I’ve never liked dancing in public. As a former drummer in my high school band, I can keep a beat; I just never learned how to dance. Although I’m not in many situations where dancing is an option, I always decline invitations letting people know that I don’t dance.
I was at a wedding last weekend enjoying the music and watching others out on the dance floor when my aunt Jean stood up, reached out her hand, and said, “Let’s dance!”. I smiled and politely told her that I don’t dance, but I’d enjoy watching. She ignored me and repeated with a giant smile, “Come on…let’s dance!” I couldn’t refuse the positive energy exuding from Jean. I let her drag me to the dance floor and grabbed Josie, a 20-year-old family member who also avoids dancing. I pulled Josie behind me as Jean and I made our way to the dance floor. I figured there was safety in numbers.
I made it through the song, clapped, and waited a beat for Jean to lead the way back to the safety of my seat. She didn’t do that, and before I knew it, the next song started, and my son enthusiastically joined our group, turning us into a foursome on the dance floor. Three more songs and lots of laughs later, we made our way back to our seats.
After the wedding, I found myself thinking of how many years I deprived myself of a great time because I was self-conscious about not knowing how to dance. I started thinking about other things I may have missed out on to play it safe. After not only surviving but thoroughly enjoying my four songs on the dance floor, I am determined to say “yes” the next time I have an opportunity to do something that makes me uncomfortable.
I share this with you because I can’t be the only one who has been in this type of situation. What have you missed out on because you made a safe choice rather than taking a risk? Maybe you didn’t go after a promotion because you weren’t sure you were ready. Maybe call reluctance kept you from calling the big prospect. Or maybe you didn’t share your idea because you hate presenting. There are endless situations in which we choose comfort over risk.
I challenge you, as I am challenging myself, to go for it the next time you are in one of these situations. Push through the discomfort and dance!