This is The Greatest Show: How my dancing background has helped in business.
Listening to one of my favourite soundtracks yesterday "The Greatest Showman" and the lyrics "Watching it come true, it's taking over you, this is the greatest show" got me thinking about my performance background and how it is so relevant to my business journey!
As a dancer, performer or elite sports person you know, no matter how you're feeling, no matter the fear, no matter the emotions or how many have told you "you can't do it" you somehow find the strength to show up and make it happen, as the saying goes "show must go on"!
Tenacity is probably my finest quality and I truly believe this came from dancing!
Ballet was what I was most passionate about and anyone who has done ballet knows IT IS NOT EASY! It takes hours, upon hours of practise and perfection. It is delicate yet pure strength, it is not for the faint hearted. Dance was how I chose to express myself. I would dance when I was sad, when I was angry, when I felt like there was nothing else. It was my "happy place" and for a long time, it was my whole life!
I worked hard for many years to be accepted into QDSE - Queensland Dance School of Excellence at age 15. I left school to dance and do the programme full-time when I was 16 & 17. It was an intense time of emotions. Not only because hormonally it was the most difficult time of my life but also the dedication was real! I would leave home about 6am every morning on the train from Ipswich, catch multiple forms of transport to get to dancing each day and arrive home after a long day of dance and school at about 6.30pm each night. I would then most likely have classes in the evening at my dance school in Ipswich.
And then I fell off the bandwagon!
After pushing myself SO HARD for so long the passion wore thin. I started to resent the long days. The hard work. The constant travel. My home life was difficult, dancing was hard, I'd met a boy and before I knew it all the screws of my dancing career started to come loose. It was a downwards spiral and once my head got in the way it was all over. I developed severe stress fractures in both of my shins (about 10 stress fractures in each) and before I knew it my soon to be career was over before it had even begun.
With just 5 months left of Year 12 I left the programme and went back to school, not knowing what the hell I was going to do with my life now.
The reason I am sharing this is because we ALL have moments in our life when shit hits the fan, it all feels over, it's too tough, too much to handle and we wonder how we can possibly go on!
This experience and time of my life taught me a number of lessons (took me a while to see them but can easily now):
Our minds control everything
Tenacity does pay off
Hard work does not always equal success
Stay true to you and your passion, don't let outside distractions alter your direction
So how have I taken these learnings with me into business?
Firstly "Our minds control everything".
When the screws of my dancing career started to come loose, ie. I started to doubt my ability, I started to resent the travel and the hard work, mentally I was not in a good place. It took for my body to produce stress fractures for me to realise that I could no longer do it all! Our minds are so powerful. If we think negative thoughts our world will produce them. And often multiply them until that is all we see.
In business understanding the mind and what it's capable of is so important. Keeping your thoughts on your long term goals, your intention clear and saying positive affirmations is key to success. I have done constant work on myself and my mind over the last 3 years to know that the stories I tell myself are purely that, stories! Our minds will keep us small and in a comfortable space because it's safe. We have to learn to be able to move past our thoughts in order to achieve greatness!
My mind got the better of me once before (my dancing career) and I will not let it happen again.
Tenacity does pay off.
Often we give up before we even begin. We let ourselves think something is too hard because we have never done it before BUT in actual fact just moving forward 2mm a day in the direction of our passion will get us there in the end!
Dancing requires a lot of practise and diligence with no guarantee that you will ever be chosen to do it professionally. For a lot of dancers they never 'make it'. But you do it because of the possibility. You do it because you love it and because it lights your fire.
Business is the same!
We all start our businesses because they are our burning desire, our passion, our way to express ourselves and therefore nothing should stand in our way.
In business it is easy to feel like things aren't moving forward. Things aren't where you want them to be or that you arn't making enough money BUT what if I told you, you are closer then what you think!
Often our dreams are just around the corner but if we give up now how will we ever know?
Do your business, stay consistent, be committed and tenacious, you will make your mark! Do it for the pure possibility that it COULD happen!
Hard work does not always equal success.
This couldn't be more true than in business! We are apart of a culture that teaches us to "work hard" and if we "work hard" we'll achieve success. But what if hard work is what fizzles out our fire?
The word "hard" in itself does not give a good feeling. So if we are constantly filling our mind with the words "hard word", "busy", "tired", "stressed" how can we possibly be moving forward?
Instead why not tell yourself "I am working consistently towards my dream". This is a completely different feeling and you will want to keep on doing it because it fills your cup!
Question... Have you ever worked SO HARD at something and felt/seen zero reward or a lesser outcome at the end of the project than you originally desired?
Second question... Have you ever created or done something because it felt right or it made you so excited that you couldn't not do it and in turn found that people, money and opportunities gravitated towards you without even expecting they would?
This is the difference! Don't confuse the terms "action" with "hard work" they are too very different things.
Stay true to you and your passion, don't let outside distractions alter your direction.
Have you heard of the term "your true north". This is the place that your soul feels truly happy, inspired, connected and things move and are created with a sense of grace.
Most of us have seen this or experienced it once or twice in our lives (at least). Felt the connection to something greater than ourselves.
Dancing was my passion, it lit me up like nothing else. It was a space of complete freedom and I knew I was good at it. But when I put the pressure on myself, when I started to listen to the negative thoughts in my head, the people around me, the wheels fell off. It is the same in business. We are going to get people who don't believe in what we do, how we do it or why we do it but why should we let that effect us doing it?
If it is what sets you on fire why let anyone or anything take that away from you?
Do you and the opportunities will show themselves.
With love and passion,