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Well This Is Awkward!

By February 19, 2024Pilates In Holland

The other day in class, Mandy had us working hard, bodies and brains. We were transitioning from one weird position to another and moving in ways that were awkward and new to our bodies. At one point, Marti’s reformer slammed closed loudly and she apologized. Mandy said, “Don’t apologize, your brain is learning something new!”

Awkwardness is an indication of learning. When your brain is trying to learn new skills and movement patterns, it’s in the process of making a ton of new connections. Nothing is myelinated and smooth; it’s awkward (more on this next blog!)! Have you ever felt that? When you’re learning something new and it feels wrong, weird, uncomfortable…frustrating? I know I have! 

Marti isn’t alone in apologizing for a “mistake” in class. We do it often, but we need to stop. When we let the discomfort from a new situation make us embarrassed or avoid the situation altogether, it can stop us from reaching our goals. We can’t let the doubt win because the BIG payoff comes AFTER the awkwardness. We can’t quit while we’re in the awkward phase or we will never learn or grow.

As I said in last week’s blog about hospitality, I think PIH newcomers are brave for trying something new, but we all do that every week. One of my favorite things about Pilates in Holland is that it’s not repetitive, we do new things every class. But that also means we are constantly learning and trying new things, regularly making ourselves awkward and vulnerable.

And it turns out that making ourselves do awkward things is good for us. In Hidden Potential, Adam Grant says: Becoming a creature of discomfort can unlock hidden potential in many different types of learning….Facing discomfort is a character skill, a specific type of determination.

He talks about the 3 types of courage we need to embrace to help us grow:

  1. Abandon our tried and true methods (get out of our ruts and try something you never thought you would!)
  2. Put yourself in the ring before you feel ready (you will be uncomfortable, but go for it!)
  3. Make more mistakes than others make attempts (keep going! That awkwardness will pay off!)

The best way to accelerate growth is to embrace, seek, and amplify discomfort.

There are ways to help make this process easier so that we keep going and push through to greater ease. The best news? PIH already helps you with them, at least regarding your physical wellness goals!

  1. You need a plan and a strategy to help you focus on what’s important. Debra, Jayne, Mandy, Teresa, and Terree are exceptionally good at this. They know us and work hard to create classes to meet the needs of the bodies in front of them. Use their expertise to your advantage.
  2. Support is everything! Facing this discomfort and frustration alone is a sure way to give up. Our community of like-minded vulnerability warriors will help you laugh your way through the awkwardness and get to the good stuff.

See you in the studio!


Author Renee

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