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Building Confidence #9—Power Statements

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Ariel Bennett, ADCRG, is a teacher and judge who has been Irish dancing for 30 years.
A power statement is a short, positive sentence that you say to remind yourself about what you’re good at and what you’re trying to achieve with your dancing. It’s a great way to help you build confidence in class and give yourself a mental boost at a feis.

Here’s how to create your power statement:

1. Write down a list of things that you’re good at with your dancing (see Building Confidence #5—Positive Reminders  for some tips on how to do that).
2. Look at your list and decide which of the things are your top three strengths.
3. Now write a short, positive sentence for each strength, and end each one with an exclamation point: “I pound the floor in my hard shoes!” “I’m always on the music!” “I have great stage presence!” Write each power statement on a separate index card or piece of paper.

The steps above are for writing power statements about things that you’re already good at. However, you can also write power statements about things that you’re trying to achieve:

1. Write down a list of things that you’re working on with your dancing.
2. Pick two or three things from your list that you’d like to concentrate on at your next feis.
3. Write a short, positive sentence for each item. Write the sentence as though you are already good at it. For instance, if you want to try to hit all your clicks, write down, “I hit all my clicks!” even if you’re having trouble hitting them all right now. Write down each item on a separate index card or piece of paper, and end the sentence with an exclamation point.

Now that you’ve created your power statements, you should say one to yourself every time you are getting ready to dance, either in class, at home, or at a feis. Say the statement to yourself with confidence, as though you are standing on top of a mountain and shouting it to the world.

Saying your power statement triggers your brain to send positive signals to your body, making you feel more confident in yourself and your dancing. The more you practice saying your power statements, the stronger these positive signals get, helping you overcome nerves and self-doubt so that you can dance your very best when it counts.
Photo credit: Flickr user Eden, Janine and Jim

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