Own It

Own It

Myself and Wes Chapman at the American Ballet Theater summer workshop that changed my dancing for the better.

Have you ever felt like an imposter? Have you ever felt like the life you were projecting on the outside was a sham? Like you did not have the skills you were perceived to have? I think we have all been there before. I think a lot of people feel this way needlessly because they lack the confidence that they should own.

I have felt like an imposter many times in my life. I felt like I was not good enough and I did not have enough skills to do what I was doing with my life. This stems from a life of competition and basically being put down by teachers as a teen. The problem is that I was good enough. I did have awesome skills and I should have owned that.

I felt like I lacked skills as a dancer for a long time. I did not know how to see past the mind games some of the teachers played. I did not know how rise above the level I was stuck in with some kids that were younger than me. I knew I was better than that but I let most of my teachers intimidate that confidence out of me the second they walked in the room. I was always working hard because all I wanted out of life was to dance all day everyday and be good at it. I read books about ballet and researched all the steps. When I felt like I was never going to be moved up out of that level that was too low for me, I decided I had to work as hard as I could to move up. I had a notebook I kept in my ballet bag that I would write all the corrections I was given in class so I would remember them. I worked hard everyday in class and practiced things outside of class so I would get stronger. I wanted my hard work to be recognized it was a few months later. I finally got moved up to the next level and felt like I was challenged more. I had more hard work to do but I felt like I had moved beyond what had become easy for me.

There was a small confidence boost after I was moved up a level at ballet. This confidence did not last long. There was no end to the fight. There was just a different group of people in class around me to compete with. No matter how hard I worked it took the next few years for me to see beyond the hate and put downs of some of my teachers to realize the truth. I went to a summer workshop with American Ballet Theater and the teachers did nothing but build me up. They gave me helpful corrections, they gave me praise when I earned it and the literally applauded my efforts. I was a good dancer. But I could not see it until a few great teachers, Wes Chapman and Roger Van Fleteren, showed me that. They were so surprised that I thought I was a terrible dancer. Once I started to own that and be confident about it, my dancing became even better. 

I went back to ballet at home with a different attitude. I knew that I was good and I was not going to let the teachers that ignored me take that away from me. I would continue to teach myself, learn from their corrections for my self and from others and be the best dancer I could be. I was not an imposter. I was a strong confident dancer. 

I have been through this cycle with other things in life but like concentric circles each time it becomes shorter. Each time I remember faster that I am worthy and I can do it if I own it. 

I think there was really only one time in my life that I ever was an actual imposter. That was when I was working in an office. I was good at it. I could do what needed to be done and do it well. But that was not who I was. I was not meant to be chained to a desk. I was not meant to be a slave to a job I hated. The sooner I owned that the faster I was on the path to become who I was meant to be.

Is there a part of your life where you are lacking confidence? How can you turn that around and own it? Let me know you thoughts in the comments! 



Never had any trouble owning it at birthday parties.