On March 11th, I had the pleasure of dancing in a large fundraising event called, “Seattle Dances” which benefits Plymouth Housing, an organization that provides permanent supportive housing for single adults who find themselves experiencing chronic homelessness.
This experience was life-changing in many ways. I have no dance background – I was never a cheerleader or a gymnast – and as many of you know, I have a body that houses two artificial hips and a right ankle that was once shattered and is held together by a large plate and nine screws. There are many reasons I said year after year as I saw many of my friends take the stage for this amazing cause, “I would never do that.” “I could never do that.” “My body won’t hold up through the training.” “I’m not good at asking people to give money.” “I’m afraid of being judged.” “I’m afraid I won’t get any votes.” “I can’t dance on stage.” “I would be horrible at it.” “I can’t keep up with the training.”
I was sending myself these messages – these beliefs that were simply not true. And, these untrue beliefs were not just hurting me, but also stopping me from being able to contribute to others.
Finally, it hit me – thanks to my friend who initially asked me and encouraged me to dance, Kayley Runstad Swan (who also wrote the Foreword for Ask Yourself This) – I am wasting away an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others.
And, so – I changed my self-talk from “I can’t” to “I can” — and I did!
I, and 6 other community leaders with their assigned pros, brought in a record 1.7 Million Dollars and Za Thomaier (my pro dancer) and I together brought in over $80k of that amount through the support of friends — we also left with one of the 3 trophies that were awarded that night!