My Story is a series where people with “differences” share their personal story or experiences to validate and inspire others.
Shamekia Goldsmith shares her inspiring story on how she overcame a fear that had developed in her childhood through faith, hard work, and being Boldly herself!
My Boldly Me story begins February 7, 2013, at the Fremont Chamber of Commerce. I’d seen a Facebook posting for a Confidence Building Workshop and decided it would be a good idea to attend. For two hours, a small group of us listened to and learned confidence building skills. We also got to know one another, and share some things about ourselves.
At the end of the workshop, I shared with Alanna my fear of public singing. As a child, I had participated in the school chorus for a number of years, and after an embarrassing moment, I stopped singing aloud, which led me to leave the chorus I’d enjoyed so much. After 25 years, I wasn’t singing along in church, wouldn’t join in with friends or family on car rides, and was holding back. She promptly invited me to sing on stage at the Boldly Me Talent Show and Fundraiser. Scary! I said “yes,” since I had just made a pledge to live Boldly Me. I knew that something life changing was brewing and I just needed to do my part and live through it!
There were a couple of circumstances in the 25 years since being embarrassed at school when I sang around others. One was trying out for my church singing group over a year ago. It was a random moment in which I felt called to do something I was terrified to do. The only person there was the music pastor and I knew he wouldn’t laugh at me… church is the safest place I know! He gave me tips, and referred me to a vocal coach whose workshop I attended. The other times involved “liquid courage”. This was something I relied on for years to loosen up, and after trials and many errors I learned there was no “courage” involved in using substances to mask fear. Instead of overcoming fear, I was feeding it. I finally made a decision that I wasn’t using anything outside of my faith to express myself.
For the following weeks, Tracy, my singing partner, and I practiced Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5”. My first audiences included Tracy’s sons and husband. We then went to a couple of karaoke nights and before I knew it, the Boldly Me show was here. The night was perfectly imperfect! Somehow I turned off my mic, which lead to a blast of feedback, and I was startled to hear my voice on such clear speakers. I remembered Tracy’s words during practice: “no matter what happens, just keep singing”. That’s exactly what I did. It was a blast and we even had choreography.
There won’t be any record deals in my future, but I learned valuable lessons about being bold. It doesn’t mean presenting a perfect package and never making errors. It means doing the things my heart calls me to do and not talking myself out it. It means allowing people in my life who are loving and supportive. Not rejecting them because I don’t feel good enough.
Self esteem is fragile at a young age. People and events can either build it up or tear it down. Not all children have a strong support system at home, and not all adults have learned to fully express themselves.
Boldy Me is doing great things for children and adults; building in children what needs to grow and re-building in adults what has been damaged over the years. If not for the opportunity presented by Alanna and Boldy Me, I would still be holding back, holding out, and trying to avoid that sickening feeling that comes with fear.
I have a new confidence. It doesn’t come from perfection. It comes from knowing that fear is my biggest hurdle and it only lives in my head. Since my experience, I’ve become a Licensed Zumba Instructor and started salsa lessons. While I enjoy singing I LOVE to dance!
After attending Zumba at church, my Instructor invited me to do a few numbers on stage with her. It was exhilarating! I am working on choreography to begin teaching classes and will add them to my personal training calendar.
On May 27th, I turned 36 years old; the next day I underwent fibroid tumor surgery removal. I had a total of five tumors—one as large as a grapefruit, another the size of an orange, the others were various smaller sizes and in various locations. I’m grateful the doctor was able to remove them all and I am awaiting results to confirm they are non-cancerous. As I sit home in recovery I’m excited to get back my passions, give them my all, and make a contribution to Boldly Me.
Shamekia Goldsmith has a business as a Certified Personal Trainer, Licensed Zumba Instructor, and Optimal Health/ Weight Management Coach. Her passion is helping others find strength and make lifestyle transformations in the area of health and wellness. When not coaching, she is a part time student working towards a goal to earn a college degree. She greets each day with gratitude, devotion, and a desire to grow. She is the oldest of four children, and believes in leading by example for family, friends, and clients.
Do You Have a Story?
Do you have a story about overcoming (or still working on!) your own difference? Validate, encourage, and inspire others by sharing it with us and our readers. For more information on how you can share your story, go to our submission guidelines page.