Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy

Don't get frustrated.

Someone mentioned this today when I was trying to get a move, and it really hit me. I freeze up in the dance floor when I'm dancing with someone that is more advanced than I am, frustrated by my own expectations. I get angry with myself when I miss a move called by the instructor, thinking that I would look bad. But getting frustrated only makes things worse. So when I feel that I'm getting frustrated, I will take a deep breath and remember, it's just dancing...

Any other ideas out there?
I like to take a second and look back at when I began that I couldn't even do the a cross body, even worse do a basic. I look at how much I've grown as a dancer, laugh at the situation and say to myself, "Next time is just as good a time to get it". Even if I leave the class not getting the move, I leave happy because I now find myself in a position that a few years back I wouldn't have dreamt of. I love enjoying the frustration of not getting it, because to me it isn't the satisfaction of accomplishing the goal, but the view on the way to the goal that gives meaning to finally attaining that goal.
We sometimes tend to set ourselves up for failure.

It's a hard concept to realize, but one that is very present in
all of us.

You see, most of the time, we are very quick to point out our
own faults and short-comings...

For example, here's a typical conversation inside your head:

"Man, why can't I get this done right!"

"Jesus, you're so stupid (insert your name here)!"

"What the hell is wrong with me!"

However, when you do something right, most of the time, you
don't tell yourself about it.

For some reason, we like to remind ourselves of when we let ourselves
down, but we never reward ourselves for the good things we do.

When was the last time you said:

"Man, good job (insert your name here)!"

"The way I just executed that move was perfect!"

"Today you look really good (insert your name here)"

The reason we don't do that is because we've been raised to believe
that it is wrong to praise'll be full of yourself, or you'll
be vain, or whatever negative feelings you may have about bringing
praise to yourself.

The bottom line is, in our subconcious, there's really no incentive
to do good. I mean, if you never reward yourself for the good things
you do, then what incentive would you have?

That's like showing up for work every single day, and not get paid...

Do you think you'll want to continue working?

Of course not!

So the first thing you have to do, is get into the habit of rewarding
yourself for when you do good.

When you do bad, don't beat yourself up over it, because then you'll
be afraid of doing anything...I mean, if you knew that everytime you
did something, you were going to get beat up over it, would you
continue to do it?

Not likely...

So next time, make sure you reward yourself, and don't beat
yourself up!!
Sometimes it's just your state of mind at the time. I used to be so intimidated to dance with our dance instructor at a social. When he'd ask me I'd stiffen up and forget all the lessons (because of course he'd do the latest moves he just taught), as I got better, I still couldn't dance with him. I never felt confident enough. Then out of the blue I asked him to dance one evening and we had a lovely dance. Now I feel ok to ask him to dance now and then, but once in a while I feel that old I'm-going-to-totally-mess-up-this-move feeling when I see him coming my way to ask me to dance. Am I still intimidated?? I think so. :(


Well-Known Member
Wow! It's funny how much we have in common, dancergal.

Oh goodness, when I first started dancing with my current coach, I just couldn't dance. At all. Stiff arms, and absolute terror. I was so self-critical, and, to be honest, he's pretty critical too (which, in some ways, makes him a good coach :lol: )
But it just got to the point where I had to either get over it, or find a new coach. So he and I sat down together, and came up with a couple trust/team building exercises. One of them is in the "Let's Talk About Trust, Baby" thread.

Anyway, since then, my fellow students tell me about freezing up with him, but hey. I have no problem.

Still haven't mastered the trick of patting myself on the back, like salsarhythms suggests, but one step at a time. :D

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