Dance Advice | Dance FAQ’s | Being unique and dealing with negative people

Dance Advice | Dance FAQ’s | Being unique and dealing with negative people

Being Unique and dealing with negative people

I thought I’d cover some things not in my book but that might be helpful for dancers, artists and creative people. A little bit of motivation, help or positivity for you. Now… I think that we all like to think of ourselves as unique people and we surely hope that we are, but what’s the fact of the matter? What makes me different from the next person? The writer and philosopher Alan Watts points out something very interesting: QUOTE

We seldom realise, for example, that our most private thoughts and emotions are not actually our own. For we think in terms of languages and images which we did not invent, but which were given to us by our society. We copy emotional parents… society is our extended mind and body.”

So, Alan Watts is saying that we copy our emotional responses from our parents. So is it possible that even that which we claim to be our inner thoughts and opinions didn’t really originate from us? Now that’s a thought! If they didn’t originate uniquely from us and were possibly placed upon us, then what hope would we have for style, talent or anything else? Let’s take a look at that though. We are trained beings; we do what our parents and teachers taught us, turning us into what we are today. We are bombarded daily with what we need to buy or think or consume, in order that we may be happy or popular. We are engulfed with the concepts of what our limitations are and our place in society. That we will never be like those amazing people up there in front of the bright lights and walking down the red carpets on TV or in the movies and magazines. We act as if those people are from another planet, different from the rest of us. That’s just what is thrust upon us from the billboards and advertisements daily. We are being spoken to, literally all the time through advertising, TV and the media, parents and friends, colleagues etc. Does the world influence you? Does it enhance your uniqueness, buying into somebody else’s idea of beauty, success or morals, or does it detract from you? Hmmm… so when I say to myself “I’ll never be able to dance like that!” Am I being fair? Am I being honest or am I just repeating what I think to be correct because I’m not thinking outside the box, but inside the parameters set by other people (which are usually so limiting)? I would say that it’s based on other people projecting onto you and you reflecting that back. The key points to remember are that:

– You are the number one expert.
– You define your own parameters.
– What’s good for everybody else might not and probably isn’t perfect for you or your set of unique talents and set of circumstances.

We project our own unpleasant feelings onto someone else and blame them for having thoughts that we really have.”

Put simply, this is somebody telling you, for example: “You’ll never go far” Or “That’s a really competitive field. Do you really want to risk it?” Or “Are you really going to wear that dress?” When somebody restricts you or tells you that you can’t do something, or has such negative opinions of your chances, it is usually a reflection of them onto you, and should not be taken as fact. The idea was studied in depth by Sigmund Freud and is a ‘defence mechanism in which the individual attributes to other people impulses and traits that he himself has but cannot accept. It is especially likely to occur when the person lacks insight into his own impulses and traits’. That’s an important point to take note of:

Especially likely to occur when the person lacks insight into his own impulses and traits.”

Again it’s a case of, how can anybody, other than yourself, know what you’re capable of, especially when they probably lack insight into themselves and their own ability? When somebody dismisses your chances, don’t take it personally. Think about what they’ve said with the knowledge that you are the ultimate judge on what you can and will do. Again, as long as you are being honest with yourself and are willing to put the work in, I’d trust your own instincts over critics. Hey, critics and experts have always made mistakes. As long as you know that and understand that people are very good at projecting their own fears and failures on to you, as well as their own lack of ambition, you’re on track.

Our doubts are traitors, And make us lose the good we oft might win, By fearing to attempt.” William Shakespeare