When I started practicing pole fitness, I spent many months teaching myself in my living room with only my dog as a witness to my marginal successes and sublime defeats. Even with a completely non-judgmental audience, I still found it difficult to bounce back each time I slipped, misplaced a leg, or contorted my body into the sort of dismount only possible when you’ve spent so long working out how to get into a move, you forgot to plan the all important ‘and this is how you get out of it without breaking something’ part.
I often felt like a screw up. Like I ought to be better.
And then I realised something.
Getting it wrong is actually really good for you.
Want to know why? I’ll tell you.
It relieves the stress
It’s so important to realise that whatever you do, perfection is not an option. You are never going to get everything right all the time. Why set yourself up to feel under huge pressure to achieve the impossible? By accepting that you don’t always have to get it right, you’re removing a huge amount of anxiety from your life. That has to be a good thing.
It keeps you safe
Making mistakes can stop you from becoming complacent. Complacency in any sport is a dangerous thing, as you start to forget the real potential for injuries. In pole fitness, always remember:
2. Your crash mat
3. A spotter
Remember these three things and any mistakes you do make won’t hurt anything other than your pride. Small mistakes can help you focus on the safety aspect of what you’re doing, and keep you from rushing into something too soon.
Life gets easier
Getting it wrong on the pole is also a great way to become more resilient, and not just in your exercise classes. If you’re used to the idea that things don’t always go right the first time, but that you can just try again until you get it perfect, you’ll have the skills to succeed in all areas of your life. Your determination will make you more likely to achieve your goals, whatever they may be.
You open more doors
If you’re afraid of doing something wrong, it may stop you from trying things. That could be a new trick, or a different way of moving: it would be impossible to freestyle if you were scared of it not being perfect! When you become comfortable with imperfections, you open yourself to new possibilities, new ways of getting to where you want to be.
You get more creative
Not all mistakes turn out to be bad: they could just be a different way of doing things. Experimentation is what makes pole fun, and a ‘mistake’ can easily propel you into the beginnings of a new move. An accidental variation or unplanned hand placement could turn out to be something that really works well for you.
The most important thing when you make a mistake is to learn something from it, and try and make that learning as positive as possible.
If you drop out of a move because you were practicing it when you were tired, maybe the lesson is to pay more attention to your body and listen when it’s telling you it needs a break.
Sometimes things go wrong because you’re not focusing enough on basic techniques, and that can affect another advanced trick you’re trying to perfect. You may find that spending a week or two making sure your set up is perfect will help you to crack a more difficult move.
Making mistakes is a normal and essential part of learning anything, including pole. Focus on the positives in your practices and you’ll reap the rewards, building on your strengths and having fun doing so.