I’m gonna level with you. Pole dancing is HARD. Sometimes pole dancing SUCKS! Sometimes I HATE pole dancing. One of those times was this week. I have been exhausted, stressed and feeling weak as f*ck. Pile on top of that the fact that I am training for a competition in March, and I feel woefully under-prepared, and you have a serious case of the pole blues on your hands.
A Confidence Crisis
I know most of the girls I am going to be competing against, and they are mega! These girls are seriously gag worthy! I love watching them dance and perform. And you know what? Despite all of my own good advice, and the coaching I give to other girls, I fell victim to the very sh*t I rally against. I started comparing myself. I started going, ‘well, I’m just not good enough yet…’ and ‘I’m nowhere near where I want to be.’ Honestly, I’m still not out of this pole hole, because I’m still battling this crap talker that is my own mind. However, I am following the techniques that I give in my post on how to stay motivated through pole slumps, and I’m sure I’ll be alive and kicking pretty soon.
My point is, even the most confident of us fall victim to the monster in our heads. The biggest culprit being ‘when-then’ thinking.
What is ‘when-then’ thinking? Well, they are statements where you equate certain aspects of your happiness / confidence / satisfaction with a specific goal or milestone.
Examples of some possible pole related ‘when-then’ thinking could include:
- ‘When I can do a split, then I will feel flexible enough.’
- ‘When I am stronger, then I will be ready to compete.’
- ‘When I’ve been pole dancing for longer, then I will perform.’
- ‘When I can invert, then I will be happy with my progress.’
- ‘When I am better, then I will feel confident.’
The problem with these statements is that the milestones aren’t exactly clear or concrete. In fact, they will undoubtedly move and change the nearer you get to them. You’re finally getting a split and suddenly you realise you don’t feel flexible at all, or you’ve gotten to your 3 year pole anniversary and you still don’t feel experienced enough – sound familiar?
On top of this, the qualifier is often emotional or mental… It is tied to feeling ‘good enough / confident enough / happy enough’, but what even is ‘enough’ when it comes to subjective concepts? I’m telling you, you will probably never feel ‘good enough / confident enough / happy enough’, until you stop tying these emotions to ephemeral goals. You can’t let these statements and ideas dent your self-esteem.
Just do you, boo
I will be competing in March against girls who have been pole dancing longer, performing longer, teaching longer… They will probably be more flexible than me. They will probably be stronger than me. If I waited until I was ‘strong enough, flexible enough, experienced enough’, then I wouldn’t be stepping on that stage for another 2 years. You can’t let ‘when-then’ thinking stop you from doing what you want to do. You can’t allow it to bring you down or ruin your pole mojo. I love performing, and I love to entertain… So, yeah, I don’t have the best tricks or the craziest over-split, but I’ll go on stage and do what I do best – bring the house down!
The next time you find yourself falling into the trap of ‘when-then’ thinking, take a step back and acknowledge what you are doing. Take a moment to examine why you are feeling this way, and to remind yourself of all your progress, your achievements, and successes so far.
I’m not gonna let ‘when-then’ thinking bring me down, and neither should you!