All in Inspiration

Outside of family, dance is one of the most important things to me. As much as my current career revolves around it, I’m not dancing during the workday. I’m researching, writing proposals, networking, speaking, holding meetings, and figuring out where we go next. I’m no less passionate about practicing, going to jams or taking classes. I still do those to fuel myself — not my work.

I’ve been using these first weeks of the New Year to reflect and set intentions. With introspection has come a growing awareness of the faulty beliefs I've held in the past. Principles that sounded like universal truths, but when applied, didn’t result in success. When I would fail, however, I wouldn’t question the principle. Instead, I internalized it as a personal flaw, lack of discipline, or whatever else might be wrong with me. It took many years to see I had bought into an idea that wasn’t serving me.

I’m like most people. When I step out into the world, I try to put my best foot forward. I quickly check myself in the mirror before leaving the house, smile when I’m greeting someone, and work to maintain a positive attitude in my daily interactions. I do these things habitually and without any real thought as to why. I assume it’s to avoid friction between myself and anyone I might come across.

I went to my first Toastmasters last month. It was a significant event for me. Sitting around a table listening to people practice public speaking might not sound all that exciting, but I was pumped. Attending Toastmasters has been a lingering task on my to-do list for longer than I’d like to admit. Similar to other duties, once I got busy, I felt okay putting it off. “Maybe next year,” I would tell myself.

One goal I have this year is to enter more competitions. It's the middle of February, and I have already chalked up three losses on my battle record....and I'm ecstatic. That might seem like a strange reaction.  However, this year, I'm prepared to lose in every opportunity I face, and I think you should be too.