Happy Friday, FTT Family! Today we will discuss how to dismantle a topic that I believe we have all faced at some point or another in our dance journey, and that is the issue of comparison. While comparison is usually depicted as the idea of judging yourself against the quota of another dancer’s skillset, success or journey, comparison can also be judging yourself against yourself. Having the idea that you are not where you want to be, or where you think you should be, not being satisfied in the time length of your journey, ect. While very common to experience, battling with comparison is something that is mentally, emotionally and even at times, physically draining. However, the good news is that we are not dealing with a subject that poses no hope. Not in the least. Comparison can be dismantled and destroyed from its root, allowing you to go forth in your dance journey with confidence and the right sense of determination. I can confidently say this because I have been there, I have done that and I would love to be able to share some of the ways I got past comparison, and on the word to healthy confidence and peace.
One of the biggest epiphanies I had in my dance journey concerning this subject is that comparison is completely irrational and unnecessary. In my younger years as a training dancer I was plagued from time to time by thoughts of comparison. I struggled at times to see my full potential and accomplishments. The realisation of what a mind game comparison is came to me as I got older and looked back on my training. Photos, performance videos and old practice footage caused only one thing to come to mind. As I watched all of these memories back, I thought to myself “Oh my gosh. I was what I wanted to be this entire time. I just didn’t see it.” At that moment, I made a vow to myself that I would never go through this again. Even in times of human nature, I’ve made the conscious decision to debunk any thoughts that didn’t benefit a healthy perception of myself, flaws and all.
Another method that I believe can aid in shutting down the concept of comparison, is to become tunnel visioned. What I mean by this is to become focused on you, and you only. Everyone’s dance career is a journey that is best traveled when we are completely present, mentally, physically and emotionally. What do you hope to accomplish in your career within the 1-5 years? Where would you like to be in the next 10 years? What do you want to improve right now? I know I may be asking all the hard questions, but these are actually exciting questions to indulge in! That is the beauty of a journey. Even though much navigation can be required at times, it is a beautiful thing to strive towards your destination. But the only way to get there with peace is to focus on you. Be so preoccupied with your own growth, improvement, and goals that you don’t even have the desire to bring your spirits down by comparing your journey to someone else’s.
My next point is to please be sure to celebrate your wins and give yourself a pat on the back for your own accomplishments. Oftentimes, comparison can come at the hands of thinking that your accomplishments don’t measure up to someone else’s, but the reality is that a successful journey is not about measure. By humbly taking notes of the goals that you have accomplished, whether big or small, you will begin to see just how much ground you’re actually covering and just how much of an awesome job you are doing. And in that, there doesn’t even leave room to compare.
Lastly, let’s discuss a method of comparison that is not widely talked about: Comparing ourselves to ourselves. Now, this does have it’s inspirational points, i.e. not comparing yourself to any dancer other than the one you used to be, and that is absolutely correct! The only race that you should ever run is against yourself by working to always grow and evolve from the dancer that you once were. However, the area of personal comparison that we are speaking of today is in the means of being hard on yourself and being unwilling to be flexible with your journey. Sometimes we can really set ourselves up by kicking ourselves with thoughts of unnecessary disappointment. Though we have an idea of where we would like to be in the next 5-10 years, as mentioned earlier in this blog post, it is always beneficial to be open and flexible in our path of getting to our destinations. Life and career is a journey within itself, and by being your own worst critic with thoughts of where you think you ought to be right now, it will only make the journey that much harder. However, there is a secret hack to this thought process and that is letting go. Sometimes things can work out so much better when you are just willing to enjoy the ride as you put in the work. Do your best, give your all and let things fall into place, as they naturally do. Please don’t ever be in such a competition with your own plan that you become the basis of negative comparison against yourself. You are right where you are supposed to be right now, and you will continue to excel in the future. Celebrate the stage in which you are in and move forward with humble pride in yourself, because you are enough. No comparison needed.
We wish you all a wonderful weekend and remember…