So assuming you’re up to speed on the dance career day panel I discussed in part 1, here’s what happened next.
I gave myself a pep talk and allowed the loving words of the supportive people in my life to sink in. So instead of x’ing myself out of the game altogether I got in touch with the Career Day event coordinator, expressed my doubts and put the ball in her court whether to exclude me from the panel.
Here’s an edited version of what I wrote to her:
Before I submit to be a presenter I’m writing to check in to see if my experience is appropriate for what you’re looking for, specifically do you want people who are currently earning using dance or does past experience count? I'm asking because I am not actively earning utilizing my dance experience right now, though I have in the past. I do plan to get back to it though and I'm currently visioning inspirational speaking and dance workshops. Fitness and dance has always been a part of my life. After receiving my AFAA group fitness certification, I wrote about fun dance and fitness activities in L.A. through Examiner.com. I was able to leverage this experience to walk through a door of opportunity by creating and teaching fusion dance fitness classes World Dance Funk and World Dance Boxing. I’ve also appeared in a few dance and fitness workout videos.
Her reply? “Valerie, you would absolutely fit right in.”
How about that? The trolls in my head are my harshest critic. I won’t even say I’m my harshest critic because the real me is a powerful magnetic force that always supports my joy and fulfillment. The harsh criticism comes from somewhere else. Folks have all kinds of names for that voice – inner critic, inner mean girl, gremlin, ego, a**hole, dis-ease. It’s the voice that makes you doubt yourself, makes you want to sob uncontrollably and slit wrists after it speaks. That’s not the real you.
It felt real good to be up there speaking to the students about my path. I don’t have to wait until I’m earning again in my passion before my experience counts as valid. Just because I have an earning job does not mean I don’t get to share where I’m at openly, publicly, honestly and exactly. Who knows? Maybe some time off in the distant or near future one of these kids will be in the same position and they’ll remember my career day talk and say to themselves, “Ohhhh, this is just part of the process. Doesn’t mean I’m any less successful. Doesn’t mean I should give up. I just need to keep moving forward.”
Now it’s your turn. Is there a situation in your life in which the you’re-not-good-enough-to-be-seen voice is rearing its unsupportive head? How can you own the experience you do have instead of fretting over where you wish you were instead? The choice is powerfully yours.