Do You Like Feeling Awkward and Nervous? It Might Be Exactly What You Need.


I’m often writing blog articles about how you should step out of your comfort zone and try new things, especially as it relates to English. But recently I started feeling like a hypocrite—in other words, someone who says one thing but does something else. My actions and my words weren’t in sync. How often was I really stepping outside of my comfort zone? It’s easy for me to tell my readers what they should do, but what about me? Do I take my own advice?

I live a pleasant life in suburban Houston. I’m surrounded by convenience and comfort, so when was the last time I tried something new, something that made me nervous?

In fact, when my client recently suggested that I attend a Zumba Master class, I said no. I’d never tried Zumba before, and I definitely wasn’t a master! But her invitation made me think. What if I signed up for a Zumba class at my local yoga studio? I had noticed that there was a weekly class there.

So, that’s what I did! Last week, I attended my very first Zumba class. Now, you might be thinking: What does this have to do with learning English or any language? I promise that I’ll make the connection, but let me set the scene first.

If you don’t know what Zumba is, it’s a dance class that uses Latin American-inspired music and dance moves. There isn’t a lot of talking—just dancing. I felt awkward in the beginning, like I didn’t fit in with the other participants who clearly were regular attendees.

But then the music started.

I wasn’t good, and I wasn’t bad. I just was dancing. Nobody else in the class seemed to care if I made