Learning to Dance Fearlessly, Part Two
Last week, we discovered that the fear that prevents us from dancing confidently – whether it’s with a partner, in front of an audience, or both – stems from the fear-based script that plays throughout our life. Perhaps we feel we aren’t really that good, and others will laugh at us, or we think we will let our partner down. That belief ‘I’m not really that good’, then becomes a part of the story we tell ourselves about who we are.
By changing the story, which is a compilation of all the conscious and subconscious beliefs we hold, we can start to build the confidence that otherwise holds us back on the dance floor. So, how do we do this?
Explore Your Story
Our thoughts create our actions, which then create our habits. So it’s alarming to know that of the 50,000-70,000 thoughts we have daily, most of us are only aware of about 5% of them. If we want to change our thoughts, we must increase our awareness of those thoughts.
Starting today, make a habit of watching your mind like a cat at a mouse hole, ready to pounce on every thought that emerges. Carry a notepad and write them down as soon as possible. WARNING: Some of the thoughts might scare you; you might be tempted to push them back down and forget about them. Remind yourself they are just thoughts – we think all manner of socially inappropriate things below the conscious level, but that’s a wide gap between vocalizing them.
All thoughts are either self-loving, or self-limiting, which is based on fear. Look for how frequently the latter thoughts are, and if they tend to follow a pattern. At the centre of these patterns are the ‘core beliefs’, the ones that rule your life and breed a thousand similar beliefs. ‘I already know what I believe’, I hear you say. Don’t be so sure. You are tapping into your subconscious here, and what you find might be very different – even the opposite – of what you hold to be true on the surface.
As you start to discover the patterns of your thinking, you will increasingly get the chance to replace a negative belief with a positive one. I’m not saying you have to think happy thoughts all the time; but to think in terms of possibility instead of limits. No matter how frustrated or scared you may feel, you are not defeated if you can change the thought from ‘I can’t do this’ to ‘I CAN do this, but it will be very hard. What can I do to make it easier?’ At the very least, try to accept the possibility that you can dance with more confidence then you feel right now.
For many, the negative thoughts patterns can be too deeply entrenched to be uprooted simply by ‘thinking different’ however. Next week, we look at how you can change your thinking to dance more confidently – for life.
About the Author
Ian Crewe has been dancing ballroom for almost 20 years, and has a Licentiate in American smooth and rhythm. His passion for dance and his endless seeking for ways to reach new audiences eventually led him to blogging and the World Wide Web. Ian currently teaches at the Joy of Dance Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada.