Feel like quitting? Do this instead.
I've given up before. There was a time when waiting for my dance dreams to come true was just too much for me. I was frustrated, didn't know anything about trusting the process, and wanted results pronto!
I obsessed over this perceived lack of progress in my career until I was bitter and no longer enjoyed the pursuit anymore. Not only was I not enjoying the pursuit, but I was pretty unhappy about life all around.
The disappointments. The rejection. The setbacks. I just couldn't take it anymore. So I quit.
Well, that's what I intended to do.
What actually ended up happening was something entirely different that essentially saved my career and gave me a new lease on life. Here are three things you should do when you feel like quitting.
1. Take a step back, and REST.
The first thing I did after I quit was sleep. Up until that point, a mountain of fatigue was clouding my perception and dampening my spirits. I was so tired from the hustle that it really affected my quality of life. So I slept...for like a month.
When you notice your temper rising and tolerance lowering on a consistent basis, take a step back to decompress. No one performs at their optimal level when they're tired. Once you're rested, you'll begin to feel like yourself again. Inspired, recharged, and ready to give it another go.
2. Take care of your body.
One of things that contributed to my burn out was my lack of self care. I was eating poorly and didn't see the need for physical fitness outside of dance, and it caught up with me. I had put on a few extra pounds, which reeked of unhealthy living and didn't work in such a competitive and body conscious industry.
When you're tempted to give up, take a moment to survey your lifestyle. Are you nourishing your body with the right diet? Do you have a fitness regimen outside of dance? Caring for your body in this way will also do wonders to clear your mind.
3. Take care of your mind and spirit.
I was so down in the dumps when I decided to give up. I was a really cute mix of 'Debbie Downer' and 'Oscar the Grouch.' But you can see how that happened, right? When you overwork yourself, don't take care of your body, and do nothing to feed your soul, tapping out becomes inevitable.
So what do you do when the thing that usually feeds your soul suddenly becomes a burden?
You step away from it and find new ways to nourish your mental and spiritual health. Consider other activities that interest you. Maybe it's reading, taking a trip, spending time with friends and family, or binge watching your favorite show. It's doing whatever it takes to find your way back to inspiration and choosing joy.
The Takeaway: Don't let your dream be bigger than you. After all, it won't come true if you're not there to work it. When your dance career pursuit begins to overwhelm you, take a moment to press pause, get some much needed rest, and take care of your body, mind, and soul.
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