It happens to all of us eventually. You’re chugging along, working towards your dreams and life offers you an opportunity to do exactly what you were hoping for: Try out a really difficult trick, expand your skills at an advanced workshop, perform for an audience. At first, you’re excited, practically breathless with anticipation, but then you feel something swirling deep in your belly. The feeling intensifies, it’s painful, gurgling, unhappy. Your heartbeat picks up and you feel fearful for no recognizable reason. You want to run away from your pole and hide. You might even start to cry.
Suddenly you consider the possibility that you could actually suck at this.
Insecurity has come a’calling and she’s being a Bitch!
So you try to fight it off. You stand up taller, stick out your chest, and tell yourself you’re not weak. You tell yourself that you’re not pitiful. You shout at yourself that YOU! MUST! DO! THIS! But the feeling is still there, cowering in a corner, hugging itself, biting it’s lip to keep from crying. Mine even makes a meeping sound. Meep. Meep.
You attempt to trudge forward, but the Meep keeps raising it’s sad little head at all the wrong times. That exciting new invert you just barely got yesterday – Meep? A burlesque performance – Meep. Meep. A pole competition – Meep! You find yourself procrastinating, avoiding that awesome opportunity, deciding it’s not worth the pain and suffering. And then, the opportunity is just gone.
But that annoying Meep? It’s STILL crying in the corner. (Please note that the Meep is different from the NGE Monster. The NGE Monster is mean whereas the Meep is usually frightened and sad)
What can you do? What does anybody do when insecurity shows it’s sad, goofy face? Ignore it? Bluster though it? Yell and scream at it? Kick it into submission? — No.
The Cure For Insecurity is NOT Anger
Pushing through the insecurity, fighting it before acknowledging it, will only drive it deeper into your subconscious. That’s why it keeps coming back; meeping and meeping when you really need to be focusing on the task of working towards your awesome, awesome goals. (I know they are awesome, because they are yours!)
Many people push their fears so far aside that they can’t even remember why they are freaking out, even though they are freaking out ALL THE TIME. They are living in a fog. And it’s really damn hard to decide which direction to climb if you can’t figure out where you’re starting from. That’s how people fall off of mountains and poles.
However, once you accept that you are feeling insecure and fearful, you have actually stepped into reality. Now you can deal with that 15 foot tall obstacle of shiny metal, and the present moment, from a place of clarity and honesty. This is where you are [upside down on a pole]. This is what you’re feeling [my arms are shaky because I forgot where to put my hands]. This hurdle [pole trick / performance / dance troupe interview] is an opportunity for you to learn something seriously cool about yourself and really shine. Let’s deal with this.
Hug Your Meep!
The first thing I do when my Meep pops up (once I get past the crying fit) is to really notice it. I take a soft deep breath and pay attention to how my body is reacting to this moment.
- Are my legs tight or wobbly?
- Is my breath shallow or fast?
- Are my hands clenched or shaking?
I check in with my body and breathe into every sensation. I don’t let it overwhelm me, but I give myself the time to figure out what they hell I’m feeling insecure about, instead of labeling my feelings as stupid, or weak, and shoving them aside. (This is called the internal witness in meditation and yoga)
Then, (and this is the weird bit) I offer some compassion to my sweet Meep.
Feeling insecure doesn’t have to be your enemy.
If you take your Meep, offer it a glass of chardonnay, and give it big, loving squeeze, you’ll realize that it just needed some reassurance. Your Meep just needed you to recognize that you are growing beyond your boundaries (which is scary AND exciting). You’re learning something new, becoming stronger, becoming wiser, feeling sexy, feeling liberated, and tapping into your deeper self. Whether that deeper self is a Sexy Minx, sweet Miss Mary, or ass kicking Rocker Chic is up to you and your Meep.
I know it can be difficult to turn an annoying Meep into your new BFF and coo sweet things at it. Sometimes they won’t stop crying. So, I usually think of my Meep as a heart shaped puff ball of fur with small doe eyes and a huge smile. Then, I shout “Meep! Meep!” (yes, really) All of which makes me smile and laugh at my own playful audacity. Simply imagining my Meep like this makes me want to pet it until everybody feels better and we can all Get On With The HOT HOT Pole Dancing!
Acknowledge! Clarity! Action!
So the next time you feel insecure, look for your Meep, share a cocktail, a laugh, and a hug (acknowledge!). Use clues from your body to figure out what is really going on (clarity!) and decide how you’re going step over those hurdles (action!). Then get ready to fucking shine and kick some serious pole dance ass.