DMF is on a mission to bring joy, happiness and courage to NYC and beyond. Courage you say? Yes, Courage! It is always my goal when teaching DMF to help clients shed physical insecurities and truly enjoy how freeing it is to just dance and let lose to awesome music. But stripping away self-consciousness takes courage, especially since we live in a society that has unfortunately conditioned us to be so worried about what others think of us. Many of us live in fear of embarrassment and/or judgment from others. Or even more to the core of it—judgment of ourselves. I hear all the time, “but I’m not a dancer” or “I’m so uncoordinated I could never do DMF.” What it often boils down to is that we are afraid to try things that we aren’t “perfect” at. We feel insufficient or like a fool just because we are not “mastering something,” rather than just giving in to the fact that it’s OK to be silly and do something simply because it is FUN. Dr. Brene Brown has an awesome quote about perfectionism: “Perfectionism is a twenty-ton shield that we lug around thinking it will protect us when, in fact, it’s the thing that’s really preventing us from taking flight.” So true.
I’ve struggled with perfectionism and fear of embarrassment my whole life. While I had the courage to be myself around those in my close circle of friends and family, I often didn’t express this to the world outside my comfort zone. I was afraid. Afraid of judgment and afraid people would think I was crazy. Afraid of not being “cool.” And later in life, I stayed in an unhappy marriage much longer than I should have for fear of what others would think of a 29-year-old divorcee and the intense fear of starting life over.
Several years ago, I went on a mission to “figure life out.” I studied happiness, I immersed myself in books, lectures and things I found challenging and inspiring. I became more diligent about be grateful for the little things and the people in my life. I stopped trying to be perfect. Throughout this quest, I started being more of me in EVERY moment, living with more love, living and teaching with silliness, optimism, positivity and my crazy passion for serving others and making others feel good. As I started living with more courage and truly being myself, I felt more free and HAPPY. I stopped worrying about what others thought of me, and focused more on what I thought of me—am I living with integrity, with purpose, with gratitude, with love? This is what I want for my clients.
As a started really studying happiness, I found that the happiest people aren’t afraid to try new things, they aren’t afraid to get silly, crazy and they aren’t so worried and terrified about being perfect. This leads me to one of my biggest goals with DMF—helping people feel happy in their bodies and in their lives NOW by letting loose, embracing silliness, and not worrying so much about what others think. Who cares if you look “crazy” as long as you are having fun!
I encourage you this month to have the courage to let go of fear of what others think of you (and what YOU think of you) and start doing things and trying things that get you out of your comfort zone and bring you joy. Let go of perfectionism and have the courage to be your awesome self, imperfections included. Stop worrying and judging and start living.