Yesterday in Organic Chemistry lab, I was feeling quite satisfied with myself as I finished the first part of the experiment (making banana oil, which smells absolutely delicious and attracts honey bees). My solution was well mixed, my apparatus was set up right, all I had to do was wait an hour for all my ingredients to boil. Looking around the room, I noticed that I was the only one who had gotten to that stage in the experiment. Everyone else still had a few minutes to go before they could sit back and relax like me.
I rock at chemistry, I thought to myself. I pretty much rock at life itself. At everything!
Then one of the Teacher’s Assistants walked by and said, “You know, you should really move that mixture to a bigger beaker. The one you have is kind of small.”
In the next five minutes, while trying to move my mixture over to a bigger beaker, I spilled it all over the workbench (including two types of acid), burnt my hand on a hot piece of aluminum, and broke an important piece of glassware. I spent the rest of class period scrambling to catch up with the rest of the class and finish the experiment on time. But I still think I rock at life.
If you want a way to boost your self-confidence, I have the perfect formula for you. But this formula has a story.
Freshmen year, I decided to start out my BYU experience right by taking social dance, Dance 180. I loved it, and decided to take 280 the next semester. Apart from three hours of class, I usually put in another two hours of practice a week. I got pretty good.
Then I went on a mission and forgot how to dance. (And calculus. And English.) I tried taking Dance 380 right after I got back home, but the steps were incredibly complicated and I really couldn’t remember anything from my freshman year. This semester, I decided that the best way to regain my dancing skillz would be to retake Dance 280. I think it’s going to work, but I hadn’t considered that I might remember everything rather quickly. I usually do; after practicing a move for just a few moments all the practice time I put in freshman year seems to click in to place, and I can do the move. Maybe not perfectly, but very well.
So, here is my recipe for increased self-confidence: Retake a dance class! Almost every time I change dance partners, I get a compliment. “You danced that so well!” “Nice lead, that was easy to follow.” “Can you keep a secret? I think you’re the best guy I’ve danced with so far today.”
Or this one: “You move your hips well.”
“Thanks!” I replied. “You see, freshman year, my dance partner (she was from China and a really great dancer, she’s actually on one of the dance teams now), but anyway, she and I were getting ready to compete in DanceSport [a dance competition BYU puts on twice a year], and we were practicing cha-cha. She stopped me in the middle of practice one day and said that we couldn’t keep going until I learned how to move my hips. Before that moment I didn’t actually know I had hips, but after about 45 minutes I was moving like Shakira. And really sore. And that’s why I can move my hips”
“Um… yeah. Good hips!”