Friday, June 01, 2007

Ready, Set, Fail!

Andrew read a passage to me from Seth Godin's new book The Dip last night before bed. We got to talking about taking risks and being great at what you do. What I've discovered for myself is that you have to be willing to fail in order to grow.

Let me give you an example. My older sister doesn't have strippy classes in her area so she told me she was going to take belly dancing. They had belly dance classes at the studio I already frequented for pole and Pilates, so I decided I'd give the classes a try myself. I'd always had an interest in belly dancing. In the first class, I looked like a five year-old because I was so uncoordinated with the movements. I looked stupid and unskilled. People don't willingly offer themselves up to look stupid and unskilled in front of others. I could've left and never returned. I didn't. Instead, I pushed through months of looking stupid and actually improved while I did it. I danced at Dar Maghreb in December, then looked stupid some more before dancing at Dar Maghreb in May. If I wasn't willing to fail, I would never have had those performance opportunities.

Other people have taken a belly dance class or two at the studio while I've been there over the past year. Most of them come and go, and it seems they're not willing to fail. I believe you have to be willing to go through the awkward stages of anything to get better. It's like puberty for your goals and skills. You don't try to fail but it happens along the way so you can really win.

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