One of my clients recently asked me:
"Do you ever feel like people are judging you in your ballet? You know, like they are sizing you up, criticizing your technique, frowning at how fat you look, sneering and whispering under their breath, 'What is she doing here, and who does she think she is?'"
"Only all the freakin’ time."
I used to be pretty much crippled by this on a daily basis. This fear of people judging me would spread to more than just my ballet. It often was difficult to leave my house and face the world, let alone perform in an art where I had to present myself on a stage in front of an audience. In fact, this is one of the main reasons I developed my Anti-Bunhead Fitness and Bulletproof Ballerina system, to find a way to manage this mindset that was keeping me in agony and strangling my art. I figured if I was struggling with these nasty voices in my head, there’s a good chance other dancers were too.
So, how do you block out these thoughts – the voices that make you feel ashamed to take class, like you don’t have a right to dance the role you were cast in, like you’re not good enough to be in the dance world?
You actually don’t block them out. That would be like trying to ignore a big purple elephant in the room. What you have to do is understand them and break them down so they no longer have control over you.
So, let’s manage those mental demons, shall we? Here’s the breakdown:
Don't give away your power to these strangers. Don’t let them determine what you have a right to do and what you don’t. Don’t limit your life because you are worried about being judged. The regret of neglecting to follow your dreams just because you were afraid of other people’s opinions will be a lot more painful than facing these fears now. You decide how you live your life. The choice is yours – hide in the darkness and stay “safe” or f*ck the haters and brave the wilderness.
Photo credit: Rachel Neville Photography
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