    Thanks, Lisa. I think I’ve identified my nutshell word for 2014…audacity! I’m confident in most of what I do, but have to really push though with my art. I’m in that stalling place right now, so this is PERFECT for me. I’m all signed up and will be spreading the word. Knock down 10,000 – YES!!!

    • Lisa Sonora Beam December 24, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

      Michelle: woo hoo! I’ll be sharing more about audacity, as it came to me during the roots drawings in my sketchbooks – which inspired this whole thing.


  1. Use Whatever You’ve Got | Lisa Sonora - January 19, 2016

    […] Here’s just once example of that. […]

  2. FLOW. a brand new 30 Day Journal Project for you | Lisa Sonora - December 3, 2014

    […] Why Audacity is the Cure for Self-Doubt […]

  3. 30 day journal project, day 3 | Lisa Sonora - August 4, 2014

    […] My audacious dream is to have 10,000 people journaling together. Life changing and world changing! I’ve come to learn that audacity is the cure for self-doubt. […]

  4. What are you passionate about? | Scrap Diva Retreats Blog - January 19, 2014

    […] “…it’s time I get out from the backstage shadows and stand out in front with the gift that has… […]

  5. Friday What I’m Loving… | Paulette Rees-Denis & Gypsy Caravan Dance Company - January 16, 2014

    […] **Audacity is the cure for self-doubt. […]

  6. what does it mean to be rooted? | Lisa Sonora Beam - January 7, 2014

    […] made a leap imagination to put this project out in the world. I had to get audacious and overcome self-doubt, and I had to practice trusting where my heart wants to take my work […]

  7. rooted, present, audacious {December 2013 Review} | Lisa Sonora Beam - January 2, 2014

    […] audacity is the cure for self-doubt […]

  8. The audacity | - January 1, 2014

    […] “Audacity is the cure for self-doubt” says Lisa Sonora Beam.  She proceeds to say that “audacity looks like: getting out of your sound-proof practice room and playing piano in front of people, before you think you’re ready.” She contuinues by encouraging her reader to apply this audacity to their own art. So, here I am … shaking in my boots. Writing is such a deep passion for me, yet I feel elementary in my ability. I have an amazing friend who constantly encourages me and insists I’m a great writer. I will push past my blindness and disbelief and dare to wildly write. […]

  9. Threshold of the New Year « Amanda Jolley - January 1, 2014

    […] take my word for the year with me, my focus. Inspired by a recent blog post by Lisa Sonora Beam, Audacity is the Cure for Self Doubt, I have chosen the word for […]

  10. make some art today and feel better | Lisa Sonora Beam - December 28, 2013

    […] If you want to participate in my audacious dream, you can learn more about the 30 day journal project here: […]

Leave a Reply