I haven’t pulled that quote out in a bit but it is useful to keep coming back to it. The title of this post is something I heard on my lesson last night. Not that I was crying – well maybe a little on the inside but we’ll get to that.
There are times when my mind likes to try and sabotage what I’m doing. I don’t know what kinds of things were hard wired into my head growing up but I know there is this little pocket somewhere that doesn’t believe I can be any good as a dancer. Physical and artistic traits were never what I was supposed to be good at.
I suspect this is kind of a common problem when trying to learn something new later in life when you’ve already got a lot of established patterns and traits to deal with. Likely becomes even harder when the thing you are learning is so different from anything that you’ve ever done before.
I’ve described ballroom as the infinite onion. There are always new layers and new things to work on. I suspect that at some point you have to engage every muscle in some way and learning how to do that is a challenge. The concept above is something I got in the corporate world but I think it applies to learning something as difficult as ballroom. When you start, you hit a period of rapid growth where the concepts start to sink in and there is much progress. At some point, it starts to slow down as you plateau. And that’s when you need to be introduced to some new concept to jump start the learning curve all over again. Master that and things start to slow down and you need to jump to a new curve and so on.
And I’m getting a ton of technique working with Mini. This is a good thing but it also can set me up for those little mind tricks. Basically, it works like this. She shows me something I should be doing – and either I can’t figure out how to make my muscles do what she wants or I try to mimic it and my knees say “not so fast”. This starts to set up the failure cascade. I mean if my knees won’t let me do this or I can’t figure it out then I’m never going to progress and I’ll always be stuck at my current sucky level. (Even if my current level really doesn’t suck, that’s what I can tell myself).
Coming back to the s-curve things shown above – it is like I’m standing on one plateau desperately trying to jump to the next level. I can see it up there. Just above my head and taunting me while I can never quite grab on to it. Of course, my mind then forgets about how high up we actually are and starts telling me that if I can’t reach that next curve, I’m really just going to fall all the way back to the bottom. Because nothing I’ve gained was real. I’ll be honest in that it has been a bit since I’ve had something as extreme as last night which is good but it just shows that I have to keep beating back that part that seems to want to bring me down.
I suppose it may also be due to working with a new instructor and one who is so much more advanced than anyone I’ve worked with for a bit. It is kind of like the feeling I sometimes got when a coach came in. Like they are going to take one look at my dancing and say something like “who are you trying to fool – you can’t do that”. Now, that’s never going to happen. It is just that part of me that sometimes thinks that way.
It is honestly why I can never work with Z again. She likes to throw out these little barbs and jabs which aren’t intended to be hurtful but that little part of my mind eats them up and then likes to tell me “She’s right, you know”. Got to be honest that the whole pep talk/you can do it positivity also makes me a bit uncomfortable. Which is weird. But that’s still better than the other comments. I mean I’ve got enough doubt in my mind as it is, I don’t need to have it reinforced even if it is just a joke.
On another note, I am definitely going to stop doing my leg band work on Wednesday. She was trying to teach me this concept of moving your thighs forward. Don’t ask – I sort of figured it out. But it was working certain muscles that were already a bit tired. Yeah, they aren’t happy with me today.
It has been awhile since I’ve needed to use this to air out some things in my head. That’s sometimes what ballroom requires. Clear out the junk.