How To Dance Freely Without Social Anxiety

How to Dance Freely

Powerful Strategies To Let Go Of Insecurity And Self-Consciousness While Dancing

Are you uncomfortable dancing around others? Do you imagine people are watching you and judging you for your poor dance moves?

Dancing is one of the most natural things any human can do. Discover what social anxiety and negative patterns are getting in the way and stopping you from truly enjoying yourself while you dance. After listening to this episode, you will leave with key insights and powerful inspiration to conquer your dancing anxiety once and for all.
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Overcome Any Social Anxiety Around Dancing

Are you afraid of dancing? Are you uncomfortable in situations where you have to dance or choose to dance? And you’re observing yourself, you’re feeling tense and awkward in your body, you’re not really enjoying yourself? And you’re just imagining that people are observing you and judging you for not dancing very well? If that’s the case, listen to this episode. We’re going to help you let go of those fears and just start to enjoy yourself and really overcome any social anxiety around dancing freely.

Hello, welcome today’s episode of the show. Today is about dancing. Oh yes, it’s about time. I’m surprised we went this far and we did not tackle the issue of dancing because that is an area where I don’t know, 99.7% of the population has some social anxiety that comes up. This is not relegated to the people who think of themselves as really shy, or really nervous, or really tensed. The average person, they think of themselves as quite confident. Or someone who is incredibly confident and just will crash it in the boardroom, or is an amazing athlete or something like that.

You just got all the confidence in the world, and you put them on the dance floor? Well, actually you can’t even put them on the dance floor. They sprint the other direction from the dance floor where they stand there on the side. We’re like “Naaah, I’m too cool for that”, right? And if you do somehow managed to get them on the dance floor they’re awkward, they’re uncomfortable and they get off as quickly as possible. And most people get over their social discomfort around dancing doing what? What do they use? The magical elixir, that’s right alcohol, booze. That’s why most people like a bee line for the bar whenever they get to a club or a bar. It’s like, “Hey, let’s…let me give me something to drink.” Then that self-critical voice loosen me up, help me feel more relaxed. And I’m not here to bash on that. That’s fine if you undo it that way. And it could be fun, but you don’t actually resolve the underlying issue. You don’t actually get more comfortable in your own skin until you uncover what’s really going on, let that stuff go and just enjoy yourself.

And this is an area that’s near and dear to my heart because dancing is one of the most challenging places for me. It’s the place where I had the most self-judgment. It’s actually one of the starting points of my social anxiety and so it has been a focus of mine, and a mission and a goal to become more and more free while dancing, while doing it sober. So I’m going to share a ton with you in today’s episode. If you’d like to join in the conversation, go to facebook.com/socialconfidence. Also, if you haven’t gone to my main site, socialconfidencecenter.com and gotten my free e-book there, Five Steps to Unleash you Inner Confidence, go do that. Do yourself a favor because there is ton in there that’s going to guide you step by step to become more free. And it’s all as a gift. It’s all free. It’s all part of my mission to help rid the world of social anxiety. So go to socialconfidencecenter.com to check that out.

Dancing Anxiety

So let’s talk about dancing anxiety, are you comfortable dancing? I mean, with people around. Maybe you are comfortable dancing by yourself in your room and that’s cool actually. A lot of people won’t even do that. But are you comfortable when there’s people around dancing? Or do you feel tensed? Do you feel awkward? Do you feel nervous? For me, I actually had a pretty painful experience that made me, that trained me to be uncomfortable dancing. Because when I first danced, I was totally comfortable as a little kid, like most little kids are. I mean you watch little kids, they don’t have any self-consciousness. I love watching my son Zaim is two. When you put music on and he said “I dance,” and he like shakes his little butt around and wiggles his arms. And he says “dance” in this like German voice, “Dance, and now we dance.” And it’s hilarious, it’s cute, it’s adorable.

And that’s how kids are, pretty much until middle school. It’s usually when something shifts, that when we start to become a lot more aware of the judgment of others and concern about it. And maybe before if you’re unlucky. But I remember my first dance in the middle school, I loved it. I was like throwing my arms around. I’ve never been at a dance before. I was in a new school. I was just copying the kids that looked like they knew what they were doing. And I was sweating and having a great time. And then I went to the bathroom to go pee, and I heard two other kids there who I was trying to make friends with as well because I was in a new in school, and they were just trashing the people who are dancing, “Oh my God, did you see the way Jeff was moving?” “Oh it was so stupid and idiot,” spewing their own fear-inspired hating. And I took it in. I was like, “Oh shit, I don’t want it. Oh God, people are talking about me like that maybe?” And so I didn’t dance.

I didn’t dance for 10 years after that moment. I mean I was dragged out on to the dance floor at high school dances and literally pulled by a woman, and then I would dance…I don’t know, 20 seconds or less. Kind of jokingly, kind of making fun of dancing and I’d run off the dance floor so awkward, so uncomfortable, so limited, so much self-criticism, and self-hate, and jealousy and inferiority. It was just terrible. And I remember I was at my cousin’s wedding when I was…whatever 15, 16 something like that. And I remember watching and there was everyone was on the dance floor, everyone except for me and my one cousin Paul who is probably equally scared of dancing. And everyone else was dancing.

And at that point, it’s almost more socially awkward to be the guy who’s like, “No, no I’m too scared” right? But anyway, I remember watching my cousin and he had this like crown on his head and he was ridiculous. And his face was all  probably with drinking, it was hot because I’m in such a good time, and he was so free. I remember I was thinking to myself like, “What the fuck am I going to do if I ever get married? How am I going to do it? I can’t do it, I can’t do it.” And I was legitimately scared at that moment like, “What am I going to do? There’s no hope for me.” So that’s just how severe and pervasive that fear I had of dancing was.

What is Your Experience

And I’m curious what your experience is. Is this something that you avoid? Do you have a whole bunch of stories and excuses and reasons as to why you avoid it? That’s not who I am, I don’t like to dance, I don’t like that music, that’s not where I want to go. It looks stupid. It’s awkward. I’m awkward. I don’t have rhythm. I never learned how to dance. I need to go and take dance classes and then I’ll dance. Whatever is you’re telling yourself is complete and total bullshit. You’re a human, so you have rhythm. I mean you don’t have to use some crazy, complex, choreographed jazz steps. You’re just….I mean I’m talking about like a simple bobbing from one foot to the other while you move your head a little bit.

That kind of dance is really all you need and even that, you can feel people if they’re quite uncomfortable with it so, what are your stories about dancing? What’s your relationship with dancing? How scared of it are you? Let’s take a moment to just look at that. And then when we get back, we’re going to talk about how to let that go. How to feel a lot more comfortable, a lot more free and ultimately enjoy yourself doing one of the most natural human things. I can’t think of anything more natural to humans walking, running, singing and dancing. I mean that’s what we’re made to do. So, stay tuned. We’ll get back to the show right after this and we’re going to answer how to free yourself from dancing fear.

Nerd King: Enter.

Albert: Hi. My name is Albert. It’s so good to meet you.

Nerd King: Stop wasting my time and state your interrogative.

Albert: Well, I heard that you can help anyone have confidence no matter how nerdy. People say you’re the best. They call you the Nerd King.

Nerd King: Ask your question nube.

Albert: Okay, okay. There’s this girl in my school and she’s so beautiful and popular. And she’s a cheerleader. And I don’t think she even knows I exist. I’m too nerdy, I have this big glasses. I’m too skinny.

Nerd King: For the love of Darth Sidious, what is your question?

Albert: Okay, okay. Well, how do I get her to go out with me?

Nerd King: Analyzing the situation looking for potential solution, nope, not possible.

Albert: What?

Nerd King: An attractive, popular cheerleader comes too high for your current level. You experience points are too low. You don’t know how to cast attraction spells and your armor is woefully inadequate, it’s probably leather.

Albert: But I…

Nerd King: You don’t even have a charisma plus two ring.

Albert: I know, I know…so is it hopeless?

Nerd King: Not entirely my new friend. There is a way but it will take great effort on your part. It takes courage as well. You must quest to the northernmost regions of this land, beyond the wall. And there you will find a man by the name of Doctor Aziz. He and only he will instruct you in the ways of gaining the confidence you need to attract this most desirable Orion slave girl, this voluptuous leader of cheers.

Albert: Wow, thanks Nerd King.

Nerd King: Of course you’re thankful. Now be gone. If you’ll excuse me I have a well in five minutes and I must prepare. The Orcs do not tolerate tardiness.

If you want to learn how to truly build your confidence in the area of dating relationships, to like who you are, to know that you have something to offer and to ultimately be the selector so you can choose the women that you’re most drawn to, to be dates, your girlfriend, maybe even your wife. Go to 30daystodatingmastery.com today to get started and find out exactly how to do this. That’s 30daystodatingmastery.com.

This is a question from Kevin. Kevin says, “Hey Doctor Aziz, I listen to the podcast and I found it very helpful. I then proceeded to go to a club and test my luck, and boy was I lucky.” Oh yes. I inserted the “oh yes”, he didn’t write quite yes “I got many request to dance with many women.” Nice, you must have been doing something right there Kevin. “But every time they ask me, Hey, want to dance? I froze, it’s like my brain and my body were against each other. I wanted to dance but…I just couldn’t. Time after time, I found myself walking away…ugh. Do you know why this happens?”

Well I hear your frustration Kevin and I get it. “Duh…God why? Why body? Why won’t you obey me?” And it’s actually not your body that’s disobeying you because your body wants to dance. Your body naturally moves to rhythmic sound. It’s your brain that’s stopping you. Now, why you aren’t dancing? That is a great question. And there are several reasons. One is…well the main reason is fear. You’re afraid of something. Now, what are you afraid of? Most commonly are my guess in the situation is you’re afraid that you’re going to get on the dance floor and she is not going to like the way that you dance. And she’s going to laugh at you or think you look silly or stupid. Or maybe you’re not scared of what she thinks. Maybe you’re scared of what other people in the general vicinity are going to think of you. And as a result of them thinking poorly of you, you’re going to feel bad about yourself. Or she laughs at you or thinks you’re not good at dancing then she’s not going to want to hang out with you.

Now, if on the slim chance you’re actually very comfortable with dancing, which I doubt, but let’s say you are. And this might be for some people. Sometimes we’re actually scared of getting what we want and succeeding with a woman because we’re terrified of the next step. If dancing with…if I danced with her that means I’m going to have to…if I want to connect with her, maybe I’m going to kiss her or maybe I want to ask for her number. And we’re scared of that stuff and so we don’t take the first step towards dancing. Does that make sense? Like it’s all on a chain, it’s all on a pathway. So if you’re scared of step four, then you might not even take step one or two because you don’t then…you don’t have to worry about facing step four. Does that make sense?

And I don’t know if that’s the case for Kevin. I just want to throw it out there because that’s true for some people listening but probably you’re scared of dancing. And you’re scared of looking foolish. And so my answer to that is going to be part of this episode which is how we overcome this fear. In the first place, that is the ultimate fear of dancing is fear of being judged, judged as looking silly, looking stupid, looking off rhythm, looking bad. And guess who is judging you most? As always, it’s ourselves.

Most other people are not criticizing you nearly as much as you think. They’re not even paying attention to you. I mean, think about that…you’re on this dance floor with this woman, there’s 30 people out there and you’re dancing and are there going to be people who are like, “Hey, hey look at that guy over there. Yes, that one. Ha, look at him, he’s off rhythm, idiot.” I mean, really? Aren’t they going to be dancing? Aren’t they going to be paying attention to their own thing? Aren’t they going to be doing whatever they want to do and thinking about who they’re interested in? Or if they’re good enough and all that jazz, just like every human is. And people are not paying attention to you that much. They don’t care.

Self Judgement

So just realize that people don’t observe and judge you in a way, that’s your own self-judgment. And so the key here is to be able to relate to that self-judgment. You can be like talk to it and respond to it. So, how do you do that? Let’s say that one of the most powerful ways to do that is just to accept and not try to fight any criticism of you. Say, you look awkward…no, probably. I know dancing is not my forte. Yes you look really clumsy and out of sync. And I don’t know, I might not be hitting the beats very much but I’m not just here to have a good time. And if you don’t fight the criticism, you don’t fight the challenges then you don’t have to be an amazing dance, you’re just like “yes, I’m not the best dancer.” That’s word, you can just accept it and let it move right through you and then there’s nothing for you to stick to.

So what if you don’t have to defend it? What if you could just be a little awkward? What if you could just be the guy who’s not the best dancer? But that didn’t stop you. And of course this fear of dancing anxiety has only been made worse thanks to Seinfeld because there’s this episode where Elaine goes and dances and she has this like absurd dance where she’s like horribly jerky and off rhythm and kicks her foot out, everyone starts to make fun of her behind her back. And the reason that this show is popular in the first place and why that episode it’s so funny is because we all relate to it. It’s playing on our deepest fear.

But the reality is, that’s not going to happen. And the key is to not try to fight any judgment or any perception that anyone has of you about dancing. Just let it move right through you. Another thing that you want to do is you have to change your…you have to face the fear. You have to not avoid. You have to go into it because the longer you avoid, the more uncomfortable you get and the worse you stay at dancing. Because dancing is like anything else if you just do it more, you’ll get better at it. Just get out there and do it, you’ll figure it out.

Step 1-Get On The Dance Floor

Here’s a powerful tip on how to get better at dancing, are you ready? Get out into the dance floor. Step one. Get out on to the dance floor because if you don’t, you’re never going to get any better. Now you could be scared shit by it, you could be thinking “Oh my God, I’m going to die. This is terrible.” Just get out there. Get out into the dance floor.

Step Two-Look Around

Then step two, well look around you at the other people dancing. And find a person who is doing…is dancing in a way that looks confident and comfortable to you. They seem like they are comfortable and confident themselves.

Step Three- Copy Them

Step three, copy them. No one will know. No one will care. You just take one or two other moves, oh like I… he’s kind of bob on his head and bouncing his knees. “All right, I’m going to bob my head and bounce my knees. Oh, he’s got his hands up by his chest and now he’s raising one hand above his head. Okay, I’m going to raise a hand above my head, yeah” right? And you just copy that person. And you do that again with another person. Maybe copy another person for a minute, or copy another person. And you just…you absorb their moves and you just bring them out when you’re on the dance floor. And you look great, you look fine. No one pays attention, no one cares.

So that is a super simple, super powerful trick to get better at it. And the only way you’re getting better at it is by getting out there and doing it. And here’s the key, getting better doesn’t mean throwing crazy moves and break dancing and being awesome. Getting better just means being more relaxed as you do it. The more relaxed and confident and certain you are, the better you appear as a dancer. So you don’t have to be the best…you’d have the best moves. Just pick a few moves, copy that from someone else and do them a lot and just get very comfortable with doing them. Practice that shit at home. Put some music when no one is around, and just actually practice those few moves that you got and do them again and again. As you do this, you’ll get better.

But the only way to get better and yet more relaxed to more comfortable, like with any fear is to face it. Is to go into it, know that any judgments you’re having are self-judgments. It only exist outside of you and even if they did, they don’t have to bother you or affect you as long as you don’t have to defend anything. You suck at dancing, “Well, it’s not my forte” right? You see that just passes right through me? And if there’s nothing to…a fear about that does not make you a bad person then you’re free. And you’re free to do what you want. We’re going to talk more about how to be more free as you dance right after this. So stay tune, I’m going to share some really powerful tips with you.

Hey it’s Doctor Aziz here and I want to take just a quick moment to thank you for listening to this show. For really taking the time to invest in yourself, and I understand your time is valuable. And I also want to let you know that I am deeply passionate about helping you really break free at whatever shyness, whatever anxiety, whatever self-doubt is stopping you from getting the relationships you want, and meeting the women that you want, starting the business that you want or thriving in the way that you want in your life. And the reason I’m so passionate is because I lived it for so many years and that’s my mission. I want every single person who wants to break free to be able to break free. And I want to invite you to a special opportunity which is to join me in a very small, intimate confidence mastermind group. And these groups are six months long and in the confidence mastermind, it’s going to be a limited to just eight people. And we’re going to meet regularly over the phone and have a very small, private, intimate live event for just the eight of us and me where we’re going to dive into your life and help you apply all these stuffs. So, you’ve been listening to this show or watching YouTube videos and noticing something but you still live in the same patterns, I get it. And I found that the fastest and sometimes what it takes to really break free is to step up and do something. Do something big, take bold action. So I really encourage you to do that and I would love to talk with you more about that. To really learn about this and dive in, go to socialconfidencecenter.com/mastermind. That’s socialconfidencecenter.com/mastermind and there, you’ll learn more about it and you can also apply for that there or ask me a questions you have. So I can’t wait to speak with you more about this and enjoy the rest of this episode.

So I personally became really interested in overcoming my fear of dancing like any fear I have when I realized you approach what scares you, you do what scares you and then eventually fear has no power over you. And that was a life transforming thing that I realized many years ago so now I pretty much anything that I value, that I’m scared to do, I’m going to do it. I want to face those fears. And so public speaking, talking to women, dating and relationships, every single one I was challenging and dancing was another one too.

And also hey, ladies like a guy who can dance. He doesn’t have to be the best dancer in the world but if he walks out on the dance floor whether…better yet, you grab her hand and walk her out to the dance floor. Even if you’re not an amazing dancer, that’s a power move versus you stand there, you sit there, and you don’t pull her out in the dance floor, you look awkward, uncomfortable, she has to ask you and then you’re like “No, I don’t want to.” I mean, it’s lame man. Just face your fear, be a man. Step up. Do it. So grab her hand or walk out to the dance floor unsolicited before she asks, that’s money. That’s awesome.

So if you can do that, then you will face that fear. And I wanted to do that in my own life and that’s what I was doing, space not. I was looking for opportunities. Like with any fear, when you want to overcome then you got to look for opportunities to face it. And I would go out to places I would…if there was dancing going on, I would be sure to go do it. I would also be sure not to drink so I could actually face the fear as well. I mean sometimes I would be out and I’d be drinking and I would dance as well too.

But I would also seek out places during the day where there’s just crazy thing, it was a West Coast thing. I know it’s in Portland I think it’s in the Bay area too. It’s called Ecstatic Dance and it’s happens usually in the morning like on a Sunday morning or something for like 11:00AM to 1:00 or whatever. People will get together and they’ll just like dance in a rented space in a ballroom or something. And just play whatever music. It’s usually a lot of free spirited hippie folks. And they just danced totally sober, do whatever you want and it’s a great space to get more and more and more comfortable just moving your body and just not giving a shit.

And so I made a study of like “Okay, I’m going to go there.” It’s totally sanctioned to do where whatever you want, do whatever the fuck you want, dancing weird ways, wiggle and go stand in the corner and shake your body out whatever you want to do, totally free space. And yet, I was still so self-conscious, so nervous and of course it was always my own judgment. So I’d be started to make a study of it like “What’s happening here?” And I noticed that I had this weird paranoia of like everyone’s watching me and judging me, everyone and I just couldn’t shake it. And it was tough I mean I went again and again and again and I was like, “Man, this repetition not going to work here. How do I shake? This is…” and when I got better I just able to look comfortable and confident while I was dancing. But I didn’t feel fully relaxed. I wasn’t really enjoying myself because I was tensed. And then I discovered something that was actually really liberating, and I want to share it with you.

So what I did is, I took this weird ego mania paranoia that everyone’s watching me. And I couldn’t stop it, right? I couldn’t shake it. I didn’t know how to let it go at that time. So, I decided to just use to it to my advantage. So I said, “What if everyone is watching me?” But instead of they think I suck, what if they’re thinking “Damn, he’s got good dance moves. Oh, did you see the way he moves his arm? Oh my God, that was awesome.” Totally absurd but guess what? It worked. All of a sudden I felt like free and badass. Because remember, none of this shit’s happening. There is no vain, not everyone’s watching me. No one cares but, it’s all in my head. I’m observing me. So instead of observing and criticizing, I just took that voice and observing and made it a praising and like, “Oh look at those moves, Dude. This was…oh, look what he’s doing. He’s awesome.” And I swear it was the weirdest thing in the world but it worked.

And I started to feel way more comfortable, way more confident and I was able to just do whatever I wanted. Raise my hands above my head, wiggle my arms and shake my legs, anything. And now it gets to the point where we want to dance, I’ll dance. I am not the best dancer in the world, but I can just do my thing. And it’s fun and it’s free and I go to be honest with you, I’m not a hundred per cent confident a hundred per cent all the time. So there’ll be moments where I might get tensed as I’m dancing and yet it’s just my edge. I just lean into it. I say, “Okay, where am I holding back? What am I telling myself?” and I find ways to offer myself more and more self-compassion, more love, more freedom and I’ve had more and more experiences. I’ve just being able to do what I want and man, that feels good. And that’s what I want for you. So, how are you going to apply this in your life? How are you going to challenge these fears, face these fears and overcome your dancing anxiety? In fact that actually brings us to our Action Step, for…

Action Step

Your Action Step for today is to face this dancing fear. I mean if you can do it like set something…where can you go within this week, maybe by this weekend, where you can go and practice dancing? I’m sure you can find a place no matter where you live. And before then at the very least, get by yourself, get in the room, turn on some music and just start dancing a hundred per cent by yourself. And notice on a scale of zero to 10 where 10 is completely relaxed, completely comfortable, completely confident, not a care in the world. And zero is so tensed and so uncomfortable it hurts, how are you when you dance a hundred per cent alone?

What’s amazing is I found while I was really struggling with this, I’ll be really uncomfortable dancing alone. I was probably like a two or three by myself which is strange because who’s observing me then? No one, in fact right now, stand up for a second as you were listening, just stand up for a second and just shake your body out a little bit, and now wiggle your arms, wiggle your legs and just kind of shake your butt back and forth. And wiggle your arms, now you raise your arms in the air and just wiggle them up in the air, wiggle them around, I’m doing it right now and just see what that feels like. Get into your body, shake it out. Your body wants to move.

And if you’re uncomfortable doing that, good. Keep doing it, keep practicing it, keep leaning into that edge. I was like, “Wow, that’s uncomfortable just to move my body and if you’re totally comfortable by dancing by yourself, then great. Make sure you find a place to practice this weekend or this week and just get out there, and get around people and face this fear. And the more you do it, apply what you learn in this episode to about not challenging anyone’s perception of you. Realizing that all of these judgments are actually judgments of yourself. And ultimately that you can take that, people are observing me and judging me and turn it into, people are observing me and thinking that I’m awesome.

And so apply those tips, get to practice and over time you’re going to find that you can radically shift and become way more free than you ever imagined. Dancing, this also applies to singing, and any other form of expression. So thanks for listening, thanks for being with me today. I love this time where I get a chance to share with you. I love to hear feedback so go to shrinkfortheshyguy.com and send me a message there. And let me know how it’s going, let me know how it’s impacting your life. And again, if you want to get my free e-book, go to socialconfidencecenter.com and just enter your email there, you’ll get the e-book instantly. And it’s super powered, super full of really valuable stuff. That’s really helped me transform my life and a lot of clients too. So thanks so much for listening and until we speak again. May you have the courage to be who you are and to know on a deep level that you’re awesome. I’ll talk to you soon.

Music Credit

All music is licensed or royalty free.

Intro:
DeepSound – Rain Clouds
(Licensed through Pond5.com)

Ask The Shrink:
Boccherini Minuet
(Licensed through Pond5.com)

Action Step:
Justin Crosby – Skrillit
(Licensed through Pond5.com)

Outro:
Lokfield – Terra’s Theme Dubstep
soundcloud.com/lokfield
(Creative Commons License)

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