So I’ve got a little boy named Owen.

He’s almost 2 years old now, but back before his first birthday, he was a beast.

We would take him to a park, and he would crawl around the playground. He couldn’t walk yet, so he just trucked around on all fours.

One day he came to a big ol’ slide. (One of those spiraling tunnel slides.) I assumed he’d look down the slide, get scared, and crawl the other way.


He looked down and just went for it.

Head first.

No fear.

And he loved it…and went over and over and over.

The funny thing is — a year later he’s actually more timid around slides. He can walk now and do lots of things he couldn’t do a year ago, but for some reason, he gets to the top of a slide now and calls for me or my wife to come “hold hand” as he goes down.

What gives?

I think the older we get, the more experience we acquire, the more afraid we become.

When I first started out recording music, I would record anything and everything. And I wouldn’t hesitate to play my latest masterpiece for anyone who would listen.

But something happens the more you record. Perhaps you realize (like I did) that your first recordings weren’t as incredible as you thought they were. Maybe you realize that there are others who are better than you.

Maybe you’re embarrassed to play your songs for people, because you feel that your recordings don’t measure up to the “big boys.”

Let me tell you, I can 100% relate to that. It’s still a struggle for me from time to time.

Does this sound familiar?

You desperately want to finish a project and share its awesomeness with the world, but a little voice in the back of your head whispers, “It’s not gonna be good enough…”

So you stall. You dawdle. You waste time.

Instead of diving down the slide head first, without a care in the world, you shrink back, afraid something bad might happen.

I have been there, compadre.

Sometimes it takes a brave little toddler to remind us to get out there and make some music.

It might not be good at first, but I can guarantee it won’t get better if you don’t dive in.

Your homework: Channel your inner toddler, and just go for it.

And if you need a place to start, some guidance, some direction, grab a copy of Understanding Compression:

10 Responses to “Brave Toddler Shames Audio Engineer”

  1. Xan Angelfvkk

    Our kids are like that as well. But our youngest has just conquered has fear ov slides. 🙂 As for recording I know ov no such fears…..the day after tomorrow we’ll be heading to the Wakapuaka Semetary to record our 32nd (yes, 32nd!!) Seasonal Recording on the (southern) Spring Equinox & I’m doing it on an ASUS EEE, running Ubuntu with a copy ov Audacity that I only began with on the ferry trip down here… 🙂

  2. Saso Alauf

    I feel that most of all when I sing…as I’m getting better and better, I also hear more and more mistakes in my voice because I know what to listen for. Which is kinda stupid, when you think about it…being better at something shouldn’t hold me back, it should propell me forward :/

    • Joe Gilder

      Being able to hear those mistakes is a huge blessing. There are plenty of people who can’t improve their singing because they don’t know what the problem is. I’d say that’s a GOOD thing for you.


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