Maruja Retana has a fascinating success story. She started out as a psychologist, then became a professional singer, becoming a finalist in Dutch X-Factor, getting a few radio hits under her belt, and performing routinely for thousands of people each weekend.
A few years ago, she realized that many singers and songwriters suffered from the same problems, both internal and external, so she became a coach for artists, creating her Vocal Psychology® program. Now she’s a public speaker and mentor. This episode is for you if you’ve ever thought about switching careers or if you aren’t sure how seemingly different aspects of your life can fit together into a new vision.
Ep. 27 – Maruja Retana Highlights
2:05 – “I started my career as a psychologist in Holland. Before I became a psychologist, I always wanted to be a singer, but I grew up in this really small town in Holland and I just thought, that is just not possible for me. What else can I do? I love people. I love stories. I love figuring things out. And that’s how I ended up studying psychology.”
5:11 – “For a really long time, it felt like two different worlds… It felt like I had to be one person in this world on one person in the other world. But really, I started thriving when I when I felt like myself in both worlds and when I could see how this influences that and that influences this.”
3:55 – “And I felt like I was an imposter. So I needed to do a lot of inner work and help myself a lot to still feel good on that stage and in the studio. And I thought I was the only one, but I was not. Almost all my peers felt the same way. So I created a program called the Vocal Psychology® Program. And with that program, I help other singers and songwriters overcome the same obstacles that I did.”
8:04 – “Yeah. I think among songwriters and singers, it was already pretty known in recent years: we’re all struggling. But the pandemic has definitely made things worse. And I think for a long time people on the corporate side were like, ‘yeah, this is not our problem.'”
12:06 – “I think people underestimate the kind of the burden of success. So as you get further away from your comfort zone – your baseline – whether that’s really depressed or really successful, it feels unsafe.”
23: 24 – “Especially as a starting artist, you feel like you have to prove yourself so much; you feel like you’re dependent on a lot of people and that if you are going to say no, there are 20 other people who are going to say yes. So, of course, that’s a great opportunity for people who want to take advantage of women or artists.”
33:30 – “I guess the biggest change for me was from psychologist to singer. That felt like a change to me. Because I was never super vocal about wanting to be an artist, and it felt almost like I can’t say that I’m an artist. That felt really weird. It felt like a fictional profession, you know?”
40:35 – “I think everybody feels like, ‘oh, I should know better, I should know better’. And there’s a lot of shame around that. And yeah, thankfully now things are a little more open and less taboo.”