Today I listened to a webinar from Amy Pearson. Her signature topic is escaping the trap of seeking approval. I felt spacious after hearing her.
One section of her talk that really resonated with me was about daring to let people disapprove of you. I have been unlikely to sing where people can hear me, just because so many people have disliked my singing in the past. That is likely to be a symptom of many other places where I restrain myself from acting for fear of bothering others.
I like the idea that freedom comes in two forms: freedom from and freedom to. I've wanted freedom from judgment before singing -- yet the other facet, freedom to sing, might be a better way to think about this. Short of actual physical coercion, all I need for freedom to sing is to be willing to bear other people possibly disliking my singing.
That little switch in my thinking feels a lot freer already.