All of a sudden, out of the blue, the entire concept of me being less than or not good enough for anything I want to do strikes me as ridiculous. Where did I gain this concept of being unworthy? Is there some sort of humbleness in diminishing myself?
There is not, but perhaps I have believed that there would be.
I have been thinking all day, off and on, about writing a choreography for my dance class. It is choreograMay for us, and next week I will stand in front of a group of women (fortunately, for this purpose, a group of very loving, supportive women who believe in my power as I believe in theirs) and perform a choreography that I CREATED.
“Oh, I can’t do this,” my brain insists. Despite the fact that I’ve been taking dance classes in this particular style for roughly a decade (I’m not great with timeframes, but it’s close to that). Despite the fact that I’ve seen and danced hundreds of combos – what we call thirty to ninety seconds of a song. Despite the fact that I have learned dozens of choreographies to full songs and danced on stage TWICE. Despite the litany of technical moves, fusion moves, and combination moves that I have in my dance vocabulary, and despite the fact that the only instruction for the piece at all is to express the song I choose through movement AS I FEEL IT (which means there’s no right or wrong at all and no room for true judgment).
Still, there is an inner voice that considers me completely incapable of the task.
I honestly believe that all voices in my brain do have value – even the negative ones – and I can recognize that there is a hidden fear of stepping out in my truth and being unaccepted for it. Being accepted by the tribe was once biologically necessary for survival, and I don’t believe the instinct has dulled much over time. Further, I believe it’s still emotionally necessary. To bring a contradiction to the table (and it won’t be my last), I believe that we are each individually complete as unique beings and also need a source of connection to others to live and thrive.
But still… WHAT?
This fearful voice has managed to turn an exercise that is intended to develop connection and allow me an opportunity to express my own creativity in a space that is overwhelmingly safe in a chaotic world into a task that is not only daunting, but likely impossible. And this is after I’ve already picked the song (which can sometimes take weeks of agonizing and waiting for inspiration to strike).
Sorry, but you’re not allowed to be in charge here, little fearful voice. I recognize you, and your fears are valid and real. But they are also only taking into account one extremely limited viewpoint: that all form of self-expression is likely to result in expulsion from the tribe.
Doesn’t that sound just a little bit dramatic? Perhaps a slight overstatement of the truth?
Today, I’m operating on the belief that it is. In writing, in dance, in work, in all forms of creativity, I am choosing to believe that making myself small or indistinguishable is not a useful practice.