Amusing side note before I begin: I opened up a blank blog post to begin writing and then just stared at the screen for a few minutes while I thought about how I wanted to start. I started writing things out in my head instead of on the computer screen, but by the time I thought, “oh shoot, I should actually be writing this,” I forgot what I wrote.
That’s what happens when I try writing while I’m still drinking my first cup of tea in the morning.
Embassy Ball is next week!
It doesn’t feel like it’s next week. It feels like it should still be at least a couple weeks away. But no. It’s definitely next week.
I mentioned last time that last week was rough. The demons were delivering a good ‘ol mental smackdown and my regular lessons during the week were rescheduled to a double on Saturday. Saturday’s lesson helped lift me out of the fog a bit. Then on Monday, a friend convinced me to join her at a free rhythm/latin workshop. Can’t go wrong with free! My Cuban motion definitely felt rusty, but it was still fun and informative. I felt better enough to stay after and complete my assigned practice.
I think sticking with the 5-day Brand Story Challenge helped me survive the mental smackdown too. After it ended, I was surprised to have new creative ideas popping up in my head. It’s exciting to feel inspired after a week of darkness! In case you missed it, I thought I’d share what I did each day of the challenge.
Basically, the Brand Story Challenge was a great exercise for me to dive deeper into what the Girl with the Tree Tattoo represents and how I can best share that with the world. It was run by Jennifer Kem, a branding coach who helps people “get seen, get heard and get paid.” I’ve been following her and taking her webinars, courses and challenges for about a year now. I love how she gets me to think more deeply and in more detail about what I’m doing with this brand I’ve created. Then she provides the steps to put my ideas into action, even if I don’t feel like I’m ready to take those steps yet (entrepreneurship is scary!). This latest challenge is a perfect example. Each day, we were given a prompt and expected to journal about it and then share our answers with the group enrolled in the challenge, as well as publicly on our social media.
For Day 1, we were asked to explore the basic but possibly difficult question: why do we do what we do? Here is what I boiled my purpose or “why” down to:
My why is to enable others to overcome fears, doubts and other struggles so they can become more confident and joyful ballroom dancers, and people in general.
Day 2 of the Brand Story Challenge was all about thinking back to when I first decided to create the Girl with the Tree Tattoo brand and what triggered that decision. Often, these catalyst moments are dark, but then they lead to phoenix-like actions that help you rise from the darkness into the light.
Upon reflecting on how I got to where I am today, I’m happy to declare that I didn’t let self-doubt get in the way of me rising to my dreams. A past relationship left me feeling not good enough and unworthy of the joy I got from pursuing my passions. But look at me now! The demons still try to take me down, but I always rise back up.
Day 3 was spent thinking all about YOU, my audience! I’ve gotten to know many of you through the emails you’ve sent me, our interaction on social media, or even meeting in person! We might be different ages or come from different backgrounds, but we all LOVE ballroom and are grateful it came into our lives.
But that got me thinking. How did it come into your life? Where is it taking you?
Think about it and when you get to the end of the post, leave a comment about how you first arrived to the ballroom world and where you want to go next!
Day 4 of the Brand Story Challenge helped me reach a little lightbulb moment! The topic was super powers, as in what we’re best at. What do we rock at that helps the people we serve?
Thinking of myself as having a super power seemed absurd. I’m a pretty good writer and dancer. I have this cool back tattoo. But I’m not “super.”
Then it dawned on me – that wasn’t me talking. It was the demons, like my depression, anxiety and self-doubt, singing their old tunes. They’re constantly swirling around me, especially when I’m attempting to do something great. Like a flock of noisy crows.
A lightbulb clicked on. I do have a super power!
My super power is taking those demons and turning them into TOOLS of inspiration and motivation for YOU (just like I’m attempting to do now). Whether it’s in my blog or in my Dance Diaries series, I aim to shine a light on those demons and tell you how you can get past your own.
Putting this super power into these words helped me regain a little control over the demons that were harassing me last week, and that’s when inklings of those new ideas started to form!
Day 5 had me looking back at reviews of the first Dance Diaries book, Learning Ballroom Dance: What I Wish I Had Known, to see the real results of people reading my book. Wow! I was humbled and grateful all over again, and at the same time, couldn’t be prouder that my writing has helped others. Here are a few I selected to share on social media:
I don’t mind telling you that publishing another book before the end of the year is one of the ideas that poked its head up. Can I do it?
I think I need to keep building this momentum that the Brand Story Challenge started. Next up is Jen Kem’s Grow Your Tribe Challenge. It’s a little crazy for me to do since it’s held this coming week, as in the week of Embassy Ball, BUT I think it’ll be an excellent place to direct my nervous energy! Not that I’m getting nervous…
Distraction has always been a good defense against the demons. If I’m going to keep myself distracted, it may as well be with something positive and productive. So I signed up for another challenge.
If anyone’s working on building their own business or side hustling like me to pay for dance, I would check this challenge out. It’s FREE and I guarantee you’ll learn something if you put in the work.
The Grow Your Tribe Challenge starts on Friday. Check it out and let me know if you’re coming!
Along with this challenge, I signed up to do a couple practice rounds on Saturday. It’s more money that I don’t really have, but if I keep working on these new ideas, new income will be coming my way! Besides, compared to what I’m paying to compete at Embassy, the cost of a couple practice rounds is nothing.
Don’t forget to comment below. How did you first arrive to the ballroom world and where do you want to go next?