Last week we talked about my favorite line from the movie The Cutting Edge and how it can be used as a source of motivation to reach your goals (if it fits your personality style, that it). Today we find out how to apply this line of thinking to mastering the barriers in our technique.
"Is no halfway. Halfway is bullsh*t." - The Cutting Edge
Think about pirouettes…or even better, fouetté turns. You can’t half-a$$ them. If you are unsure of yourself, scared, or timid, you’re going to be a mess. Your coordination will be out of sync. Your legs will feel weak and shaky. Your rotation will be off. And your whole body will feel jittery and not grounded. But if instead you decide beforehand to attack the fouettés, your ability to perform this technical challenge can change dramatically. You’ll whip your head around to force the rotation. You’ll ground that supporting heel into the floor with each plié. You’ll feel a fierce strength in your coordination as your whole body commits to the movement. And, you’ll relax into your confidence and feel a calm in your abilities.
Even though I know I can whip out 32 if needed, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve psyched myself out mentally before going into a fouetté sequence, lost the connection with my body, and then failed to execute it. Notice I didn’t say “failed at it” because that implies I did something wrong, which can bring about all kinds of negative repercussions. Rather, I “failed to execute it,” which implies that I had all the right answers, techniques, and abilities…I just didn’t apply them in this situation. All because I let my mental demons get in the way. I freaked out. I held back. And, I didn’t commit.
Think of how often this happens to you. You’ve practiced something, successfully done it before, and you know what you have to do to get it done. Yet, you doubt yourself. Whether it’s worry about not being perfect, concern about being judged, or distraction from comparing yourself to the girls in the room…you lose your focus and your trust. You hold back and don’t put 100% into what you are doing. It’s a self-preservation mechanism, you see, because if you end up “failing,” you can always soothe yourself by saying, “Well, I wasn’t really trying.” But when you think about it, where is that process going to get you?
When you feel yourself getting jittery and disconnected from your body and letting your mental demons take over, sit yourself down and ask yourself “What am I afraid of?” The answers are usually something like falling, humiliation, failing, not being perfect. Then, when you realize that those outcomes aren’t nearly as bad as missing an opportunity to put 100% of yourself into something, you can quiet those demons down and recommit to jumping in. The risk is worth it for the chance for growth and the peak experience of being all-in and fully committed.
Bottom line…just go for it. Commit already. What are you afraid of? Sure, you might fall on your a$$. But fall boldly. Own it.