There exist few things in life as awkward as the self-conscious dancer. Prancing about without rhythm or timing, their embarrassing moment becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. There’s one at every wedding, every party, and every dance club.
This hapless soul has a counterpart: the person who doesn’t give a shit. He lets it all hang out, irrespective of his skills, his outfit, or his physique. He is wrapped up in the music and doesn’t waste his precious attention on critics.
Business leaders, inventors, and community activists need also take this approach. If you waste energy worrying about appearances, it will only dull your art and weaken your resolve. The ones who accomplish the most – on the dance floor and in life – possess a healthy disregard for the opinion of others.
Instead, they follow their own groove.
Ever notice the people making the biggest impact in the world? They are the first to be shunned. When these rule-breakers emerge, they’re told to “get back in the line” and are pressured to comply with the “social norms.”
The heroes we celebrate, from the Beatles to Steve Jobs and Thomas Edison to Dr. King, were first laughed at and sharply criticized. Thankfully, they didn’t waste the time or energy to care much about the onlookers pointing fingers. The jealousy and fear of others didn’t strip these renegades of their vision; the world would certainly be a much duller place if it had.
In your own pursuits, don’t validate those casting doubt and ostracizing your fresh approach to comfort their own selves. Focus every ounce of your energy on your art, and you will change the hearts and minds of those that lack the courage to dance their own dance.
The more original you are, the more friction you’ll notice (if you bother looking). So let the naysayers blend into the background while your unique rhythmic interpretation shines. Before long, they’ll be copying your moves and celebrating your creativity.
Your favorite tune is about to play. Follow your own groove. Dance like no one’s watching.