Are you a perfectionist? Does fear of failure stop you trying new things? Having the courage to suck at something can be a brave and enlightening step forward.
By: Lia Burge Rogers
How did you get on with our 30 Day Wellness Challenge ? Drag yourself panting round the park for a pathetic run? Fall over your own feet practicing a plié? Get distracted from your mediation after five seconds? Fail much? I hope so. Failure is a strange concept when you think about it. Of course, it seems normal to most of us – we go through school and pass or fail exams; we go to interviews and fail to get the job; we pass or fail our driving test. All very binary. But as we grow older, as clichéd as it sounds, we do begin to see that life is a journey; that our failures build resilience and set us off on paths unknown. But most of all, the more we fail, the more courage we build. That courage makes us more likely to try new things – things that we want, things that we dream of, things that enrich our lives.
Back of the class, front of the class
I always loved dancing as a kid, but standing in a ballet class at Pineapple Studios one Saturday morning, surrounded by long-legged girls with all the coolest kit, my inferiority complex overwhelmed me and I ran out crying at the first port-de-bras.
Years later, when I started my acting training and the first jazz class came around, I secured my position at the back of the room and prayed no one would notice.
“Erm, Lia… you’re what? 5ft tall? Get to the front where you can actually see will you?” chuckled the formidable Donna Berlin.
It turns out, being at the front of class is great. You’ve committed to this class, you’re going to get stuck in, and if you’re a shorty like me – it’s kind of necessary! And you know what? You get better. You improve. And you never know… because now I’m 35 and dancing has taken me all over the world.
I go to the front of classes in everything now. Of course I’m still crippled with self doubt and feel as stupid as ever, but its my way of reminding myself to get stuck in no matter what – to ‘feel the fear and do it anyway.’ If there’s one thing I’ve learnt from years of ‘putting myself out there’ it is that no one – literally no one – cares what you look like/ how skilled you are/what clothes you’re wearing. They’re busy dealing with their own demons.
- Related Post : Feel The Dance Fear and Do It Anyway
If you did choose to try out a run with Coach Bennet on Nike Run Club last month, you will have heard him say over and over that every effort, is a win. And he’s right, every effort is a win, because every effort is a step forward on a trajectory – and I can’t think of a single trajectory that is actually linear.
Luckily for you, because emberly’s courses are online, you do get to cheat a bit when crossing the threshold into some skills unknown. You can practice that port-de-bras and do vocal exercises that make you feel like a prize idiot behind closed doors, but promise me the next time you go to a yoga class, or salsa for beginners, or whatever it is… push past the perfectly dressed pros and get yourself to the front of the class – with all your imperfections and neuroses – and start another journey.
Tell us about your suck-cesses in the comments or over on our socials.
And remember it’s never too late to take on our 30 Day Challenge…