You try so hard. Constantly. In fact, you are exhausted from trying so hard. Yet, you are discouraged because no matter how hard you try, you still aren't pleasing everyone.
You still aren't enough.
You spend so much energy trying to be a good girl ballerina. You follow all the rules. You give 110%. You always have your deferential mask on towards your teachers, your parents, your audience, your peers, even strangers. Everyone else is more important than you are, and so you are endlessly trying to please them. Your worth is determined by what all these outsiders think of you, which means the pressure to impress them is relentless. You are constantly giving your SELF away to these strangers. "I need you to tell me I'm doing a good job. I need you to tell me I'm a good worker. I need you to tell me I'm a good dancer. I need you to tell me I'm good enough." You let all these other people write your story for you, and you lose your sense of SELF along the way.
What if instead you focused on "you" first. What if you started writing your own story? What if you broke all your rules and became a Bad Girl Ballerina? I'm not talking about being a delinquent, disregarding morality, or being a bad person. I'm talking about breaking the rules that prevent you from being your true SELF: the rules that have boxed you in; the rules that you've hid behind; the rules that have choked your creativity; the rules that have dulled your self-expression. Ironically, these rules were actually built by you through the years in an attempt to protect your SELF...and in an attempt to be your best SELF. But somewhere along the way, your rules morphed and stopped serving their intended purpose. They ended up limiting your life instead of enhancing it. And so, the next logical step would be to get rid of them in order to live your true potential.
But these rules become such a part of you, making it hard to separate from them. It can be scary and unnerving when you think about breaking away. It can feel almost like you are losing who you are because this is the only SELF you know. But, in actuality, your true SELF has yet to be discovered. She lies waiting underneath all the rules and barriers you've manufactured. Once you let go of all the restrictions weighing her down, then she will truly be able to fly. It's the freedom from all the discipline and outside approval that lets her soar and really start to grow and develop. And ironically, since you no longer need other people to validate you, you have a greater capacity to love and share your gift with others without needing anything in return. This freedom and vulnerability is what allows you to experience life on a different level...one where you can connect to others, express your art, explore the unknown, and own the power that only you possess to leave your mark on the world.
I call this hidden SELF the "Bad Girl Ballerina" because it is an image that serves as a reminder to break free of unnecessary rules and boundaries. And the first step to finding her is coming back into your own body and having an awareness of your mindset. Once you realize the harder you try, the more unsatisfied and unfulfilled you become while on this people-pleasing track of life, that's when the real changes can begin. It might take a little rebellion to destroy your old rules and learn to love yourself first. But once you let your Bad Girl Ballerina out to play, you'll finally feel in control of your own life. And, the more you love your SELF first, the more you will have to genuinely give to others. It's a win-win situation that even a Bad Girl can't turn down;)
Note to the Guys: I write to women here not because I'm sexist or a feminist or trying to exclude you. I write to women because that is what I know. But I would be curious about your outlook and struggles and if you can relate to any of this content. I encourage you to leave comments below or send me a personal email to share your story.