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A belief is yours to choose… so choose with care. What someone says about you isn’t automatically a true reflection of who you are. While their words can tell you something about them, your opinion of their words are likely an important indicator of what you believe about yourself.

If someone tells you that you are ugly or beautiful, this doesn’t mean you are objectively ugly or beautiful. Instead, it informs you about the speaker and their thoughts in this moment. On the other hand, you can choose to believe or not to believe what that person says, and this choice can say a lot about you. The choice of what you believe is always yours, so choose carefully.

Ask for what you want… and be okay not getting it… from that source. If you don’t ask for what you want, you are much less likely to get it, so make an effort to ask. At the same time, remember, what you want won’t always coincide with what others want. When someone says “no,” be okay with that. Respect their decision. You don’t need a “yes” from them; they are just one stop on your search for what you want. Keep searching.

Be open to different opinions… especially when you know you are right. Even if your way is the best, you will often learn more by challenging yourself than by agreeing with yourself. Be open.

Share your fears quickly… before they control you. The longer you let a fear sit in your mind, the harder it becomes to overcome. Some fears can end up controlling your life. The fear of asking someone out can keep you from finding your mate. The fear of not being worth it can keep you from a wealthy paycheck.

Sharing your fear can be a great step toward conquering it or at least keeping it from conquering you. If you are thinking of raising your prices and you share your fear that people won’t think your services are worth it, the fear will be out there for discussion rather than a nagging worry in your head. If you set a goal to share this fear, regardless of the response you’ll get, you will be successful once you’ve shared it. Either you will find out that people feel your prices are worth it and your fear was unnecessary, or you will find out that people feel your prices are too high and you can use this information to provide more value or lower your prices.

Regardless, the fear is no longer controlling you and keeping you from progress. You are now controlling your fear and making decisions in line with reality instead of a fear locked up in your head.

Use the above ideals when you feel they will help… and don’t use them when they won’t. People often turn their ideals into habits they blindly follow instead of choosing which ones will be helpful in each specific situation. Use your best judgement, and choose with care.

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Teaching & studying dance in 231 cities across 35 countries, winning 2nd place in the World Lindy Hop Championships, 1st place in the US Open Swing Dance Championships, 1st place in the American Lindy Hop Championships, dancing in the NBC movie The Little Richard Story, performing on National Thai Television, training some of the world's top Lindy Hop & Blues instructors, and helping double the size of 3 different dance scenes in less than 3 months are just some of Andrew Sutton’s accomplishments over the last 15 years.

Andrew doesn't want you to need someone else to act a certain way in order for you to be successful or happy. He wants to help you find a way to be successful and happy given whatever circumstances you are in. Dance is his medium.

Dance is often taught so students need their partner to react in a specific way, otherwise, they can't have an amazing dance. Their partner needs to have a certain type of connection, a specific frame, or use counterbalance "correctly", etc. Andrew teaches you to have amazing and successful dances regardless of what connection, frame, counterbalance, musicality, etc, your partner has.

Learn the skills of the Dance Ninjas: Make Every Dance Amazing!

For more information, please visit

This Post Has 48 Comments

    1. I concur! Important self-development (and emotional maturity development) tips such as these freely allow for comprehensive, high horizon navigation through one’s life when put into practice. The true artist can plan and execute painting any mood in any setting, and, in dance, to any tempo… and “move” a person. Andrew’s tips point specifically to how once can develop that special, unique mindset needed, which, when one puts them–“it”–into practice, can allow for authentic expressions of self to occur–expressions that are truly special, original, beneficial and meaningful (and, did I say artistic, too?!) to all.

  1. Great Words Andrew!! You really nail the important. Awereness of choise, fears and asking for what you want. Respecting others choises as well. This is things you inspirerad me to do long ago. And My life is no much different and closer to My spirit. You inspire me and many many more!!!!!

  2. Feel free to ask questions here. I will be monitoring the comments all day today and would love to talk with more of you about these ideas or any others you have. 🙂

  3. Hi Andrew,
    you are absolutely “right” in what you write, I mean: I fully agree with you. As an NLP-Trainer,
    I teach these things……
    Your attitude also influences your way of instructing dancing- that´s great! I remember a most interesting taster course in Budapest (2012)……
    Hope to see you again!
    Greetings from Stuttgart, Germany,

  4. Thanks for the reminder Andrew, that we all have such a repertoire of choices. Even those of us who are aware need constant reminders. I particularly liked the subtlety of your article – not to be shackled to any particular philosophy. It reminds me of JKD (Jeet Kune Do). Choose the tool or tools appropriate to the situation or circumstances. Great article.

    1. Funny you mentioned that. I posted this a few months ago:

      Bruce Lee, (founder of JKD) had a similar philosophy to Dance Ninjas…

      from the wiki page on MMA…

      Lee believed that “the best fighter is not a Boxer, Karate or Judo man. The best fighter is someone who can adapt to any style, to be formless, to adopt an individual’s own style and not following the system of styles.” In 2004, UFC President Dana White would call Lee the “father of mixed martial arts” stating: “If you look at the way Bruce Lee trained, the way he fought, and many of the things he wrote, he said the perfect style was no style. You take a little something from everything. You take the good things from every different discipline, use what works, and you throw the rest away”.

      Check out the Dance Ninjas mission & philosophy here:

  5. I’m going to add a tip that’s helped me in recent years. Learn to let go and go with the flow. When we are so caught up in going after goals or our own concept of success formed in the past, we don’t leave room for opportunities and people that might be better than we imagined. When we keep hanging on to what we thought we needed to do/achieve, people who we should allow to follow their own divergent paths and who we think we should be, we can limit ourselves, our world, our view, our future.

  6. Good advice, Andrew. And, from what I know of you, you really seem to live by these principles! You are one of my favorite teachers, and a great role model.

  7. Sound advice. Everyone has some sort of fear holding them back. I’ve been working on mine, which is how I got meet this author in the first place. I was terrified to expose my untrained self to such a world reknowned (and AMAZING) professional, but I went for it and had one of the best dancing experiences of my life.
    For many years, I allowed the opinions and judgements of others to stop me from pursuing the work I wanted to do and from being in a relationship because I felt unworthy and the things others said to me seemed to confirm these feelings.
    I was so inspired by the class I had with Andrew that I decided that I would identify the things that I’m passionate about and just do them. I trusted the money I need to appear. I left behind two lines of work that had paid the bills, but I only did because other said I was good at them. I’ve now stepped into two new jobs that don’t feel like jobs at all because I love what I’m doing so much, it feels like I’m playing.
    I’ve also started runway modeling, which I’ve wanted to do my whole life but people always told me I was too short, or that I would be exposed to drugs, or that I would become a snob. None of those things are true, it turns out… I enjoy it and I have a talent for it I might have never discovered.
    This letting go of fear and trusting myself thing is powerful stuff.

    1. Wow!!! That is so great to hear! Thank you for sharing this Bren and thank you for overcoming your fear and dancing with me! I look forward to meeting again someday!

  8. Thanks for the words of wisdom. I especially appreciated “ask for what you want” and “use te ideas when they are helpful, and don’t when they are not” – the whole thing encourages a level of self-awareness and trust that needs to be cultivated in today’s society. Thank you for writing it, Andrew. And thank you inspire me today for posting it!

    1. It would be really cool if more people took on these concepts more often as we can all help each other remember them. I know I have to remind myself to take them on constantly or else I tend to forget. Having more people know them means more people can help remind us when they might be helpful. 🙂 Thanks Jasmine!

  9. A belief is yours to choose… so choose with care — Definitely. This applies to not only to “not taking things personally”, but to one’s overall level of happiness. Personal happiness is a choice that we all make and can master if we make it our primary goal in life. And if you have pure, absolute happiness–what more do you need? We all think about our lives in terms of past, present and future, but that is what has been taught to us–it’s not quite “reality”. Our lives are but a spark in the whole scheme of things and it’s our decision-everyday-what we do within the few moments of that spark.

    Ask for what you want… and be okay not getting it… from that source — You won’t know all the information if you don’t ask and it may just make you a stronger person for doing so.

    Be open to different opinions… especially when you know you are right — WOW. You really blew me out of the water with this one. For someone to be able to think in these terms is saying quite a lot about how humble they are and the strength of their emotional intelligence. Most often it is better to put aside pride and accept LOVE as the better choice–especially when it comes to people we care about. Not many people can do this, but it stands out as one of the best qualities when I do see it.

    Share your fears quickly… before they control you — If our culture and our education system taught us how to overcome fear, we would have a much happier and healthier mindset. I recently learned (though a large part of me already knew) that my entire life I have been controlled by fear. These fears become layered and compacted so deeply that they smother out who we really are. We teach ourselves how to behave with these fears intact and act accordingly instead of just ‘being’. We bury our hopes, our dreams, our curiosity and our sense of wonder. If you really want to wake up, do at least one thing that makes you overjoyed everyday and then expand that to try to make another person or those around you overjoyed, everyday. Appreciate these moments to the fullest and purge your fears. Dancing does this for me and the ultimate goal is to maintain that joy throughout the day and share it with everyone you know. That’s when you will really shine from the inside out (you know what I’m talking about!).

    Andrew has it right on. He is one of the few outstanding people I’ve met who live from the heart and from whom I gain inspiration from when I need it most.

    Thanks for the lindy-love!

    1. Wow Larissa, there are so many great thoughts here, I don’t know where to start. I think I will reread this a few times and reply tomorrow. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  10. The tip on being “open to different opinions–especially when you are right” reminds me of a Mental Flexibility workshop I taught a while ago and confirms one of its lessons. (The workshop is a curriculum designed by Toastmasters International.) The gist of one of the workshop messages was to take a moment when presented with a different opinion to examine it with the attitude of, “that’s interesting!” Too often, we (read that also, “I”) are quick to dismiss ideas which seem different, wrong, weird, or downright ludicrous. But if we stop and think “that’s interesting!” we can respond with questions seeking information or clarity, instead of statements of dismissal or rejection. By being interested in opinions which differ from ours and engaging with them, we can learn a lot. We may not change our own “correct” opinion, but we’ll enrich ourselves with a greater understanding of others’ perspectives.

  11. Many of us have been conditioned to see these practices as “weakness,” but the opposite is true. Great advice, Andrew!

  12. Thankyou Andrew. I had fer recently, and it brought on more fear about my heath. It took presedence
    So fear concord fear. Now I don’t have fear. I have hope.
    Thankyou for this inspiration.

  13. What I really love about these statements is that there is no immediate assumption that everything is going to be fine or the person you are advising is already the perfect specimen. They allow for people to be mistaken, and to learn from those mistakes in a positive way. Well done.

  14. Highly useful & powerful modus operandi for navigating life! And allowing it to flow around you instead of bumping into it, and getting your toes stepped on 🙂
    Putting the power of choice to work vs. being at the mercy of the environment!

    Thanks for the reminders, Andrew!

  15. “No is just one stop” – I like that. Thanks for the practical reminders, just as we receive in your dance lessons;)

  16. Valuable and concise. The trick is not getting caught up in the moment so that one can remember to apply these ideas -or as you point out- not to.

    1. So true Gregwashere. So true. Maybe having a group of friends and work partners who know these ideas would help keep them in front of mind with everyone helping everyone remember…

  17. I don’t see my earlier entry, so I’ll try again. You’re spot on! What we imput into a situation or statement is what we are creating in our head. It’s best to get it out there like you said, and not obsess.

  18. Great reminder. I am usually pretty good with this in most areas. I fail miserably when it comes to the horrendous rain we are having here as it is destroying soooo much. How do you keep a good attitude and embrace something that is destroying your home and yard?

    1. That’s a great question myra! I don’t have an immediate answer but I am sure there is a way! Let me ponder it for a bit and get back to you later today or tomorrow. or…anyone else got some ideas?

    2. Hi Myra,

      Here are some possible ways. Choose the one that works best for you:

      1. Choose your focus: I love that I get to choose what I focus on. Do I focus on the rain and how that part of my life is negative or do I focus on something that is wonderful in my life (the smell of flowers, my family, the food I eat, my friends, or anything else I love)? If you have trouble choosing your focus, you might need to create some “triggers” that help you recognize if you are focusing on the negative. For example, if every time you look out a certain window, you see how the rain has destroyed a part of your home and that sets you on a rant for 5-10 minutes without even realizing how you are focusing on the negative…then set yourself a “trigger” for that certain window…maybe put a post-it note on the window that says “focus on how lucky you are that you have a home and don’t live on the streets” or whatever else will work for you.

      2. Enjoy the Challenge: I can also focus on the challenge of overcoming my “problem” or as I like to think of it “my opportunity to be a badass that solves a problem no one else has solved”.

      3. Emulate Others Who Have Been Successful: Read up on and try to emulate Nelson Mandela (or the movie “Life is Beautiful”). They are great examples of how people can enjoy their life even if they are in prison and can help you see how it’s possible.

      4. Compare & Contrast: Imagine the worse case scenario and be grateful that it’s not that.

      Remember, these are methods that worked for me. Try one of them out exactly as I suggested but if it doesn’t work for you, don’t give up on that method just yet. Tweak whatever part of it doesn’t work and see if that works. For example, on method #1, if the post it note works and catches your attention before you start your rant, but the message on the post it note starts another rant like “Yeah, I have a home but the home isn’t very nice and I’d rather be living on the other side of the street, etc…”, then instead of saying “method #1 doesn’t work”, just change the message on the post-it until you find one that fills you with happiness and joy. Basically, if you have a chain with a broken link(s), don’t throw out the chain, just fix the broken link(s).

  19. Thanks. Taking care of our precious resources indeed isn’t an easy job, fear concord fear. Now I don’t have fear. I have hope.
    Thank you for the inspiration…Cheers.

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