Monday, September 22, 2008

The Truth About Self Sabotage

The Truth about Self Sabotage

Ever wonder why it is hard to go to dance class or sometimes even get out of bed? Even after years of training and committing to mastering the art of dance. Even after reading those positive self- help books… you feel like you are in a way not getting anywhere?
For many of us creative beings, it is easy to overlook our talent, especially when we are trained so diligently by our teachers to critique our work, which is a skill that every dancer needs. Yet sometimes we can get stuck in critiquing too much that we loose sight of our purpose and authenticity as dancers. When we do this we place unrealistic expectations on ourselves, compare ourselves to others (or a fantasy in our head of what we think we should be). Sadly…we can end up misplacing our power, spirit and self-worth.
It is easy to become dependant on outside opinions like our parents, teachers and peers to build us up. Seeking validation and drawing on outside motivation to fuel our self worth when we feel lost is very normal. However if we don’t intrinsically regain our own sense of purpose, direction and certainty as dancers, we can end up creating emotional imbalances that can also manifest into physical imbalances like illness or injury. This is simply our intuition telling us that we have either;
- lost sight of our unique gifts and assets
- got stuck in comparing ourselves to others or fantasies
- have not created realistic timeframes for our dancing goals
- are not listening to our heart and value system
- are dancing primarily to please others and not for ourselves
This is when we need outside motivation the most and when we react to what we are feeling we can spiral into more limiting states of mind believing we “are not good enough”. Another name for this is self sabotage. 
This is where a lot of people may say “just think positive”. I was introduced to “Positive Thinking” when I was 16 in my fulltime ballet & dance training years; I said many affirmations and positive statements and still had negative thoughts and challenging experiences. There is much more to achieving your goals than simply thinking positive and here is why;
1) Everyone needs a big enough reason to do anything! It is one thing to know you love dancing and to want a career in the industry, but if you don’t have a big enough reason and clear direction that comes from you, then you wont achieve your dreams. No amount of ‘positive thinking’ will create your goals for you, but believing in yourself and following your heart will.
- Your life goals have to be yours, straight from your heart. Don’t rely on others to create your dreams for you or they will and you will only end up resenting them and yourself.
-Allow yourself to dream big and believe in yourself even when others don’t. This is creating the Vision or bigger picture fuelled by the intrinsic purpose or big reason.
2) Once you have seen your vision from your purpose, create realistic timeframes for achieving each of your goals. If you create goals that are too advanced, you will burn-out and beat yourself up. If you create goals that are not challenging enough, you will get bored, complacent and not grow. Allow flexibility in your goals setting and give yourself permission to refine them from time to time.
3) Follow your heart! At the end of the day, if you truly want to be a dancer and love dancing, you will. If you don’t, be brave enough to let life take you on a journey of discovering your heart and value system. Once a dancer always a dancer… there are NO missed opportunities in this life. When I stopped dancing, I ended up dancing in another form through my words, family and teaching. To me dance is the art of giving and receiving expression, of offering ideas, inspiration, creativity and wisdom through the silent movement of the human body. I never stopped dancing; I only changed the form I expressed my dance of life in.

Awakening The Master Dancer Part One:

Awakening The Master Dancer

The journey of a dancer is a great metaphor for any journey in life. It has ups and downs, hard times and easy times, but ultimately it is up to the dancer to realise that they are the creator of their own life in dance and dance in life.

Part one.

Extract from The Master Dancer ™
© Copyright Kate Histon 2006-2008. Any distribution, reproducing or copying of any part of this article is forbidden. Quoting the author is acceptable however she must be notified in writing first.

Dance is the art of giving and receiving expression, of offering ideas, inspiration, creativity and wisdom through the silent movement of the human body.
There is something so powerful about this creative art. Its language can speak beyond the physical realm, taking both dancer and audience to another place and touching us at our core. It has the power to invoke, to connect and to transform.
We each have our own personal reason for wanting to dance. For most of us, however, the attraction is about how we experience dance based on what we feel when we are dancing. When a dancer is truly dancing from their heart, with a balanced mind, their body responds accordingly delivering precision, flow and mastery. This is truly the magic of dance. This magic is what opens up a dancer’s audience to their heart, where they will automatically respond to the radiance that they see and feel the dancer exuding. It is at this point that a dancer awakens something profound within themselves. This is something that cannot be taught by a teacher. It is something that dancers experience... and what they are experiencing is the awakening of their Master Dancer.
There are two core elements to dance, one being the technical skill presented by the physical body. The other is the feeling content of the artist and their ability to project this to their audience; to fill the entire theatre with their energy and presence. A meld of both elements, and the connection between the mind, body and spirit, is the foundation of the master dancer.

A master dancer is a dancer who KNOWS themselves and who is comfortable enough within themselves that they feel free to BE themselves and to EXPRESS themselves. Consequently, such a person will give their self over completely to their performance, without fear of `standing out', failure or reprimand. Someone who is uncomfortable within themselves - who lacks confidence - will tend to hold back in their work and from their own true self-expression. A master dancer remains in touch with the truth of who they are and with their reasons for wanting to dance. They are life students of rhythm and movement, teachers of expression and creativity, forever growing and evolving within themselves and their dance.
Isadora Duncan, philosopher and world famous dancer, was quoted in The Philosopher’s Stone as saying “your body is simply a luminous manifestation of the soul”. Her insight and talent remind us that we are all uniquely gifted. That there is no other dancer in the world like us!