Say goodbye to your current comfort zone and your current self-esteem level

Last night I went to my first milonga (social dance in Buenos Aires where you dance tango). I’have been dancing tango for 3 years but this was my first milonga in the capital of tango. I was scared to get on the floor! I was glued to the chair taking videos, pictures, chatting but all I had in my mind was desire to dance. But I couldn’t. I was afraid that my skill level is not adequate. I was imagining people looking at me and thinking: This guy is ridiculous, he can’t move. And I’ve been dancing this dance for 3 years!

A new place and  very good tango dancers, or maybe it was my mind, or combination of two. I don’t know.

Finally a girl asked me to dance and I went. It turned out fine. Not perfect, but OK as far as I’m concerned. I danced 2 songs and went back and sat for the rest of the night.

And that situation has got me thinking. Is it, what happened to me at the milonga a metafor for how I run my life in general? Why was I so afraid to dance? Why do I act well in familiar setting and why am I totally frightened in a new territory?

We live in our cozy world of familiarity and steadiness. It is so comfortable in our little zones, that we have long forgotten the Amazing Art of Adventure. I want to say loud, so everybody can hear me: We are afraid.

We are afraid of our own imaginations. We are afraid of “what will people think”. We are afraid of being criticized and judged.

But what is the price we pay?

The price is our life.

We need to say goodbye to our comfort zones, to our self-esteem levels etc. We need to say hi to ADVENTURE!

We need to do what we fear. We need to do unfamiliar. We need to take risks.

It’s not easy. It is the most difficult thing to do. But it is possible.

And I will do everything I can to expand my world. I promise that to myself.

Derek Potocki

PS: At my next milonga in Buenos Aires I will ask a girl to dance;)

(Tango photo from zabara_tango of Flickr with Attribution License)

2 Comments on Say goodbye to your current comfort zone and your current self-esteem level

  1. Hi Derek, Interesting post. We’re all paralyzed by the unknown. And often paralyzed by what we perceive or decide is known. i.e. I know I can’t dance as well as those other people . . . so I better stay seated and watch. I find two quotes that come to mind on almost a daily basis that you might enjoy, if you haven’t already heard them. The first is by T.S. Eliot (paraphrased): “Man cannot bear too much reality.” This really seems to explain a lot about human nature and is right on the money. For me it is the single best explanation why people have a need for religion. The other quote (author unknown) is “The easiest thing to do . . . is to do nothing.” There is no question that I have spent far too much time doing that!

    • Hi John,
      Thanks for your comment. By the way. Do you know that only 10% of people who read blogs, leave comments. Most are terrified to do so. Kind of confirms my post. We are creatures of fear, no matter how badly we want to deny it. Say hi to Carolyn. Your Facebook pic is the best!:)

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