Fighting the fraud police during my Ukulele Retreat

Last weekend I spent two days in a remote but very lovely little village in Lower Austria for a ukulele workshop weekend.

Elisabeth Pfeiffer was our host and teacher (if you don’t know her I strongly suggest you check her out). I already attended most of her workshops at least once. It’s always nice to hear them again though, not just because she switches up the way she teaches things, but also to make sure that my brain hears certain things again and again and finally starts remembering it. The workshops ranged from basics to finger picking and power chords with a strong focus on Blues.

Fighting the Fraud Police

Now I am a fairly ok ukulele player but workshops for me usually mean that I have to leave my comfort zone. This makes me feel completely self-conscious, out of control and the thought of the fraud police entering any second and arresting me is really strong.

“The Fraud Police are the imaginary, terrifying force of ‘real’ grown-ups who you believe – at some subconscious level – are going to come knocking on your door in the middle of the night, saying:
We’ve been watching you, and we have evidence that you have NO IDEA WHAT YOU’RE DOING. You stand accused of the crime of completely winging it, you are guilty of making shit up as you go along, you do not actually deserve your job, we are taking everything away and we are TELLING EVERYBODY.”

― Amanda Palmer, The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help

Of course they never come and I am aware, that this is all total BS, but somehow that feeling still finds its way up to the surface and throws me off track. This was no different this weekend. There were many things I could handle quite well cause they were in or close enough to my comfort zone. As soon as something new or difficult for me comes up, my mental fraud police starts to shut me down though. “You have no idea what you’re doing” “now they gonna find out that you’re really not good at any of this” “…”

Waking up beside you

I am learning to deal with these feelings of being a fraud and not good enough and last weekend it was actually easier than ever. Getting some nice feedback from Elisabeth and other participants helped a lot but what really assured me of my skills was me waking up beside my ukulele. Well, not exactly the waking up part (or the sleeping next to each other part) but the spending quality time together before falling asleep and right after waking up. It was so nice to be in my hotel room and just fiddling aroung, trying new things that I learned during the workshops, figuring out some chords somewhere up the neck and working on improving my first original song “You’re enough” that deals with feelings like that. It was just me and my ukulele and it felt familiar and right. When I started playing I never thought that things like that would ever happen. Picking up my ukulele felt like holding something – but more and more it feels like becoming a part of me and that’s a very nice feeling. And together we will fight the fraud police!*

xoxo Nikky

Ps: Here are some pictures from last weekend:


* now there’s a song inspiration 😉







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