I had a conversation today with a client who had quit his job to go into private practice and is transforming his business to a different orientation. His objective is to be able to spend full-time in his new hometown, an idyllic location about two hours southwest of Aspen. What’s holding him back from simply doing what he intends to do? When it comes right down to it, it’s the ability to hold himself accountable that stands between my client and an enviable success. (As an aside, I don’t actually hold my clients accountable. Rather, I encourage and guide them towards developing the capacity to hold themselves accountable to their aspirations. If this is something that resonates with you, let’s talk about more than salsa!)
I often find that among my dance students, there is a similar phenomenon. People have aspirations and great intentions about learning to dance, and achieving some goal or milestone. It could be performing or competing at a major festival. Or, it could be something more modest, like being able to go to a club or social venue with the ability to dance with anyone without feeling intimidated. Okay… so maybe that last one isn’t actually so modest for many students. But you get the point, right? Having an intention… a goal… an inspiration… having any of these is great. But all the intention in the world won’t achieve that goal. You need the ability to be accountable to yourself for your success.
Have you been intending to take some refresher lessons all winter, but just couldn’t make the time, and lo and behold, it’s spring already? Were you planning to get out to that Saturday afternoon social, but one thing or another always came up? Or perhaps this was the year that you were going to book the salsa teacher for a few one-on-one private sessions to really brush up some technique that just wasn’t happening in class, but… well… you know…
What’s standing between you and what you want to achieve is… You! My client related the idea that one of the things he dreads is making an initial phone call to a new prospect. His solution is what I call the Nike Approach: Just Do It. He recognizes and acknowledges the dread that is holding him back, and then decides to become completely accountable to himself to actually make the call. At which point, he picks up the phone, dials the number, and… success.
Being accountable to yourself for your own success in dancing means not giving yourself permission to miss the class, avoid the social, or not ask the teacher to book a lesson time. It means looking at yourself in the mirror, and reminding yourself that there is no way that you’re going to let yourself off that hook (yeah, the one on the bathroom door behind you) without actually following through on your commitment to your own self-improvement and achievement.
But, perhaps there is still an unstated, singular fear? My client had that, too: A paradoxical fear that was so ironic and yet created an enormous barrier. More on this next week. In the meantime, let’s hold ourselves accountable to…
See you on the dance floor.