Pressure.

I am very excited about Elevated Art.  Very excited.  I’m also honored to get to be a part of the show.  But I’m starting to feel like I don’t measure up.  This is an internal feeling; no one is telling me this, or saying it to me.  In fact, I have received so much encouragement from friends, family, and the Pole community, that if I could go onstage with their love and belief in me alone, I would do fine.

But there’s a perfectionist in me that isn’t always kind.  Sure, she motivates me to achieve things in my life and to go as far as I possibly can.  But she expects an awful lot in return.  When I watch film of myself dancing, I don’t always see the pretty floorwork, tricks, or transitions.  My entire performance is instead concentrated down to those moments during which not everything went as planned.  My inner thoughts and dialog wait for those imperfect moments.  And I’m always surprised when others don’t remember, see, or notice them.

That perfectionist inside is already psyching me out for my EA performance.  I don’t have everything nailed down yet for my piece; there are still some transitions that need tinkering, and — frankly — some downright “blank” spots where nothing I’ve tried seems to work.  I was panicking last week, but now I’m just scared.

If I could fast forward to immediately following my performance, I know it will be good.  I think I’ll be happy with it, and I’m sure others will tell me it was fun to watch.  This is the logical part of my brain at work.

That illogical perfectionist keeps looking at the other performers’ bios and the guest list on Facebook, and she keeps FREAKING THE FUCK OUT.  Here’s that internal dialogue as I scrolled through the guest list this morning:

“Shit.  Everyone from VF is coming.  Lots of pressure there.  Well, I can count on them for cheers, so that’s good.  Oh yeah…Natasha Wang is guest performing.  I really don’t want to flash any boob with Natasha Wang watching.  I’d better test my costume out some more.  Kerry Twirl Girl is coming.  If I could dance like anybody, it would be her….jesus, I don’t want her to watch me!  What if I bastardize her style?!?!  Oh crap…Holly Honey Miley is coming.  She’s a goddess.  Oh my god, I am going to SUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

No matter what I'm doing or achieving on the Pole, lately this is how I picture myself.  All the time.

No matter what I’m doing or achieving on the Pole, lately this is how I picture myself. All the time.

So far, this perfectionist, negative thinking has not won out, so rest assured: this isn’t a whining, pittiful, feel sorry for me post.  But I’ve never been in a show like this.  I’ve never performed next to the likes of Natasha Wang.  It’s all very new, and it’s all very scary.  I have absolutely NO frame of reference as to what is “prepared enough”, so I’ll always feel under-prepared.

Does anyone out there have tips as to how I can snap out of it?  Not looking for compliments, here…I’m looking for ideas like the old favorite, “picture them all in their underwear”!  How do I get my confidence back?!

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