Raise your hand if you've ever set a resolution you didn't keep. What, you didn't? YOU'RE A LIAR.
Okay, what stopped you? Usually we get all fired up at the start of a new project, but over time, that positive energy, what I'm calling the 'honeymoon effect', wears off. And that's when we quit, because suddenly it stopped being fun, and became work instead.
That's why most people don't become the dancers they want to be. Of sure, they have plenty of reasons why it was a good idea to stop now, but ultimately, they rode the emotional high, and when it crashed, they crashed.
Of course, there are many who manage to keep that spark burning. These people pick a dance goal, and consistently work towards it until it's theirs. They may not like stepping outside of their comfort zone, but they've developed a determination to not give in to the excuses and self-sabotage.
This is what I'd like to talk to you about today: How to get out of your own way, so you can persistently apply yourself to ballroom dancing until you're the dancer you've always wanted to be.
Hi guys! My name is Ian Crewe. I'm an instructor at the Joy of Dance Centre in Toronto Ontario, and the creator of Social Ballroom Dance: Where you can learn your dance, at your place, on your schedule.
What do we need to do to build some positive ballroom dance habits? Maybe you want to get more dance partners at a social, or maybe you want to catch the eye of that special someone. Or maybe you want to compete and be known nationally or internationally.
What do we need to do to build these positive practice habits, that we can consistently apply, so that we can improve on our dancing and ultimately get what we want?
If you have trouble motivating yourself to achieve the things that you want, first we need to start with your mind. You need to change the way you think. Why? Because if we don't, then we'll end up sabotaging ourselves.
How many of us have tried to make a resolution we've intended to stick with, we got all fired up about it, and then a week or two later, what happened?
We start procrastinating. We started forgetting why we made the decision to continue in the first place. We started giving into instant gratification. The "honeymoon phase" of making that resolution was over, and without that positive feeling, that good feeling pushing us forward, we ended up giving up. We went back to our comfort zone.
So we need to start changing this narrative inside our head. You see from a very early age, we LEARNED these expectations - what to expect from the world, from the people around us, and also from ourselves; what we believe is possible for us.
This becomes collectively what a great writer of mine, Don Miguel Ruiz, he refers to this as a "Book of Law". And the thing is is that following this Book of Law helps us feel safe - The book of law might be completely incorrect; there might be so much more that's possible for us but it makes us feel safe to follow them.
When we try to break out of that, there's this narrative that comes up in our mind and says, "hey, know what? This is probably a waste of time. You're competing against people who have been doing this since they were three years old. Why don't you try something else."
What we need to do is start paying attention to that narrative. We need to start spotting when that arises in our mind, and we need to stop talking to the fear-based thinking as Ellen Smith the life coach we interviewed last week was saying. We need to start talking to the POSSIBILITY.
So what I want you to do is to start spending time on your dream - just picturing it in your head, getting enough details so that you don't just see it, you can feel it.
Maybe you're going into that club, you can see the lights, you can smell the perfume of the ladies around you, you can feel yourself in that awesome dress, and your favourite music comes on - whatever it is, use that!
Pay attention to that narrative when it comes up, and when it comes up start replacing it with this dream. Because that dream is your WHY. Why you continue, why you push through when that that good feeling that you got from from setting that goal starts to wear off, and we're left with: "I've got to keep pushing, because i know that someday is gonna be my day."
Les Brown, this great motivational speaker, says "sometimes we cannot say 'I can do that', but what we can do, what we can retreat to if it seems like we're wasting our time is we can remind ourselves that 'it's possible'."
Because ultimately, NOBODY knows what you're capable of. NOBODY knows how far you can go on this ballroom dancing path - not even you. All you know is that you can get better than where you are, and it's possible that if you keep pushing if you keep pressing that one day is gonna be your day. So replace that negative narrative with something more positive.
The next thing is - when we start to set out on that path, when we start to show up for our the times that we scheduled for ourselves to start practicing, and start working on our dancing, we have to accept that the next hardest part is stepping out of that comfort zone and traveling along that path.
As we start to improve - what I'm saying is that you're gonna start having times where you're going to feel tired, stressed out, maybe a little sick.
Now, I'm not saying that you shouldn't check yourself into the hospital if you're feeling that bad, but most of the time these are going to be excuses, that your narrative is dressing up as legitimate reasons to keep you from going after what you want.
Because that requires you to step out of your comfort zone - that requires you to be something more than what you are right now, and if you listen to that narrative, you're setting yourself up to be just an average dancer.
You've got to keep returning to that vision of why this was worth it for you. Eric Thomas, another well-known motivational speaker, talks about how some people describe themselves as procrastinators - like it's it's part of who they are, like it's a condition.
And he says, "listen to me. If I told you to meet me here at 5AM in the morning, and if you meet me here then I would give you 5 million dollars, at 5AM tomorrow morning where would you be?" And they say "Eric, I would be there at 4:59AM!" and he says "exactly! You're not a procrastinator - you just haven't made this important enough to make it happen."
There's this excitement, there's this passion there, and it may not be for everybody - I personally believe that everybody can get something from ballroom dancing, but how far you want to go is up to you. Keep returning to that idea, and don't let those excuses get you down.
The next part of this is, come up with ideas for how you can make this work. The two most common objections that anybody has when faced with whether or not they want to continue with their dancing, is time and money.
So we need to come up with ways in which we can make ballroom dancing work. What I want you to try doing is get a sheet of paper, get a pen. Start writing down ideas or open up a word file. Start typing up ideas - it doesn't matter how crazy or harebrained they may sound. Don't censor yourself.
Just get it all out there - the point is to get those creative juices flowing, and as you start working on this you're gonna start finding that there are some ideas coming out, which didn't initially occur to you when you were looking at that blank sheet of paper.
You'll start coming up with some really good ideas. For example, if the issue is that you don't know how you're going to be able to afford ballroom dancing, you might start a bake sale, you might work extra hard at work and then ask for a promotion, you might take a second job, you might hold off on buying some of those fancy clothes, or that new flat-screen television, that you were planning on buying, because maybe ballroom dancing is more important to you! You might get up an hour earlier in the day so you can read about how you can get more benefits out of your business, so that you can get more income - a better commission, more clients.
Those are six ideas that I just came up with, and the idea is that as you're getting it out you're gonna start finding that some of the ideas are actually not bad ones at all, and after you've done that one day of twenty ideas, the next day try and come up with another 20 ideas, the next day come up with another 20 ideas.
Keep going until you feel yourself really start to slow down and then look at all these ideas, because now you've got this repository of creativity, of 20 40 60 80, a hundred ideas: All you need is ONE OR TWO good ideas and you're set - you've got your plan.
If you look at all those ideas and none of them really are looking like like something that you think you could do, then you gotta ask yourself: "is this me getting in my own way, or is there really something else going on here?"
Sometimes it's a sign that we just need to refocus, we need to return to the dream and change things. Because maybe it's not firing us up as much as it used to - sometimes we need to revisit our dreams because what we want is gonna change.
Maybe I want to just be a decent social dancer, but then as I get closer to that, I start to dream bigger. Maybe I want to perform now. Maybe I want to compete now.
So you need to revisit these things to make sure that you're not starting to fall out of alignment with the reason why you continue with dancing in the first place.
The last thing about this I want to say is that sometimes you really are going be tired - you really are going need rest. But don't initially give into it. Say "okay. I'm going to wait wait six hours or a day. If at the end of those six hours or the next day shows up and I still feel tired, okay. I will rest."
But until then, keep pushing forward. keep making this work for you. Because odds are when the next day comes, you're going find out that was just another excuse, and you're ready to go again. So use that, don't give in to it.
Now, I'm gonna share something that I believe: I don't know if all the dreams that you have with regards to ballroom dancing are achievable in your lifetime. But what I DO believe, is that to not spend your life going after those dreams, those things that you want, those things that allow you to grow and develop as a human being, is to not only cheat yourself of the greatest pleasure that life can bring you - it's also to cheat others around you of the inspiration they could draw from your achievements.
There's a great quote that really hit me hard when I first heard it, and it goes like this:
If you do not risk, then you cannot grow.
And if you cannot grow, then you cannot do your best.
And if you can't do your best, you cannot be happy.
And if you can't be happy, then what else is there?
Think about that. That is the end of our theme this month on motivation and inspiration. I hope you found this useful and hopefully it motivates and inspires you to take that extra step in your dancing.
If you have any questions or comments please message me on my Facebook fan page: Ballroom Dancers Anonymous, or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org again that's email@example.com.
We're going to have a little surprise for you next week. I'm going to release something a little earlier in the week and follow that up with our usual post on on Sunday. So you can look forward to that.
After that we're gonna get into our new theme in September, which is dancing apparel: what would you wear at a competition vs a ballroom dance hall vs a Latin nightclub, so we can get more comfortable with being prepared for when we do make that step to get out on the social dance floor.
I look forward to seeing you then, and until then happy dancing!