When starting out, whether it be as a recent graduate, as an established dancer beginning a new project or a dancer shifting mid-career, it can be exciting but also a challenge. I love reading about people who have been successful, in any field and to be inspired by how they have gone about accomplishing their goals, whilst retaining their ethos and integrity. It doesn’t seem to matter what industry you work in but it seems there is a winning formula that threads successfully authentic people together, whether that be in the arts, entertainment, business, finance, academia and so forth. Here is what I have learnt and wanted to share it with you…
1. Believe It. Just because you don’t know how to do something straight away, it doesn’t mean that you can’t figure it out. Teach yourself or ask someone else for advice on how to do it. Give yourself time and patience to learn and trust that you will find a way to make it happen.
2. Action It. Just get on and do it! It is easy to compare ourselves to others, which I think we are all very good at doing. The first time you try something out, it may not be that great but the more you practice, the better and easier it will flow. We are all very good at putting something off if we don’t feel quite ready to make ‘that piece of dance’ or ‘contact that choreographer we admire’ or ‘apply for that course we have always wanted to do’. Sometimes by just going for it can be the push you need to make things happen.
3. Vision It. Envision a compelling future with a clear idea of what you want to achieve and how it is of value to others. There has to be an emotional root to what you do; to give you meaning, motivation and a clear pathway. However, quite often life can throws curveballs at us, which can feel very inconvenient at the time but in fact can push us into more interesting and meaningful work. Sometimes it is best to go with the flow of this to see what arises and then consider how your original idea fits within this change.
4. Work It. Earn your vision with hard work, tenacity and enjoy the struggle. Challenge yourself and put yourself out of your comfort zone from time to time. This can feel massively uncomfortable and awkward but this is where we grow and develop at faster rates, which on reflection can feel incredibly rewarding and satisfying.
5. Structure It. Consider how you structure your day and your actions towards your goals each morning. Question what you are going to do each day to work towards them. It could be sending an email to someone, it could be researching a particular topic. Small steps really do count and try and put this first before responding to an influx of emails or procrastinating and putting the washing on or making the third cup of tea in an hour.
6. Inhabit It. Set up reminders to generate new and positive habits that you are trying to implement each day. Whether that be reminders set on your phone, notes around the house or a reminder from a loved one. For example you might want to learn how to be better at filming your dance work but are not a technical wiz kid. You might want to dedicate half an hour each day to getting better at this and building your knowledge gradually. Set a reminder on your phone “read about film editing”…
7. Acknowledge It. When you have made a successful step,whether small or big; acknowledge it. It is very easy (and I do this), to just crack on to the next ‘thing’, rather than pause, acknowledge and give yourself a deserved pat on the back. It is good to reflect and consider what went well, what was a bit dodgy and how can it be better next time.
8. Energise It. If we are trying out something new or stepping out of the norm, anxiety can quite often pop up. However, nervous energy, if managed can be used in a positive way and boost your performance. Some stress, if kept in check, can be a good thing and it can be used as a tool, rather than as an excuse. Nerves, show that you care and want to do well and it pushes you to be your best. Consider from a different point of view; that by not putting your work out there, you are not being of value to your industry and you are depriving the dance world of your talent and inspiration. Nervous energy can be overcome.
9. Prioritise It. Prioritise your vision everyday to make small steps become a reality. Make sure you are incorporating these into your everyday, rather than just being ‘busy’ by getting through a generic tick list of menial tasks. Do something each day that brings you closer to your dream.
10. Love It. Make sure you look after yourself along the way, give yourself space and time to rest, rejuvenate and appreciate yourself. Do the things you love and enjoy to boost your positivity and happy energy.
The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy
7 Strategies for Wealth and Happiness by Jim Rohn