Face Dancing Will Make You Better -- At Everything You Aren't Good At

01/19/2016 01:54 pm ET Updated Jan 19, 2017

Are you are either an admittedly bad dancer, know a bad dancer, or have ever seen a bad dancer?

I'm a bad dancer. You may be a bad dancer too.

At one point, I was a bad writer. I got C's in English throughout high school. Then when I was 17, someone threw my poem away and told me about it was garbage.

Sure, it made me stop writing for a while, but it didn't keep me from writing altogether.

Whether you are dancing or writing, I've noticed certain things never change:

  • the butterflies

  • anxiety
  • sweaty palms
  • the nervous jitters
  • My continued bad writing, however, only made me better, and I have found that being bad at things sometimes is just where I start.

    If you plan to have any chance at success with your startup, you need to be okay with being bad at things, and have resolve to keep doing them until you get better.

    The bad news is that if you don't try to get better at what you are bad at, you will fail.

    The good news is that others, like me, have failed many times before, and can help you increase your learning with less mistakes.

    I talked to Ryan Foland, Partner at InfluenceTree and Director of Digital Strategy at the University of Irvine, and he admits to learning through failure too. In fact, he has taken what he learned and created a theory called 'Face Dancing', which he believes is an equation to help make anyone a better dancer...speaker, writer, just about anything.

    It is a cliche to say that Public Speaking is the number one fear besides death, but people keep saying it because it is true. Many people want to write more blogs or a book, but stop shortly after starting.

    Here are 3 'Face Dancing' moves that you can learn and apply to things you are bad at:

    Move number 1: Be A Copycat.

    Ryan starts out by saying humans are wired for survival. That means that your brain is picking up on subtleties even if you are not aware. If someone around you is doing the same thing that you are doing, your brain does not detect danger, he says.

    In fact, the more similar that your mannerisms, tone, diction, and body language is to someone else, the more you will feel comfortable, he explains. In contrast, if you are near someone who has drastically different moves then you do, your brain puts you on high alert instantly.

    Ryan connects these ideas by saying the same principle applies to the dance floor, the main stage, and writing. When in doubt, use the Mirror Move and be a copycat to help you get more comfortable.

    He advises that if one isn't not sure what dance move to do, copy one from someone else.

    Not sure how fast to talk, talk at the speed of the person you are talking to.

    Not sure how to write? Learn how to write by copying someone else's style that you admire.

    For every person bad at something, Ryan concludes, there are ten who are really good. Emulating those who are good will help people get better.

    Move number 2: Go With The Flow

    Have you ever seen someone get stuck in the middle of a speech, a blog, or fumble in the middle of a dance? It happens all the time. We have all seen or experienced it.

    If people would just stop trying to memorizing their speech, and stop trying to force themselves to write, they will improve drastically, Ryan explains. He emphasized that the goal is to get comfortable and free flow. In dancing, free flow is just letting your body translate the music.

    For speaking and writing free flow can be achieved using stories. Stories are one of the most powerful things in the world, and if people want to be a better speaker and/or writer, they need to become better storytellers.

    Think of the amount of stories that people tell their friends and family every day?

    Ryan said that no one memorizes these conversations. People just talk to each other about stories they encountered. Millions of long emails are written each day by individuals who may think that they are bad at writing. If they would write blogs using stories, their fingers will start to fly across the keyboard.

    Stories are told all the time, Ryan explained, and they are the key to the free flow Face Dancing move.

    Move number 3: Bring Energy to Your Words Through Smiling

    Yes, the Smile Move. One of the great dance moves of all time. There are a few varieties of this move:
    • I am feeling awkward Smile Move

  • I am in shock Smile Move
  • I am actually having fun Smile Move
  • The almighty sexy Smile Move
  • There is never a bad time to use the Smile Move, Ryan claimed. When people are speaking, their body language is speaking as soon as they are seen, even before one opens their mouth. If people feel uncomfortable speaking, simply smiling will make them a better communicator. They can literally use their face to dance with a smile. For writing, the same principle applies. People can smile while they write and it will translate onto the page.

    Next time failure seems imminent, Ryan said, think back to these three simple moves for strength and guidance.

    What are some things that you are bad, and what are the challenges you have faced to get better? I would love to learn more! Comment below.