Gain Freedom by Letting Go of External Validation (and Dancing)
For the past 2 years I’ve focused quite heavily on self-development and quite specifically, evolving into a more enlightened mind, because in my life-long mission to constantly improve myself, this was an aspect that was lacking. One of the things I’ve wanted to write about for a while is how much freedom I gained from letting go of external validation.
A lot of people tell themselves that they don’t care what other people think; this is mostly temporary and quite often just a shallow belief that they try to convince themselves of on a regular basis. I’m still on that journey though, and the more I learn, the more I realise how much I don’t know. What I mean when I say that we should let go of external validation, is this: don’t let others define what you do. Don’t let them dictate whether or not you do something, or keep doing something, if you absolutely love doing it. (Unless you’re a psycho that hurts others in some way. Then get some help. I’m not judging, I’m just saying it’s a mental thing that needs to be addressed.)
If no one is noticing what you’re doing, that’s ok. Just keep doing it for you. Or for your mother, your father, your partner, your pets – anyone you want to help that WANTS TO BE HELPED. Soon people will notice. Be consistent. Do quality work. Feed your soul.
If people are noticing and hating, then learn to let go of that noise, especially:
When it comes to your dreams
It’s your dreams and nobody else’s. You own them and they can be as big and crazy as you want them to be! Don’t ever let anyone dismiss your dreams and don’t ever feel stupid about anything you have shared about them. Dreams are sacred and they should be protected. Whatever techniques you need to use to ignore the haters, just do it. Most of those who say you can’t do something aren’t doing anything themselves. It amazes me how most people will project their own fears and insecurities on you and your ideas. Thank them for their input, then be on your merry way.
When it comes to what you create
This is the next step from your dreams – when you manifest them and start the process of bringing them to life. Most of the time, it will take you several, maybe even thousands of tries before you can realise that dream, and that’s ok. It’s all part of the fun. You experiment, you create and re-create and then you improve your methods, your style becomes more distinct, you start to build confidence in your skills and trust in your ideas. Hype yourself and surround yourself with people who will gladly cheer you on. Thank the haters for showing you that you’re on the right path while they stuck in their lives, and keep doing what you doing.
It’s been about 14 months since I’ve started this journey, and it’s been a lot more freeing. I realised that I have this same approach when it comes to dancing, because when I dance, it’s for me, but anyone can watch and observe because I’m happy to share it.
Set yourself free with dancing
I dance to express how music makes me feel, how I physically interpret music; so people’s opinions of the result of that don’t bother me at all. It’s who I am, and I am not ashamed of who I am. I just wanna dance and have fun.I took my first salsa dance class a month ago and ended up straight into the intermediate 2 class. I’ve seen it done, tried it a few times and knew the basic step, but throwing myself in the deep end was fun. Other people told me they would’ve been scared. IT’S A DANCE CLASS FOR GOODNESS SAKE! Have fun with it!
I couldn’t believe how serious everyone was, both during and after class, in the social dancing aspect. I was amazed by how uptight they were, counting steps out loud instead of listening to the beat and feeling the rhythm of the music. I kept messing up the whole time, laughing and giggling at my own mistakes, not being used to following the guy as a lead (hey, as a freestyle hip hop dancer, we usually do our own thing) and trying to find the humour in the older men flirting with me. Most of them laughed with me and smiled patiently, a few ignored me and would curse the fact that we didn’t get the routine right the first time. Whatever.
It’s obvious that a lot of people were there to socialise and meet a potential romantic interest, but how can they do that when they’re so serious and fixated on getting the moves right? I’d love to teach a prep class that teaches people how to loosen up a bit and enjoy themselves, then feel the music, then do the moves. A good attitude, a smile and self-deprecating humour wins me over every time, above technical skills.
The most entertaining people to watch on the dance floor are the ones who look like they’re enjoying themselves the most, even though they probably aren’t the best dancers. You get mesmerised when you see someone just enjoying the music and getting lost in the moment. Which is probably why drugs are so popular. But music is my drug. Dance to express, not to impress.
But don’t be a damn reckless fool
I don’t really think that we can or should even completely free ourselves of what other people think; there are times we need guidance, reassurance and feedback on what we’re doing, how we are as people and so on. The trick is to figure out firstly WHO you should believe for certain topics (don’t listen to a broke man about how to manage your finances or an employee/co-worker about becoming an entrepreneur) and then WHAT to do with the information they give you. I can write a whole other piece on applying feedback to improve yourself, because so many people are blind to what’s being said and shown to them.
Be free, lovers!