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.