Hi everyone! As some of you may remember from my My Plan for a Happy 2016 blog, one of my resolutions was to take an improv comedy class. Well, that class ended last week, so I thought I would give you all an update and talk about what I learned! Even if you have no interest in improv, or have never done it yourself, you will still enjoy this blog because it is focusing more on the life lessons I took away and less on the details of the improv class and what we did.
The class was six weeks long, and met once a week. Each week’s class had an overarching theme or “big idea”, so I will talk through a couple of my favorite lessons from the class and how I think they can be applied to everyday life.
In improv, being present essentially entails paying attention to what is happening around you, and not zoning out or thinking about other things while you’re in the class. This can be surprisingly difficult, especially for someone like me who tends to overthink everything and try to plan out what I will say or do next.
Unfortunately or fortunately, the whole point of improv is that you can’t plan anything out, and you just have to go with the flow. This has been a challenge but has helped me grow over the past few weeks. Learning to just be in the moment and react to what happens around me is a great lesson that I have tried to carry over to both my work life and my social life. I often find myself zoning out while talking to my friends or getting stuck looking to the future too much instead of just focusing on the here and now, and I think improv is helping me overcome that and be more aware of the present. My question for you is: How can you be more present?
One of the biggest challenges of improv is going “all in” so to speak, or not being afraid to make a fool out of yourself. There’s a certain level of commitment that you have to make both to yourself and to other in your class, that you will try your best and not hold back at all. It is not nearly as fun if you spend the whole time worrying about if you’re doing it right or if people will think you’re silly.
This is something that I struggle with every single day. At work, I sometimes feel hesitant to speak my mind or offer my own ideas because I’m worried about what everyone will think. Luckily I do think this improv class has helped me to realize that everything is better when you make the effort to go all out. Whether that is trying to offer up a few of your own ideas at a meeting, or not backing out of plans to hang out with friends. I am always striving to get to a point in my life where I can honestly say that I am fully committing to all of my choices and that I am going through life with confidence. My question for you is: How can you be more committed?
All in all I am very glad I joined the improv class. I got a few compliments after the class was over; people told me that they thought I had really grown and broken out of my shell throughout the six weeks, so that was great to hear! I have met some awesome people in the class, and I even decided to sign up for Level 2! So expect another improv-related blog in the future.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post! Let me know in the comments if you’ve ever tried improv. I’d also love to hear your answers to my questions about how you will personally try to integrate these lessons into your life.
And one more thing: I got the exciting opportunity to be featured on a blog that I greatly admire, and I will be sharing the post with you all tomorrow morning, so keep a look-out for that! 🙂