When I was a child my parents one winter decided to take me and my brother ice skating. We went a number of weekends over the season. Now for me, standing on ice skates is one thing, you’re standing still, but moving along the ice is another. As I tried to learn to skate, trying to glide versus take steps, I was resistant to falling.
My mother, in an effort to get to me to more comfortable falling, said I had to fall at least 200 times before I could be a good skater. Nice try, but I still hated to fall. That ice is cold and hard!
Time went on and we continued to go to the rink and I eventually got a bit better, but no Olympic skating in my future.
A side note: I went on in life to marry someone who grew up in Canada playing ice hockey and skating is second nature, go figure…I don’t skate often but I’m still as awkward as he skates circles around me.)
In my past, there are things that I either didn’t do or didn’t do open heartedly for fear that I would feel awkward, look silly or worse yet fail. As the years go on, I have learned that it is ok to try things where the results may not be so pretty. In fact, in this past year I have gone out on a limb in so many areas and in some I succeeded, even if it didn’t look natural or graceful, and boy did that feel good. Others I failed in but in truth I always learned something about the topic or myself. Either way it was a win.
I have also learned to take myself less seriously. Where in the past I may have been very self-conscious of how I would look, I now have learned to laugh at myself. It makes life more freeing.
I sometimes teach a Yoga on the Ball class where we use physio balls (big round balls). In some of the exercises I lead, because we are on a big ball which can sometimes have a mind of its own (ok, really the ball has no mind, we are sometimes unbalanced) you can roll off in not such a graceful way. I always encourage my students to act like a child throughout class, not worrying about what they look like, and how silly it might be. Many people love when I lead this class and I believe that it isn’t only because it’s a great workout, but deep down inside they love being given permission to be silly and awkward.
So wouldn’t it be great if we could give ourselves permission more often to not always be perfect, look poised at what we do and have everything come out beautiful? I encourage you to think about something maybe you have resisted doing, or sharing with others because you were afraid of how it would look. Maybe you want to try skating, or let somebody read something you wrote, or take a Yoga on the Ball class. Whatever it is, enjoy the opportunity to not be perfect and remember to bring you sense of humor and laugh at yourself!
Share with me below something you have done or will do and take a chance even though it may not be perfect.