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Planting Seeds of Progress

When it comes to improving your body, ballet, or career, the hardest time to put the work in and stay motivated is when you're not getting anything in return.

When you feel unseen, unheard, & unnoticed.

When you feel stagnant, stuck, defeated, and discouraged.

When it feels like nothing good is coming your way and life seems hopeless.

Ironically, these dry spells are the most important part of your progress. Instead of giving up...this is when you plant your seeds. Seeds that eventually become your future transformation -- the progress, opportunities, and rewards that come your way due to the work you put in NOW.

If those seeds never get planted because you're discouraged or play the victim (poor me, nothing good ever comes my way) growth never happens. Your future transformation is dependent on these seeds being sown during these quiet moments.

Things can seem discouraging on the surface...for a long time sometimes. But what you don't see is what you are building underneath with all your hard work and efforts.

Trees can't grow without a strong root system anchoring them to the earth. That growth takes place under the surface, unseen, with no flourish and no reward. But without it, the tree can't thrive. It will remain stunted, weak, frail, if it survives at all.

Similarly, you can't thrive if you aren't willing to put the work in that goes unnoticed and unrewarded. And that is exactly what is so hard -- toiling day after day attempting to better yourself, whether it's with your diet, ballet technique, or your career, and not seeing any results that things are getting better. That's what makes you feel like giving up. When all the hard work and effort you are putting in doesn't seem to make a difference, it gets discouraging.

"What's the use? I'm torturing myself trying to get better...but I'm not getting better. Why should I even try?"

But these thoughts are your death sentence. If you give up just because you don't see progress on the surface, that's a ticket to a mediocre life. Self-development is hard, especially during these dry spells when nothing seems to be happening. But seeds can't grow if they are never planted...and your rewards can't be harvested if the work isn't done when it matters most.

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PC: Rachel Neville Photography

Think of your life in growing seasons:

There's a time for planting seeds and nurturing a deep network of growth. This sets your momentum and energy on a certain course, even if you see no movement or progress in the moment.

And there's a time for harvesting the fruits of your labor. This is when the job opportunities come your way, you start noticing your body transform from your diet and fitness efforts, you see improvements in your dancing. But these things don't just fall in your lap. They happen because you put the work in even when you weren't being rewarded for it.

In case you're in a dry spell right now, remind yourself it's the most important part of your progress. Don't give up or stop doing the work that will bring new life. Your future better-than-ever-self depends on it.