Monday, April 1, 2019

Salsa and a Side of Self Doubt

I would venture to say that almost every single person on the planet has experienced self doubt at one time in their life, even the most outwardly confident people have felt this way. There are a lot of reasons why self doubt could be introduced in someone's life. Perhaps they are feeling a little insecure. Maybe someone said something negative that resonated with them and cascaded into other negative thoughts. It is quite possible that a bad experience impacted the way someone thinks about themselves. It is 100% likely that the overwhelming use, co-dependency and prevalence of social media plays an impact one way or another on the way someone feels about themselves. Extensive studies through the years show that there is a positive correlation between social media usage and one's self esteem. To put it simply, the more you engage in social media, the larger the chance that you will have lower self esteem. Now, it is not all gloom and doom. Everything in moderation is OK. 

What does this have to do with Zumba you ask? Zumba is a platform where instructors teach, perform, inspire, lead and motivate. Despite what it may look like, it can be difficult for some instructors to salsa away the self doubt. It takes a lot of courage and a bucket of thick skin to survive and thrive in the fitness industry. For the most part, I would say most instructors are confident a majority of the time, especially when the music starts. However, there is a small percentage of time where self doubt can eat away at your happiness. 

Here are some helpful hints to help you "salsa AWAY the self doubt".  
Scenario 1: A participant leaves in the middle of class. 
  • The normal reaction is "They do not like my class".
  • Reality is, "The participant had to go to the bathroom, they are tired, they have to pick up their child, they took two classes before class and are ready to go, They have an appointment or plans".
How to troubleshoot: Announce at the beginning of every class, "Take it at your own pace, have fun, and if you need to leave early, give me a thumbs up so I know you are OK".

Scenario 2: Someone said "blah blah blah" about you.
  • The normal reaction is "I can't believe ___ was talking about me, I am always so nice to him/her."
  • Reality is, "That person truly doesn't know you and has no business talking about you, especially to other people. Maybe they don't like you, but who knows, what other people think about is not your business. 
How to troubleshoot: Absorb the information. Think about it. Deal with it, and let it go, OR if you have the time, energy or interest, reach out to them. Make a personal connection and break down the barriers. 

Scenario 3: There are a ton of events in the area, and you are never asked to participate. 
  • The normal reaction is "You feel left out and beat down".
  • Reality is, "You probably weren't intentionally left out, chances are the organizer just wasn't thinking about you and your skill-set.
How to troubleshoot: Go to the events! Make connections and get to know people. Become a part of the fitness community and let people learn who you are as opposed to "hearing" what other people say. If you don't feel comfortable reaching out in that way, initiate your own fitness event and reach out to unexpected people to include and engage them. Either way, you are making connections and bridging gaps. 

As a fitness professional, I know there are about six zillion other scenarios and reasons why self doubt could creep into your mind. I also know the above recommendations don't always help. If you skipped to the bottom of this article and didn't read anything else, here is what you need to know;
  1. Some fellow instructors won't like you. They won't appreciate your flare, your style, your passion and THAT IS OK. You are NOT everyone's cup of tea. So you get out there and be a steaming cup of coffee.
  2.  Some participants will try out your class, and it won't be a good fit. THAT IS OK. Some people like bbq chips, some people like plain, or sour cream and chives. Every chip is different. Be your own flavor of awesome. 
  3. You will have good days and bad days, good classes, bad classes, amazing classes and awful classes. THAT IS OK. As long as your good and amazing classes outweigh the bad, you are in good shape. Always continue to reflect on where you stand today. Commit to self-improvement. Always continue learning, and be your best self.
Always remember why you started your fitness journey. Hold your accomplishments close to your heart. Celebrate your successes, learn from your failures and always, always, always be authentically YOU. BE YOURSELF. When you are authentic, you can't go wrong. Follow your path. You do YOU, and keep your chin up and keep going. 

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