I used to hate dancing.
I remember my first hip hop dance class. If you’re ever looking for a reason to feel bad about yourself, I highly recommend it.
Immediately, the choreography felt impossible to learn. Every step felt awkward and unnatural. As I fumbled through the footwork, I felt like the malfunctioning piece in an otherwise well-oiled machine.
Needless to say, I didn’t go back.
I proved my theory: dancing just wasn’t for me.
A few weeks later, I complained to my friend Gio about this traumatic experience and sought some advice on how to tackle my insecurity around dancing.
Gio, a 35-year-old Wim Hof instructor who climbs snowy mountains in his underwear, told me something I’ll never forget.
“Most people want to try to learn how to do something. But me, I just go out and do it.”
Feeling inspired, I went home that night, popped in my headphones, put on a blindfold, and danced my heart and soul out.
On the outside, it must have looked hilarious and a bit insane.
But on the inside, I was having a blast. For the first time in my life, I actually felt good dancing.
All of a sudden, I found myself waking up in the morning, itching to throw on my headphones and blindfold and start moving my body to the beat.
A few weeks later, I felt so good dancing that I mustered the courage to take off the blindfold.
My cat wasn’t impressed with my moves, but I was enjoying myself too much to care.
Soon after, I became curious about what else was possible.
I found myself watching Youtube videos of incredible dancers doing wizardry with their bodies. They all had their own moves, their own styles, and their own interpretations of the beat. It was incredibly liberating to see and encouraged me to continue my living room dances.
And before I knew it, within a month of talking to Gio, I found myself falling in love with dancing.
Like most people, I used to think I needed to learn how to be a good dancer in order to enjoy dancing.
Now I realize I had it backward.
I needed to learn to enjoy dancing in order to become a good dancer.
If you’re insecure about a skill—be it dancing, singing, or speaking—do yourself a favor and learn to enjoy it first.
Be wary of instructors who focus on teaching you what to do.
Instead, find someone who believes that you already have what it takes.
Find someone who inspires you to build the confidence to actually do the thing you want to be doing.
After all, the whole point of self-expression is not to try to learn how to do it.
It’s to just go out and do it.