Many of us have worries that we do not dance well. This is despite the fact that logically we know we can dance. We have gone to dance classes, we have practiced and we have received feedback on our progression. But still, we have this self-doubt.
This makes it hard to enjoy dance. If we always doubt our abilities no matter how well we can actually dance, then we will never enjoy dance as much we could or should. And this is what makes self-doubt so insidious. When we should be dancing and enjoying ourselves, we are actually worried that we’re not dancing well, and upsetting the person we are dancing with or that others think less of us. Not only that, but it can also make us think about giving up or not putting as much effort in as we would really like.
Clearly, none of this is ideal. Therefore, overcoming self-doubt will let us enjoy dance more and put more effort into improving our ability.
There are two methods that you can use to overcome self-doubt in dance. One is a bit strange and the other will seem a little familiar. I have found the first one to be easier, but it needs and open mind. The second takes time, but it makes a little more sense.
Tapping is based on acupressure points. Point that cause us to take on a more positive attitude toward anything we choose. From experience this works incredibly well.
You can learn more here.
However, let’s cover the basics now.
First, remember these points:
- The side of your hand –the karate chop part
- Just above the eye brows
- The cheekbone just below the eyes
- The upper lip
- The chin
- The collar bone
- The middle ribs on the side – just above where the elbow touches you sides when your arms are down
- The top of your head
Now take one of your greatest concerns about dance. Say not looking good, losing time or forgetting a step. Imagine it happening and notice how you feel.
Now in your head repeat this concern. Say something like ‘I will dance terribly because I will lose timing’ or ‘I just know I’ll do something wrong when dancing tonight’.
While repeating this statement spend around 5 – 10 seconds tapping each of the parts of your body listed above.
Once you have gone through the list, stop and think about your dancing again. You should notice that you feel better about it now.
Next, come up with a more positive statement. Say something like ‘I have been getting better at dancing and my timing since I have started. As long as I work at it I know I will get better’ or ‘Given my level, I am dancing well and everyone will know that’
Now repeat this statement while tapping each of your body parts on the above list for 5-10 seconds at a time.
Once that is done stop again and see how you feel. You will be feeling much better now.
Anytime you’re feeling stressed or in self-doubt about dance, go through the tapping procedure again.
If you want to find out more about tapping, then check out the link to the right and sign up to the email list. Margaret is excellent and really wants to help you.
Removing the fear of choking
Self-doubt can get right into our heads and make us choke when we need to perform at our best. There has been a lot of research into why we choke. The book shown to the right summarises a lot of this research. The author Sian Beilock has done a good job of explaining what we can do to reduce choking and in the process remove a lot of self-doubt.
If you take a look at it, then you will likely find something that you can use.
However, there are two techniques that are simple, make sense and have been tested to see that they work.
Get used to it.
The more you do something the less doubt you have about it. How many tive have you have had a doubt about your ability to walk?
If you think you can push through it, then this is a method worth trying. It will be difficult, but it will work. The other advantage is that it makes your practice as well so you get a double benefit. Before you take this path you need to be clear of one thing – you are going to intentionally put yourself in uncomfortable situations so that you can become stronger and no longer worry about them. Being clear about this in your head will help you apply yourself more and take the edge off the fear.
Once you have committed to this approach all you need do is find as many situations where you will need to dance. Ideally, situations that trigger your self-doubt. This could simply be group classes somewhere else, small comp’s within your dance school or social events. If you feel too stressed then just remember, that the purpose is to get over the stress.
Exorcise the concerns and enhance the positives
Have you ever noticed that when you talk about something that is troubling you that it no longer seems like such a big deal?
Often when we start to worry about something is gets locked up in our brain and we just keep focusing on it. It hangs around and ties us up in knots inside, and then fills us with self-doubt. However, if we get it out, then we feel a lot better.
Once of the easiest ways to get it out is to write it down. Writing it down sends a signal to the brain that the information has been stored, and no longer needs to be worried about. This then means it will no longer be the focus of our brain.
Side note – telling people about plans to exercise, lose weight, start a business etc. can be detrimental. By talking about it, the brain thinks the job is done and focus is lost. If you do talk about it, then make a promise or a prediction that compels you to follow through.
Once you have exorcised the doubt, it’s a good time to build confidence. Start to think about the things you can do. You have been practicing for a while so you have improved in numerous ways. We need to be reminded of this at times. With some conscious effort we can make our brain focus on the positives, and really reduce that self-doubt.