I often see children playing out in public as if nothing existed beyond the game they were engaged in. Witnessing children’s play is joyful; it is so uninhibited and they are so absorbed. As adults, we can learn a great deal from child like play. When we allow ourselves to fully let go of our inhibitions whilst engaging in play we enter a truly joyful and captivated state.
Naturally inhibitions serve a purpose. As we approach adulthood we learn what is socially acceptable and what is not and thus develop inhibitions around what we consider to be socially unacceptable. Like any psychological protection mechanism it can backfire and prove outdated. The danger is that I might perceive something as socially unacceptable whereas in fact it is fine. For example, I always used to dance whenever I felt like it – whether the dance floor was empty or not. Since giving up drinking, this proved harder and admittedly my inhibitions curtailed my spontaneous dancing… for a while.
So if you want to recapture your inner child and be captivated by play again simply follow the steps I successfully took which will help you to lose your inhibitions.
Step One – Imagine The Most Realistic Scenario and Prepare
What do you think would happen if you danced badly? Really? Honestly assess the most realistic outcome and then if you feel you need to prepare more, do! If you really think you’ll be ostracized and feel humiliated for being a bad dancer look at the dancers who have style – what makes them stand out as good dancers? Imitate them and/or practise at home before you take the leap onto the club dance floor.
NB: If you really think your friends would ostracize you, you may want to evaluate your friendships.
Step Two – Jump Into The Deep End
When I first started dancing sober I remember feeling extremely self-conscious. What got me to the point of not giving a damn was by my going out as much as possible and dancing – whether I felt like it or not. I threw myself into the deep end, into a possible scenario where I would lack rhythm and feel humiliated (my friends are all quite good dancers). I confronted my fears head on. At times when I didn’t feel like dancing I just pretended I did.
After several months of dancing sober and acting ‘as if’ I genuinely had no hang ups about dancing sober anymore and in fact, I can often be found on the dance floor long after my friends have all faded.
Likewise, confront your fears and actively place yourself in situations where you’re usually inhibited, instead committing to sing at karaoke, dance sober or even laugh at your own jokes! After a while these situations will feel less scary and soon you will be uninhibited for real.
What situations make you feel inhibited? Do you avoid doing things which make you self-conscious? Have you ever enjoyed uninhabited play? When and how was it? Please share your thoughts in the comments below to gain encouragement, insight and support from our community, we’d love to hear from you.