I’m not a good dancer. Whenever I start dancing it reminds me of what would happen if you put shoes on Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer from the Rankin and Bass animated 70’s film. Do you remember how clumsy Rudolph is? He awkwardly runs and falls all over the place. There is a specific scene where he charges across the ice, only to slip on all 4 legs and spin himself into a dizzy mess.
I’m quite grateful I only have 2 legs to do that. I can’t imagine what 4 legs would feel like. I tend to do the same thing, except there is no ice.
So like I said, I’m not a good dancer, and as result I’m afraid to do it. But deep down…I desperately want to dance. I often times find myself dancing in my apartment to whatever I’ve added to my Spotify playlist, whether it be Eric Church, Kanye West, or Fifth Harmony. I find myself spinning in my apartment. Dancing like no one is watching…and that’s the way I like it.
I wish I could feel the same feeling in public and not care. And tonight….I finally did just that. How? Well, with a bit of help from a “life theory” known as “Radical Implosion”.
No, it’s not a theory on how to collapse a star. It’s rather, a theory on how to DESTROY your insecurities about anything. Literally, anything. It was coined by Albert Ellis, notable psychologist from the 1930’s. I don’t know much else about him, but I don’t think it’s important. What is important, is this concept itself.
Ellis called it, “a shame attacking exercise.” A method for developing a thicker skin and reducing fear in anxiety producing situations, such as talking to women, public speaking, and…dancing.
So, how does this “exercise work”. How do you reduce fear in anxiety producing situations such as these? Well, it’s quite simple. Here’s how it works.
Imagine, you are like me….and you are ALSO afraid of dancing in the public. The sheer thought of it makes you cringe. You think if you dance in public, everyone will hate you. Not only will everyone hate you, but you will also hate yourself for how much people hate you. It’s ridiculous right? It’s an irrational thought. Of course people aren’t going to hate you, well most people won’t! At worst, they probably won’t want to fuck you.
So then why is it so hard to dance though? What’s stopping you? Well it’s anxiety, it’s your brain telling you, “Don’t dance, otherwise you’ll die.”
To combat this silly thought, people who are afraid will either:
A. Skip Dancing
B. Self medicate to dance
Historically, I had chosen route B. But since I’ve stopped drinking that was no longer an option.
But I don’t want to skip dancing because I can’t drink. I still want to do dance, which is why I tried out option C, which is, “Radical Implosion.”
Radical Implosion is the idea that overcoming a challenge much more difficult than the one you’re actually afraid of makes your fear dissipate.
Albert Ellis was afraid of talking to girls, So to get over this fear he approached every women he saw sitting alone at the park one day. He approached over 100 girls that day, and tried asking them out. What happened? Well, 90% of the women rejected him. Yes, indeed. This man faced rejection 90 times. However, 10 girls did say yes. What happened to Ellis? Well, he was never afraid to talk to women again
That’s what I did tonight. Except, instead of girls, it was bars with dancing.
I walked into “Kangaroo and Kiwi” and stood in the middle of the dance floor. I was terrified. And then I started spinning in a circle, like I did when I was a kid. People started staring at me, and then most of the people on the dance floor walked out. It was only me. So then I started hopping on one foot and clapping. I was intentionally embarrassing myself. I looked like a clown. Then I started dancing out of tune, because at this point, I didn’t’ care anymore.
It feels good. And I also got to make out with a women who hated her kids, which was interesting. Thanks Ellis.