‘Pole Life Lessons’, a series of blog posts exploring the ways that pole dancing has enriched our lives, in the pole studio and beyond! I hope that these anecdotes and stories remind you of your journey, and I hope that you share your own experiences with me, making sure you tag us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, using #xpolelifelessons to be in with the chance to be featured in a future blog post.

Pole Life Lesson #2: You’re On Your Own Journey

When I first started pole dancing I progressed at pretty much the same rate as everyone else, lots of moves I picked up quickly, and other moves took me a little longer, nothing unusual there. Once I proceeded onto intermediate and advanced tricks I started to make exciting progress, and with good strength gains I learned how to handspring, superman, shoulder mount and so on within my first year. However, I then decided to focus on my dancing, choreography and pole flow. For 2017 my tricks have pretty much taken a back seat. Those same class mates who were level with me a year ago are now banging out an Iron-X and polishing pole combos that I am only just starting to learn. Am I jealous? Am I worried? No, not really. I may not have that crazy combo or those strength moves, but I won Dance Filthy Amateur and I’ve got kick ass floor work skills!

In pole it is so easy to start comparing your progress to those around you, and even easier when there’s thousands of photos and videos on Instagram and Facebook to compare yourself to as well. In Facebook groups I’ve seen posts including, ‘I’ve been pole dancing two weeks and here is my first Ayesha’, I’m not even joking! However, it is important to remind yourself consistently that ‘you’re on your own journey’.

In pole you need to learn to manage your own expectations, your ambitions, and your emotions. Pole teaches you that it is OK to progress at a different rate from your class mates, and it is OK to ‘neglect’ one thing in order to prioritise another.

This lesson applies just as strongly to our everyday life. Sometimes you can feel overwhelmed with the pressure to be ‘good enough’, to ‘measure up’ to your friends or family, or what they expect of you.

“Why has your cousin got a better job than you?”

“Why are you not married yet?”

“Why are your grades not as good as your class mates?”

Remember, everyone is on different life paths. Some people see career, academic or relationships success at an early age, and some people don’t even know what they want to achieve until they are in their late 40s, 50s, or older – and that’s fine too! The most important thing is that you are enjoying yourself and progressing at your own, comfortable rate, and you are just where you want to be right now, enjoying the moment.

Of course, this isn’t an excuse to not push yourself or to be ambitious, so make sure you are still chasing after your best self! When you set yourself a goal to nail a certain trick, even if that pole move is realistically 2 years away, you need to keep practicing the foundation moves to get you there – you can’t let yourself get down hearted or take your eye off your long-term goal. It is the same with the other aspects of your life. Continue your self-development, keep educating yourself, and keep building your strengths and addressing your weaknesses. Even if you don’t know what you ‘want to do with your life’, you can still work on becoming the very best version of YOU!

'I may not do an Iron-X but this is a pretty impressive a$* on a platter! Credit: David Craig Photography (Her words, not ours - Ed)

If you are ever worried about not being good enough, at pole or any other aspect of your life, remember that this is YOUR journey, no one else’s. It is only important that you are living it with joy, love and your own sense of accomplishment.

Have you ever been frustrated with your pole progress? Has pole taught you how to be patient with yourself and your path in life? Let me know, I would love to read your stories.

To find out more about me and to read more posts, visit my blog at, like my Facebook, and follow me on Instagram @peachleeray.    

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