Sapna is a beautiful, bright girl who loves singing. She is quite talented but very shy. Her mother worried a great deal about her and her future. She couldn’t understand how her daughter was happy being alone, without the company of friends. She also felt that as her daughter grew up, she would miss out on the best opportunities because of her shyness. So she pushed her daughter to participate in reality show singing competitions. As a fallout, Sapna cried her lungs out even before she got selected.
This didn’t do too much for Sapna. Firstly she was forced to do something that did not come naturally to her. And then, more than anything else, she wasn’t prepared for the large number of people she had to interact with. This crushed her self-image and having to face large crowds destroyed her confidence. She stopped singing completely. Even when alone, by herself in her room, she wouldn’t sing, because perhaps somewhere deep down she feared that she would be made to go for reality shows and would have to sing in front of crowds which she wasn’t ready for. So her defense mechanism was to completely stop singing altogether.
The same thing could have been handled in a much more sensitive manner. It could have been done with some positive reinforcement along with ample prep time given for what to expect. Parents of introverted children who do not consider their child’s feelings set them up for failure.
We then asked Sapna’s mother to allow her to pursue her interest at her pace. She was enrolled in private music classes. Experts who saw her potential and prepped her for stage shows gradually trained her to perform in public, without stage fright. The training, non-pushing, and gradual preparation, helped Sapna who now performs on stage.