Home > David Elsewhere: Looking Elsewhere > Looking Elsewhere- Trusting your own judgment

Looking Elsewhere- Trusting your own judgment

This is an entry in the David Elsewhere series where I analyse his training methods and philosophies. The quotes are derived from his myspace post. In this entry, I discuss the following quote.

Trusting my own judgment– This is very much related to “Being Myself”, because being your true self requires some degree of trust in your own judgment. By “trusting my own judgment” I mean having the faith and confidence in my own taste and creativity to determine how I want to dance. Listening to feedback is helpful to me; yet ultimately I try to always trust my own judgment.

The notion of trusting your own judgment runs throughout the entire Elsewhere series, through every principle in fact. Elsewhere’s method goes to extremes that most dancers wouldn’t follow. The need to practice alone. The need to experiment and follow through on your ideas. The need to bypass implicit rules posed by labels. The need to reduce the dance to the elements that appeal to you, even if they are too obscure for the mainstream. None of these are possible if you don’t build up confidence in your judgment.

Trusting yourself seems nearly impossible at the beginning. We make many mistakes, we get frustrated, we know too little, we imitate others, others are better than us, we aren’t even sure what we want or how we want to achieve it. To tell us to trust ourselves feels like a backhanded insult.

You will only believe in this principle once you’ve achieved results through your own efforts. Only once you actually experience that you can trust yourself to achieve results will you start believing this principle. You trust your friends after they’ve proven themselves trustworthy, not because they tell you that they can be trusted. Why should it be different any different in the way you look at yourself?

Two things inhibit most of us in trusting our own judgment. We fear failure, and we have never experienced succeeding through our own efforts. To overcome failure anxiety, you need to put yourself in situations that frighten you, even though you know you will fail (like a circle battle). After experiencing this several times, you will see that these failures won’t kill you and you can learn a lot from them. While a little fear always remains and actually helps you focus, you’ve rid yourself of the tendency to blow up these fears to exaggerated proportions. Then you have the freedom to achieve results on your own. Once you see the fruits of your labor, you will learn to trust your judgment. Many people emphasise the need for positive thinking, but only a few emphasise the necessity to enter such a process.

Trusting yourself is one of those truths that sound simple, but is incredibly difficult to actually apply in real life. It’s a simplified idiom for a long and complex process that requires time, effort, and the ability to change the way you view yourself and your life.

Quotes of truth

Robert Greene, The 33 strategies of war, p. 35
Being self-reliant is critical. To make yourself less dependent on others and so-called experts, you need to expand your reportoire of skills. And you need to feel more confident in your own judgement. Understand: we tend to overestimate other people’s abilities-after all, they’re trying hard to make it look as if they know what they are doing- and we tend to underestimate our own. You must compensate for this by trusting yourself more and others less.

Robert Greene, The 50th law, p. 222-4
Often we have a general feeling of insecurity because we have never really mastered anything in life. Unconciously we feel weak and never quite up to task. Before we begin something, we sense we will fail. The best way to overcome this once and for all is to attack this weakness head-on and build for ourselves a pattern of confidence. And this must be done by first tackling something simple and basic, giving us a taste for the power we can have. […] When you take the time to master a simple process and overcome a basic insecurity, you develop certain skills that can be applied to anything. You see instantly the reward that comes from patience, practice, and discipline. You have the sense that you can tackle almost any problem in the same way. You create for yourself a pattern of confidence that will continue to rise.

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  1. Jikay
    December 19, 2010 at 2:08 am

    Hey i’m a french popper,i don’t understand how can you describe the feel of confidence as well ,it’s amazing keep it !

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