Last night I was learning the country two-step (dance). Those who know me know I’m not the dancing type. I’ve always felt very self-conscious of how I look when I dance. I think men tend to have a tougher time letting themselves go and moving their bodies fluidly.
As I practiced and went through the motions I became less and less rigid. I began transitioning from “I don’t know how to do this” to “if I did know how to do this, this is what it would look like”. That change in thinking freed me up to move a little differently. It started by picturing a male dancer doing the two-step. I imagined watching someone on tv. “What would they look like”?
I started mimicking the picture in my mind. This was a neat little trick because it took the attention off my own body, and put it on mirroring someone else. To the observer, I was dancing. What was happening in my mind was of no consequence. At that point I just needed to stay out of my own way long enough to get my body used to moving like it needs to for the dance.
Later I realized how workable that strategy could be in life.
If there is something you want to do, but you feel you can’t, just pretend you’re someone who can while you learn and eventually you will. Have you ever seen someone quit trying to learn something after repeatedly telling themselves they can’t do it? The attitude of “I can’t” won’t allow you to proceed.
Success coaches have advised for years that we find a role model in our field who is an example of the skill level we want to attain or surpass. This is a similar idea. Find someone who can do what you want to do and pretend you’re them until you can actually do it and don’t have to pretend anymore.
-This is Life in the Leap