On when it gets tough

In an ideal world, this post would be a short one that said

You are worthwhile, deal with it.

But we as humans are far more complex than that.

We think. We analyse. We worry. We convince ourselves we are small, nothing, not noteworthy because we don’t have the amazing ideas that we hear others sharing. We aren’t saving babies or endangered animals. So obviously we aren’t important.


We are all afflicted by the same problem. We think we are less than we are. The difference between you and that person who stood up and told the world about their amazing idea (which they weren’t sure was all that brilliant) was that they were willing to give themselves a break and give it a try. They backed themselves, took a chance that someone would tell them they were wrong in a way they hadn’t thought of.

So what does this have to do with you, me and dancing?


When we are learning to dance we hit stumbling blocks. Things we can’t do (properly or at all). We get frustrated with ourselves, the teacher, the dance, the universe. What we do next is what sets those who succeed apart from everyone else.


Grab a mirror, look yourself in the eye and repeat after me. “It’s ok that I can’t do this today.” Take a deep breath. Now make yourself the promise to keep trying and get back into it.

Sometimes the ah-ha moment will come as soon as you have been kind and given yourself a moment to regroup. Sometimes it comes in 12months later. But by being kind to yourself and giving yourself permission to fail, you also give yourself permission to grow.

I’ve not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.

Thomas A. Edison

I’ve had this called learning how to “struggle properly”.

You don’t need to get something perfect the first time you attempt it. Not even the second. Nor the third. Even with a lifetime of study you may never be perfect and that’s ok.

The path of learning isn’t about perfection. It’s about flailing due to too much information, it’s about needing to do research as you have too little.

It’s about trying and failing, picking yourself back up and trying again. Every step is a step. Every piece of knowledge is useful. Learn everything you can. And most importantly, remember failing is ok, because even if you can’t today, you might succeed tomorrow.