You know what it takes, now do it!
Photo of adult Irish dancer taken by toosuto on Flickr
Working will win when wishy, washy, wishing won't.
My greatest fear is that when I die, I will look back on my life and say, if only. I doubt that I will say, if only I had watched more TV, or if only I had checked my Facebook account more often. The "if only’s" I regret will reflect the relationships and the talents I should have spent my time nurturing.
I don’t know about you, but I find myself having to constantly defend the time I set aside to dance. Not only do my family and friends vie for every second of the day but, surprisingly, I can be my worst enemy. Even when I get into a rhythm, I find myself squandering away my precious time. It’s too bad, really, because I know that only practice will help me improve, ultimately helping me perform better and feel good about my placings at feiseanna. So, why do I freely give away the time allotted to bettering myself?
I think it’s all about focus.
Like Alice in Wonderland, I give myself very good advice, and I very seldom follow it. If there is a gap between an end result that I know is important, and my willingness to take the steps necessary to get there, you can bet it’s usually one of two things:
1-I don’t know what steps to take that will bridge the gap between dream and reality, or
2-I am not motivated enough to take action.
Whether lack of motivation or ignorance is at the root of your own problem, you will find it beneficial to reevaluate. If you love dancing, but you cringe when a friend asks you to show them what you do, perhaps the dancing itself is your ultimate goal, and not the performance. On the other hand, if you work out a jig in the grocery store, not caring who sees you, performance or competition could be a better outlet for your creativity.
Once you have decided on a goal, brainstorm some ways that you can reach it. Think specifically: what do I need to do to reach my goal? Break larger goals into small, manageable steps. You want to go to Nationals? Slow down and eat that elephant one bite at a time. You would rather perform with your local dance school? Decide what it takes to do so.
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Then commit yourself. Write down a specific goal that you want to work towards. Are you having a hard time making it to class? Change that. Set aside the time and do it. Do you want to advance to novice in your hornpipe? You know what it takes, now do it!
Go ahead; give yourself the freedom, the permission to reach your goals. Don’t let distractions or even others who may not support your goals get in the way. If dancing is important to you, set aside the time in your life to get it done.
Life can be busy, with so many things competing for our time and attentions. Discipline yourself to know what you want, to list what it takes to get it, and then commit to put your plan into action.
Don’t be afraid, give yourself permission to dream and then get to work bringing that dream to reality.