I want to share something important with you today.
I say important because I don’t know anyone who couldn’t use more confidence and courage in their life.
It’s not surprising that a lot of people who try belly dancing are looking to gain more confidence and to feel stronger, not just physically, but mentally.
The cool moves, gorgeous costumes, and glamour are great, but it’s more than that.
It’s facing the challenging moments while learning the art that strengthens you, or rather, allows you to reveal your own strength to yourself.
Let me tell you about one of my most revealing moments when I stopped performing!
A couple of years after I started belly dancing lessons and performing with my teacher’s troupe, I created my first choreography and got up the nerve to perform it.
Though NOTHING went wrong, I felt terrible about my choreography performance.
My teacher and dance mates said I did well, but I just couldn’t believe them, I felt so horrible, not living up to the arbitrary bullsh!t standard I had created for myself. (Sound familiar?)
That night I decided I wasn’t good enough and could never be good enough, and stopped performing entirely – no troupe, no solos.
Could you imagine if I remained in this disempowering mental state indefinitely? You, me, knowing each other, might never have happened?
Even though I quit performing, I continued taking lessons, attending workshops, and expanding my knowledge.
I kept going to shows and supporting my dance friends, but I was miserable and envious, dancing in my seat watching my friends have all the fun.
All those feelings were welling up inside of me. I couldn’t go on. I had to do something.
So, I made a deal with myself.
No matter how I felt or what might go wrong. I just needed to do it.
Show after show, I would break into a cold sweat, my heart would palpitate, my mouth would go dry. I often wanted to cancel and run away, but I didn’t bury or suppress those feelings.
I just kept taking deep breaths and allowed myself to experience the unpleasant feelings while continuing to move forward.
I kept reminding myself of the commitment I made to complete all 20 shows – no matter what.
Finally, about 18 shows in, there was more enjoyment than fear.
This taught me that you can’t wait for the ego-mind to be quiet. The mind will become quiet when you continually SHOW IT that uncomfy experiences are nothing to fear.
I learned that you can’t wait to feel ready. If you want it, DECIDE to do it, and do it. The good feels will come.
It. literally. can be THAT SIMPLE.
Warning: This isn’t a good method to accomplish self-destructive things, like sweating out a bad or abusive relationship.
But this does work wonders in those situations where you greatly desire something that’s positive and healthy, that’s logically sound, that your intuition is pulling you toward, and you know it’s an investment in your future, but the ego-mind is still resistant.
Are you in one of those moments now where you want to do something, but you are struggling with negative thoughts or other obstacles that keep you from doing the things you know [in your heart] you want to do?
Perhaps you are struggling with one of these:
- Taking your first belly dance class
- Continuing your lessons (because you felt you didn’t do well (even though the teacher said you did))
- Performing or creating your first choreography
- Becoming a belly dance teacher or a professional dancer
If you are on your belly dance journey and you are struggling, even just to get started, you don’t have to do it alone. Please reach out. Send me an email and tell me about your situation.