I know I preach a “don’t give up” philosophy. The #dontgiveup hashtag appears on the majority of my Instagram posts. Perseverance, along with hard work and a bit (or a lot) of luck, has gotten me where I am today.
Fall down seven times, get up eight.
It doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you don’t stop.
I’ve shared all of these meme-worthy quotables and turned them into motivational mantras for myself. They and similar phrases help get me through the tough days, weeks and months. I’ve come this far, I can’t give up now.
Well, over this past week, I realized I have to change my tune a bit. I’ve reached a point where I don’t really have a choice. I have to give up.
It makes me anxious, but it’s for the best.
Don’t freak out. It’s not what you think.
I’m not giving up ballroom.
But I can’t keep going as I am. If I’m going to reach my goals, I have to give up some other things, like the heavy baggage I seem to insist on taking with me.
I have to give up on my fear of failure, along with my fears of rejection, abandonment, looking like a fool, and being found out as a fraud. All of these fears feed into the false idea that I’m just not good enough to be the dancer I dream of becoming.
I have to give up the idea that I don’t belong, whether it’s because of my income, my appearance or my introverted nature. None of these things make me less worthy as a dancer, so I also have to give up the feeling of inferiority.
I also have to give up my fear of success! It may seem contradictory to be carrying around fears of both failure and success. Fear of failure is easier to understand. No one likes to lose. My fear of success stems from the worry that if I do succeed, I won’t live up to the expectations of that success or I’ll ruin it somehow and lose my one shot.
I have to give up the pain from the past. Not all of my fears are unfounded. I’ve been rejected and felt abandoned. I’ve felt like a fool, and I’ve failed a lot more than I’ve succeeded. I survived all of it though and lived to do better on another day.
All of these fears affect my dancing. I find it nearly impossible to just “let go” and dance full out because the consequences could be devastating. But they also could be incredibly beautiful and liberating. Out of every “failure,” I learned something and grew. Each rejection redirected me to something better.
So I’m giving it all up.
I’m also giving up on the expectation that I’ll get this right the first time. It isn’t the first time that I’ve intended to make a huge mindset switch and fell back into old habits. Just like in my dancing, each attempt will make the next one a little more successful.
What about you? Anything you need to give up?