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Do you ever feel guilty about the choices you’ve made for your dance career? Do you feel guilty about getting paid to do something you love so much, and would do for free? Do you feel guilt about choosing a career path different from what your parents/family thought you should choose? Guilt about not living up to your own expectations? Do you feel guilty about not spending enough quality time with your loved ones, because your life is so busy?
Guilt is real, and it’s something that many of us feel on a regular basis, for a number of different reasons. It’s an emotion that will definitely get the best of you, if you don’t keep it in perspective. It’s always best to get to the heart of why you’re feeling guilty in order to address in the best way possible.
How To Overcome Guilt As A Dance Artist
“Have I done something wrong/hurtful to someone?”
“Am I being too hard on myself?”
“Am I feeling pressure from external sources?”
“How does feeling guilty help me in this situation?”
“What can I do to avoid feeling like this in the future?”
“Are my actions in alignment with my goals/values?”
“Am I doing what’s best for me?”
Last night on our weekly #LetsTalkDance Tweetchat, we discussed the topic, “Overcoming Guilt As Dance Artists”. When I asked the question, “What is the one thing you’ve felt most guilty about throughout your dance career?”, many of our dance Tweeps had expressed feelings of guilt for different things in their career. Apparently us dancers, have some serious guilt issues.
@thedancebuzz: I feel most guilty about spending too much time away from family/husband for dance.
@morphing: I feel guilty abt not taking gr8 care of my body-pushing myself 2 far, eating 2 little/poorly,sleep- 2 little.
@jordoncloudLately I’ve just been guilty about not having the time to dance as much as I’d like. Not enough energy, either!
@kinerenterpriseHave definitely struggled with balancing performance career vs. teaching. Selfish vs. Non-Selfish.
@SheenaJeffersSome days I feel guilty about not moving to NYC. Because I grew up with training that NYC is THE ONLY place to go to make you a “legitimate” dancer.
@thedancebuzz: Setting priorities and sticking to them… not always easy though.
@kinerenterprise Remind myself of WHY I’m doing what I’m doing. Remind myself that God has me exactly where I’m supposed to be. Remind myself that I deserve to be happy, & that God gave me this passion for dance for a reason.
@Joshua_Legg: I embrace the choices I’ve made. Good, bad, indiff., theyve gotten me where I am.
When asked “What do you do everyday, to keep yourself on track with your goals/values, and guilt-free?” Here’s what some of our Tweeps had to say: @kinerenterprise Try to avoid “busy work”, and focus on the things that matter the most, & drive me to reach my goals. Make sure I make time for work, AND for play/family/downtime. Balance is key. No balance = LOTS O’ GUILT
@KarenatashaB: I take it one day at a time, assess things & try to make it better the next day. Thats with everything. I try not to beat myself up. If Im doing that Im not writing, dancing, or working constructively.
@jordoncloud: One foot in front of the other,being productive w work/school, spending time w family friends & boyfriend.
@mochazina: Try to set daily schedules that align with long term goals Ive planned. Im not always faithful tho.
@5six78: Seek out inspiration by listening to music, watching dance, reading quotes, Pinterest.
@SaintElasticat: Meditate, care for my body/mind/spirit, attempt to self-soothe when down, friends, love, have fun, rest, drink WINE.
@drawplease: Without balance there’s no standing on the balls of ur feet & we know how important that is. Balance is definitely key. I think what matters most is that you understand very clearly, why you’re doing what you do everyday, what your goals are, and make sure that your actions line up with those goals.
It’s also super important to live a balanced life. When you get out of balance, all sorts of negative feelings will pop up, including guilt. Just remember, when guilt creeps up on you, via your own mind, or other people, quickly eliminate those negative thoughts by asking yourself the questions above, and then give yourself a break!
Focus on all of the wonderful things that you have accomplished, and the positive impact that you’ve made on the lives of those around you. Focus on the positive, and recognize how far you’ve come. You can always make changes, and start fresh. Be inspired! You may not be where you want to be, but thank God that you’re not where you used to be!
What guilty feelings have you struggled with in the past? How did you overcome them?
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Ashani Mfuko is a Social Media Strategist, Digital Marketing Specialist, Award-Winning Blogger, and Professional Dancer. Ashani works with small businesses, corporations, & non-profit organizations as a Social Media Strategist and Digital Marketing Specialist. She creates results-driven, innovative social media strategies that are proven to increase your revenue and catapult your brand to expert status in your niche! She has an extensive track record of creating and implementing successful social media strategies for her clients.
She is also the Host and Executive Producer of the “Inside New York City Dance” television show on MNN, and is a proud wife and new mom.
Ashani has been featured in Dance Magazine, as a “Media Maven”, as well as in Dance Mogul magazine, Inside Woman magazine, & Dance Studio Life magazine, in addition to various dance blogs online. She is the author and creator of the, “Finance Your Dance: How To Turn Your Passion Into Profit“ e-book and workshop, and her dance blog won the Reader’s Choice, “Top Dance Business Blog” of the year award, two years in a row. She is a leader in the field of social media and digital marketing, and is highly sought after as a dance performer and dance teacher in the New York City dance community. Ashani is on staff at the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City, and teaches Advanced Jazz classes for their Jazz & Contemporary program & Ballet program.