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  • What a 3-Time U.S. Figure Skating Champion Can Teach Us About Acting

    Just before the start of her performance at the 2015 United States Figure Skating Championships, the leader going into the short program, Ashley Wagner, said to her coach, “I’m terrified!”
    Watershed moment. (I actually screamed at the TV!) 
    Here’s a world-class athlete at the top of her game, admitting to a nationally televised audience (and a sports arena of thousands of fans), that she too feels things that we often think (erroneously) that we singularly feel. And then we often shame ourselves for feeling them.
    Our self-dialogue goes something like this, “There’s something wrong with me if I don’t have it all together. The ‘greats’ don’t have the same fears I do. I’m a failure if I can’t show the world how strong I am. Why is it that it’s only me who gets scared? I’m a loser.”  
    I loved Wagner’s confession because it was so liberatingly honest. On national television no less. And the commentators had a field day: “This is a two-time U.S. champion, this is an Olympian, this is a skater who’s been on this scene at this level for many years and you hear her say, ‘I’m terrified.’ What do you

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