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Pole dancer executes a side split on the pole.


We all have pole goals. Whether it’s the mastery of a specific trick, combo, or floor exercise, we all want that perfect execution. It’s easy to compare ourselves to some of the pole stars out there who seem to be able to tackle every new idea with ease and finesse, but there is a fine line between comparing yourself to them and admiration of them. When we compare ourselves to those we deem “better” it creates a lot of negativity. Did you know the body will automatically sabotage itself when faced with the negative thought of “I’ll never be as good as (fill in the blank)?” It sounds a little esoteric, but negative vibrations and positive vibrations not only affect your health, but can also affect your body’s movement, function, and perceived ability to succeed. When we switch to a vibration of admiration, we can negate some of the negative effects of comparing. I myself have a lot of experience with this. I am not a classically trained dancer, I’m not a gymnast, I’m not even considered flexible (can’t even do the splits), but that doesn’t stop me from competing at the pro level. Why not? Because, I don’t spend time comparing myself to the dancers I’ll be competing with. Instead I focus on admiration. Each dancer is so unique and different. From each dancer’s ability in strength, flexibility, dance, and costuming, when their unique self shines through, they are phenomenal to watch. On the other hand, the dancers who are not being true to themselves and are attempting to imitate what they deem to be “perfection” in another dancer, often fall flat in their performances. Either their body doesn’t move smoothly, or the concentration it takes to imitate something that is not natural to their body makes them appear awkward and can drag down an entire performance. I greatly admire a pole dancer who can execute a perfect allegra, or a flat jade or Russian split; however, I cannot do these moves and I don’t try to force them into my routines because they look awkward and even a novice audience member can see the strain when I attempt them. I focus instead on the things I’m good at. Strength moves and musicality are my strongest suits. I can connect to the music and move naturally when I focus on those things, and even though I have not yet placed in the top 3 in a Pro Competition, I have done well, enjoyed the experience, and received great feedback from judges and audience members. If I spent all my time comparing myself to the dancers in the top 3, I wouldn’t be able to take pride in my actual accomplishment. I wouldn’t be able to pick myself back up and push harder for next time.

So what’s an easy way to switch from comparing to admiration? It can be really hard not to compare oneself to someone who is so gifted and amazing to watch. The easiest way to switch vibrations is to focus on my favorite 9 letter word: Gratitude. Did you know that studies show that this one thing can make you 25% happier? It boosts your immunity to anger, disappointment, and frustration. It’s even been shown to heal pain and illness in your body. It can certainly heal relationships, especially with your beautiful and miraculous body. Amazing things happen when you integrate gratitude into your pole practice.

Here’s a fun exercise to try:

  1. As you get ready to start your pole practice, breathe in deeply and imagine your best trick. See yourself execute it perfectly. Allow this energy to pulse and radiate to light you from within. Give thanks to your body for it and show it appreciation.
  2. Remind yourself that whatever you focus on expands. When you focus on gratitude and positivity, you will get more of that in return.

Be mindful that you will attract more abundance, love, and health by being grateful for your current state in these areas. Your body, your health, and your relationships can only be improved by honoring where they are in this moment.

Sarah Haskins
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