Every once in awhile, I experience a brief window of time where I’m not on my game. I’ll feel unclear and not as present in the moment as usual. As a former professional athlete, I have a good sense when I’m out of balance or things are not clicking. I’ll stumble, question myself, or make choices that don’t fully align with my values. It feels awkward and uncomfortable.
When I noticed this off-center feeling recently, I asked myself, “how do I get back on track?” Maybe because I’m a visual person or maybe because I’m a dancer; the image that popped into my head was a ballerina dancing on pointe.
It takes incredible balance and control to dance in toe shoes. Just walking in them is a feat well beyond the normal person’s ability. It takes years of basic training to strengthen the body to be able to make a ballerina look like she is effortlessly floating across a stage.
Then I realized, the only way a prima ballerina learns to dance in toe shoes is by working through all the times she fell off her balance point. You cannot find your center without understanding where it is not. You cannot master your actions without understanding what it is that can distract you or throw you off balance. You have to be willing to experience those moments of feeling awkward and uncomfortable for those are the flags that let you know you need to use one of your tools to get re-centered and refocused.
Instead of judging yourself in those moments where you find yourself feeling distracted, overwhelmed, lacking clarity or simply “off your game,” try being grateful for the wakeup call. It is only then that we can find our way back to being on pointe!