Let me give you a quick story. It’s a fun story. And, more importantly, it’s insightful.

Most importantly, it proves that you don’t need to fake it until you make it.

Rather, you need to put yourself out there in order to make it.

Embrace your authentic self, take action, and take more action. Always solicit feedback, learn, and apply your learnings.

Okay, let’s get to the story. It’ll be one of those “long story short” types of stories. Without further ado…

I’m a terrible dancer. I have no rhythm, and I have no swagger.

However, I still dance. I show up on the dance floor, bust a move, and let my energy run wild.

And, after years of terrible dancing at equally terrible events, I always receive genuine compliments on my dancing ability.

Why is this?

Well, first things first … a lot of people are too scared to even approach the dance floor. Or they think that dancing is lame. So I’m automatically better at dancing than they are, because they don’t even show up to the dance floor.

Of the people who enter the dance floor … you can break them up into four groups:

1) those who stand around and talk to each other.

2) those who dance halfheartedly and stay in their own little area.

3) those who may as well be professional dancers, showing off their moves for all to see.

4) those who bust a move for the sake of busting a move, and to express themselves.

Group #1 may as well be off the dance floor and in their seats, because they’re not even dancing. So I’m still better at dancing than they are, because they’re not putting up a fight … or a dance, in this case.

Group #2 is lackluster and uninspiring. My wholehearted, energized dance moves prove superior.

Group #3 totally outperforms me, but they are few and far between.

Group #4 is my group! Although we are tiny, we are mighty.

Now let’s put this all together.

An overwhelming majority of event attendees don’t dance. Of those who do, most dance either halfheartedly or off to the side, out of the limelight. One or two attendees actually know how to dance, and a few people make up for their lack of rhythm with their energy, creativity, and self-expression.

Although I’m terrible at dancing, and have no rhythm, and have no swagger, I continue to receive compliments on my dancing.

In reality, the compliments aren’t related to my dancing at all. The compliments are for my energy. My passion. My creativity. And my ability to transfer these traits to others.

And, at an even more basic level, I’m being complimented just for my decision to show up and give my best effort.

What should you take away from the story? Here are five takeaways you can apply today:

1) Be yourself.

2) Show up.

3) Do the work.

4) Transfer your passion to others.

5) Enjoy the process (especially if it’s dancing!).

Being yourself and showing up already put you well ahead of the curve.

Doing the work and transferring your passion to others will validate your value-add to the world around you.

And enjoying the process helps you keep going when times are tough … and appreciate when times are great.

Find your ball, get on the dance floor, and strut your stuff. Like no one’s watching.

And if someone is … all the better. You may inspire that person to get on the dance floor himself.

Happy dancing! In whatever form or function your dancing may take 🙂