7 Things I Learned from Competing in “Dancing with the Stars”

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Congratulations to Sojourn Partner’s Heather Ramsey for winning this year’s “Dancing with the Stars” competition to support the Manchester Community Music School.  When asked what she learned from this experience, this is what she had to say:

1.  It’s Not As Easy As It Looks: Many of you have watched the show and heard how people say how hard it is, but dancing with someone to a choreographed dance in front of 300 people – Is HARD! It was a good reminder to me that hard is defined by each individual person. For me, speaking in front of hundreds or having every day be different is fun but for many of my clients it is incredibly challenging. It was good for me to be confronted with such a huge challenge.  From this experience, my empathy and coaching tool set was enhanced in a powerful way.  Now I can better help others through the scary, cliff jumping challenges they will and should face in their world.

2. Saboteurs Don’t Die – But They Do Lie: I thought that I would be so confident and excited about dancing. One week before the event I went into a tumble of self doubt. Every mean girl voice that could says something was screaming in my ear “Who are you to be out there?” “You’ll probably fall and look like a fool!” “You are too big and old to be out there dancing.” Thank goodness for my coaching tools & fellow coaches!

3.  Let Go: There comes a time when you just have to give into the fact that this is happening. No you cannot stage an injury or kidnapping – you are moving forward with this. At some point, I just let go of my fear and stepped into being in this moment. I wasn’t going to be the best dancer ever; however, I was going to bring spunk and life to the room. Once I began coming from that place, I gave off this energy that just came from inside which was unstoppable.

4.  Look at the Whole Picture: I was all in for the whole practice, for fundraising, for connecting with the school and the band students for the overall mission of what we were supporting and why we were working hard to fill the room.  Even though I was embarrassed and nervous, I committed and wanted to follow through on my commitment fully not just the dancing part but the fundraising and friend-raising part as well.

5.  Own It: I had to get out there and just believe with every molecule of my body that I was a dancer – I am not a dancer but I had to find the confidence from within myself to believe for just 2 minutes of time – I was one. Even if I messed up many of my moves – I worked hard to keep my energy, body language especially my facial expressions from showing it.

6.  Support is There: I am overwhelmed with the number of people that came to support me in my most vulnerable moment. All I could feel was love and appreciation from those that I adore. It didn’t matter what happened on the floor, it was the fact that I got out there and that’s all that counted. Before, during and after the event, the outpouring of encouragement and acknowledgment has been amazing.

7.  Again, Again! No I will not be doing the Dancing with the Stars again but I do need to put myself out there more often. I have been playing it too safe and I forgot how good it feels to be stretching myself.  This week I am already considering what is next for me and you can bet I will be starting to work towards it.

This week consider what it is for you to Dance with the Stars – what would get you out of your comfort zone and help you come alive?

About Sojourn

Sojourn Partners is a results-driven executive leadership coaching firm that empowers the professional workforce to think differently in order to realize the full return on investment in themselves and their companies. Professional leadership thinking and intervention, based on years of research and experience, place Sojourn Partners at the forefront in executive leadership coaching, organizational development, strategic planning and culture and climate change.


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