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Give Yourself a Break

December 14, 2016

~ posted by Maria

And internet "meme", stolen from the interwebs and I don't know who to give credit to for it.

An internet “meme”, stolen from the interwebs and I don’t know who to give credit to for it.

 

This internet “meme” made me think about the nature of progress. Specifically, how progress doesn’t happen in one fell swoop. And how it’s rarely linear, either.

Take dancing, for example. We work hard and finally get one thing right (that dog’s got a a pointed toe and beautiful extension!), only to notice something else needs work (she obviously hasn’t been practicing her face-ography).

So many of my students and friends in the dance community focus only on their failings. And that’s great, of course – it shows dedication and an intention to improve. But focusing only on the shortcomings simply teaches your mind and body that, whatever you do, it will never be enough.

So I’d like to encourage you to give yourself a break. Recognize and reward your progress as well as your flaws – it will teach your brain that your efforts are worthwhile. In fact, I’ll challenge you this: for every shortcoming that you find in your dancing (or yourself or your life) – find another item of progress to match with it.

Instead of:

“I can’t believe how ugly my legs look, I never get them straight!”

Try this:

“Geez, I thought my legs were straight, I guess I still have to work on that. But I can see that my free arm doesn’t look like a dead fish anymore! Yay, me!”

That’s it. Reward yourself for progress, too.