Physical ability, technical skill, musicality, poise, all come to mind when thinking of what it takes to become a ballroom dance champion. Commitment, practice, great coaching and self-confidence, also come to mind. All of these are important, but they are all a result of something much more basic.
The one thing that is absolutely essential to becoming a Ballroom Dance Champion is the Unwavering Belief That It Will Happen! A personal belief that:
- The very specific result you want will happen
- You will have or find the support you need to make it happen
- You will be successful in overcoming obstacles
- You will have or can create the opportunities you need
- You will perform exactly the way you need to when opportunities come.
It is much more than believing in yourself.
It is a belief that the specific result will happen, even with and in-spite of obstacles, such as time, partner changes and possibly even injuries. Another very critical point is that it is not just about what you believe in, but how the strength of your belief impacts on your behaviour, and ultimately how other people treat you. In psychology this is called “self-fulfilling prophecy” and it is pretty powerful.
In general life there are several examples:
- A business man may think his partner is going off on his own. He becomes suspicious, controlling and accuses the partner of making side deals. This causes the partner to become irritated, to question whether the partnership will be stable, and to think about the possibility of the very side deals he is being accused of making. The partner also starts to withdraw and talk to others about his concerns about the partnership, and options for his future. The first business gets more suspicious, controlling and difficult, which then causes the partner to go off on his own – exactly what he believed.
- A woman is told that the gentleman she is being introduced has been extremely attracted to her for a long time, is a great person and has a lot in common with her. With this, she looks forward to the introduction and believes that they could have a great connection. When they are introduced, she is happy, relaxed, very focused on him and confident in showing serious interest in him. He had actually been indifferent toward her, but her behaviour makes her unforgettable to him and they easily connect.
You probably also have experiences or seen several other examples of your own…
Now consider the impact on of self-fulfilling prophecy on your dancing:
- One example is of two brothers who start taking an advanced class with a very well respected coach. The first brother happens to practice and perfectly execute a difficult move, prior to the start of the class and gets a lot of public praise from the coach. The second bother, who is equally skilled, happens to fall early on in the class during, while the coach is watching. He gets what he thinks is an angry look from the coach, when the look was actually surprise and concern. The first brother thinks the coach believes he is amazing. The second brother thinks the coach believes he is awkward. From then on, every correction the coach gives the first brother is taken as attention and extra help. Any correction that the second brother gets from the coach is taken as criticism. Over time the responses of the brothers back to the coach are positive from one, and nervous then angry from the other. The coach comes to believe that the first is dedicated and the second is difficult, and with this thought in mind, he/she changes the focus and attention he/she gives to each brother. The first brother gets more coaching time and other opportunities, his confidence grows and he invests more in dancing, and ultimately he has greater success.
Now back to how this can apply to you right now:
- If you truly believe that you will become a champion, would you practice more, like a champion does?
- Would you put extra effort into your presentation and technique, like a champion does?
- Would you show the drive and dedication that attracts the support of coaches, the way champions do?
- Would you see any set-backs as temporary, since you are sure you can overcome them?
- Do you see everything you do as a major effort or sacrifice, or just what it takes?
We all want to win, and we try hard to do our best, but what is your deep down belief on how far you will go? For dancing and life in general, that is major part of where opportunity starts.