Tell Your Feeling to Shut Up

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Emotions and feelings can be a dangerous thing.  For me, it is like those old nature films of spring snow melt.  Starts with some snow melting and dripping off a couple of trees and into a small stream.  Then, you get more trees and more snow melt and the streams starts to rise and then it feeds into another stream swollen by melting snow.  Then, those converge into a smaller river and soon you’ve got a raging wall of water sweeping away anything that’s not tied down.

And, I’m that unfortunate young bobcat that gets dumped into the river and swept away.  If we are all lucky, the bobcat finds a log and manages to get a grip and pull out of the river all wet and pathetic and then has to just sit in the sun to dry off.  OK, I don’t know where the bobcat came from but I needed an illustration.

Yes, I took an actual comment and turned it into something else because of a pause.  But it was just building on some fears I already had.  Yesterday, I also read my critiques and got my scores for the solos.  Again, not bad but not great.  It was just further confirmation that I’m a hamster on an exercise wheel.  Lots of motion but no real progress.

It didn’t help that we tried to do the Viennese Waltz routine the coach worked up for us.  In my mind, I just saw how he made it so easy and flowing and elegant and I can’t even figure out some of the basic steps.  Yeah, king of unrealistic expectations here.

Look, I live inside my head a lot.  I have imaginary conversation and I change how the other person responds to think about how I would respond.  A lot of those imaginary conversations are around how I would share something that is bothering me.  But then they never happen and I can’t get the right words out and nothing gets resolved.

The other problem I have is the whole idealistic vision vs reality.  I had this dream of going to Showcase and being able to stand up and show everyone that I’m better.  Instead, I got a lot of the same feedback meaning I’m still plagued by the same issues that have been the bane of my existence for the last several showcases.  Which is why I think that, at best, I’m treading water.

At the end of the lesson, we got into a discussion about the bigger dance event later this summer that I promised to attend.  But I started to waiver because of all the stuff going on in my head.  If I’m really just standing still, why put myself through the agony and expense of doing one of these bigger shows.  Didn’t seem to make sense to me.

Then, I read two things.  One was about INFP’s and the other was about Enneagram Type 4’s both of which really seem to be me.  (Oh yeah, I’m all about that drama!)  Both were discussions of growth strategies for the various types.  I should be nice and cite the source but one was a link to a link.  Just know they came from elsewhere.

First, there was this:  “Ask yourself a couple of questions.  Do you demand too much of yourself?  Are you too severe in your self-appraisal?  In both cases, the answer is most probably going to be ‘yes’.  Be more understanding of yourself and afford yourself the same solicitude that you give to the happiness and well-being of others.”

Then, there was this: “Do not pay so much attention to your feelings; they are not a true source of support for you, as you probably already know. Remember this advice: “From our present perspective, we can also see that one of the most important mistakes Fours make is to equate themselves with their feelings. The fallacy is that to understand themselves they must understand their feelings, particularly their negative ones, before acting.”

And this:  “Avoid lengthy conversations in your imagination, particularly if they are negative, resentful, or even excessively romantic. These conversations are essentially unreal and at best only rehearsals for action—although, as you know, you almost never say or do what you imagine you will. Instead of spending time imagining your life and relationships, begin to live them.”

And finally:  “Self-esteem and self-confidence will develop only from having positive experiences, whether or not you believe that you are ready to have them. Therefore, put yourself in the way of good. You may never feel that you are ready to take on a challenge of some sort, that you always need more time. (Fours typically never feel that they are sufficiently “together,” but they must nevertheless have the courage to stop putting off their lives.)”

Nothing really new here but the right combination of things at the right time.  “Trust your feelings Luke.”  No thank, old man, I’m sticking with the computer targeting system.   Wouldn’t have been as satisfying of a movie though.

The last one kind of hit home.  Remember that I could find a lot of reasons to not do Quickstep and Argentine Tango with Sunny but ended up doing it anyway.  The Quickstep turned out great.  So, even though I don’t feel ready or feel like I belong, I really need to seriously consider doing the big dance event in August.  After all, I do have that nice new Latin shirt with shiny buttons to wear.




  1. I completely understand where you are coming from. Perhaps there is an opportunity here? If you decide to go to the big dance event–set some tangible measureable goals for what you would like to accomplish in the way of progress in doing it–perhaps that might help you get out of the ‘rut’ you feel you are in by giving you something very definite to work towards?

    1. Actually had a nice chat with OwnerGuy and establishing goals was a part of it. Yes it will help. But I need to see actions behind the words.

  2. It’s good for us to be aware of our feelings, but not so good if we always focus on the negative ones. I know I do that. I hear “that was really good! now what I want you to work on…” and I translate it to “that was —–, here is what you did wrong…” I have to remind myself that just because I have things I need to work on, even when they’re the same things over and over, doesn’t mean I suck or I’m stagnant as a dancer.
    I DARE you to focus on the positive! 😉
    Crossing my fingers that OwnerGuy will follow through on whatever you guys talked about!

      1. Ok, you got me. Some of this will be in my next post but I got some nice feedback on my solos. They noticed a real difference in how I presented myself.

  3. A combination of the “winter that never ends”, pre- and post-showcase angst and overall cataclysmic depressive state in general has left me totally lost and forlorn. And then, I just HAD to go and watch my showcase video. My text message to The Icon: “Just watched the showcase video. You honestly expected me to believe that you thought it was good?”
    His reply: “That’s my opinion. Yes. STOP BEING SO HARD ON YOURSELF.” Enough said. 🙂

  4. I have to totally brace myself before reviewing my videos because there’s the way I see myself dance in my head (the ultimate Super Star), and then there’s the undeniable reality check of seeing what (I think) is the horrific truth–one of those people who are just too painful to watch …. but once I get through it the first time I try to reset my emotions from wanting to stick a fork in my neck to calm and unbiased and take another look — and (most times) it turns out to be not so bad after all …. (or at least that’s what I try to tell myself — LOL !!!)

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