How do you know if you’re “ready”? It’s less than two weeks until I’m on a plane to New Orleans, and this question has been dancing around my brain. Sounds strange, right? Millennium will be my fourth competition of the year, and I’m wondering how you know if you’re ready.
Ready for what exactly? In this case, the question is focused around my intention to compete in Standard, along with Smooth. Once again, Teacher and I have spent a very limited amount of time working on this second style leading up to our competition. It’s not easy training in two styles when you only have two lessons max per week. I’ve been working on it in my solo practice, but you naturally reach a point when you need your dance partner.
It’s been interesting because Teacher and I are coming at this conundrum from different angles. With my #doitscared mantra, I’m of the attitude that we say yes to it and then work to make it happen. Teacher is of the attitude that we see if we can make it happen before we say yes. The different views can make it feel like my ambitions aren’t being supported or he doesn’t believe I can do what I’ve set out to do, even with his help.
I know better than to question Teacher’s belief in me. There have been plenty of times when I didn’t believe in myself and he still believed in me. I guess I’m getting a taste of what he deals with when I’m casting doubt on what he’s confident we can do. It kinda feels like if I want us to push forward, I have to carry a bit more of the weight in the partnership, at least for a little while. It’s eye-opening to think that our dance teachers have to do this constantly for us. Granted, they’re the professionals and they’re getting paid, so in that respect, you could argue that they should be carrying a greater share. But if there are any teachers out there who, like me, deal with their own large share of internal doubt, kudos to you for also taking on your students’ doubts.
Teacher’s main concern that he’s voiced is he doesn’t want me to spend all this money and feel unprepared and stressed out like I did at Ballroom Beach Bash. I truly appreciate how he works to get me the greatest value out of my hard-earned dollars and cents. He doesn’t want to see me waste it, even if it means he gets paid less.
So that brings up the question – at what point will I be “ready” so that I don’t waste my hard-earned cash?
The demons have gotten a little noisy because “ready” feels like “good enough” and I have a bad history with that phrase. Teacher and I agreed to assess our Standard preparations this week, and make a final decision as to whether we’ll compete in both styles or drop out of Standard at Millennium. I’ve been mentally coaching myself that if Teacher is of the opinion that we’re not “ready,” it does not mean that I’m not “good enough.” It just means he thinks we need more time to provide me with the best experience possible.
How much time is required though? Are we ever completely ready? I’ve been competing in Smooth for four years now, and there is always more that needs improvement. But that hasn’t stopped us from competing. Did I waste my money because my dancing wasn’t near perfect yet?
There is something to be said for feeling prepared. It’s good to give yourself enough time to train and practice, so that you feel confident in what you can do, even when you know it’s not perfect. I did not feel totally prepared competing in Standard at Beach Bash. I did the best I could though, given my circumstances. Going through that experience has actually given me more confidence, because I found out what I was capable of even when I wasn’t fully prepared. If I could do that well unprepared, imagine how much better I’ll be this next time after I’ve had more time to practice!
Speaking of which, I should do just that. I woke up with another headache this morning, so I didn’t get to the studio for my usual Sunday morning solo practice. Luckily, I know how to get my practice in at home.
Have you ever been ready to go all in on something that your teacher pumped the brakes on? How did you feel? Please share!