(Estimated reading time 3 minutes)
If signing up for a dance class in order to get beyond the shadow of fear in my life was terrifying, actually attending it was even more so. I remember the first day vividly – walking into the studio and seeing a group of at least 10 or more women waiting. I felt intimidated and out of place like I had somehow stumbled into something definitely not meant for me. I was sure they would realise that I did not have what it took to be part of this thing. I was somehow pretending to be something that I was not. I guess I was, in a way, signing up to be a less fearful, more confident person. My last dance experience was about 25-30 years previously when I took ballet as a preschooler. I knew for sure that wearing pink tights and a tutu were out, but had no idea how to dress for this new adventure. Thankfully many of the other women were also in track pants and baggy t-shirts. Maybe this would be okay. The bubbly, young teacher came in and got us going with a warm up…okay …maybe I could do this.
Of course it got more challenging than that first warm up – much more challenging in that there were many layers of fear and self doubt to push through. From having to wear fitted clothing, to dancing in front of the big mirrors, having to remember all the steps at the right time, to finally having the nerve to get up and perform the routine for a competition – stage, judges, audience, sparkly outfit, hair and full makeup. Little by little I began to feel fear loosen its grip on me. Dance competitions were a strange new world. Despite the terror of waiting in the wings that first time, thinking I would throw up or faint, I went on to compete for 7 years. I learned each step of the way to embrace confidence and let go of fear. The journey beyond the shadow is more of a daily practice than a destination. That movement forward and beyond the stagnant areas in our lives is both choice and discipline.
I’m sure there are other ways to get beyond the shadow but here are the steps I took first:
THREE STEPS TO GET BEYOND THE SHADOW
- Self Awareness -What is your shadow? Get to know it. Look it in the eye and be really honest about how much it is affecting your life
- Desire Change – How much do you want to move Beyond your Shadow? This is not an easy process so wanting it a lot is important.
- Take a first step – It doesn’t really matter what step you choose to take as a first step Beyond the Shadow only that you plan something and then actually do it.
Here’s to living with clarity, courage, compassion and confidence!