By Mia Lyndon
Isn’t it fascinating how we pin our own worth onto something else? We hang our esteem, our value of who we are, on something that isn’t actually us.
Every one of us needs, yearns, screams for validation that we are ‘enough’- a sweet title that can never be gifted to ourselves. We require something to tell us, or prove to us, that what we have, who we are, is valuable. We go looking for something or someone to prove this to us- because when it comes to this insecurity, we believe almost everything else other than ourselves.
It seems that our own minds cannot convince ourselves that we are successful, or beautiful, or talented. We are the first to tell ourselves where we stumble and fall- each of us brilliantly talented at reminding ourselves of exactly where we fail. We are un-fond of our outsides, as well the stuff that fills us within- our insecurities seem to constantly orbit and spin around in our minds.
With such an awful ability at telling ourselves that we are ‘enough’, we rely on others to do this for us.
As soon as another source gives us this information, we believe it. If someone else tells us we are amazing, we’ll consider believing it, yet if we are told this by our own mouths, we’ll render it a lie.
For dancers and performers, this often comes in the form of auditions. We spend months drilling our energy into a certain aim, a certain aspiration, for a successful audition- hoping that we’ll be rewarded. An audition is a prime opportunity to prove ourselves, to get recognition and to validate our talent. We rely on auditions to prove our own worth to ourselves.
Insecurity and low-esteem hang thickly in the air as we work towards auditions, trusting that these emotions will be wafted away if the audition panel looks upon us fondly.
But what if they don’t?
We gift an audition panel the ability to make or break us. We allow them to decide whether we have talent or not. We believe them when they tell us that we are unwanted. We hang our self-worth upon their shoulders.
Our entire identities become made up of what we have achieved or the direction in which we are heading- it seems that we do not exist outside the spheres of our own aspirations. We define ourselves based on what we have achieved, requiring physical success (in the form successful auditions, shelves full of trophies, necks hung with medals and books filled with certificates), to prove to us that we are actually successful.
We are almost unable to feed ourselves with positivity and self-belief, so when someone else poisons us with negativity, we believe it. We allow things that aren’t us, to control us. We allow things that know almost nothing about us, to completely re-write how important we are.
So, when an audition panel rejects you, you reject yourself.
The problem is, for many dancers, we become star-struck by a certain audition, a certain job or a certain audition panel. We celebrate the successes of whatever we are aspiring towards, without reminding ourselves that we are, indeed, just as wonderful. Time is spent glorifying other people but never ourselves, so when they push us down, we accept and believe it.
The only person that understands, truly, how successful you are is you. The only person who knows all of your gifts, quirks and achievements is you. So when an audition panel, who view only a snapshot of the dancer that you really are, decides that they don’t want you- why do you believe that you aren’t good enough?
You need to shift your mindset- you need to start being the sole-person who shouts about your own talents. Auditions come and go, opportunities grow and fade and achievements only fulfil us temporarily. Physical achievements are legal highs that spark our confidence for only a limited time.
You do not need examples of why you should believe in yourself. You do not need referees to tell you of your own self-worth. You need to become your own self-believer.
Stop crawling from one aim to the next, convincing yourself that, in achieving that goal, you will be happy. Feeling successful is an aim in itself- it’s something that needs constant attention and honing.
When you arrive at a place where you do not need other people’s opinions to believe in yourself, you are unstoppable. If you can reach a point where you no longer crave attention or recognition or constant compliments, then you have succeeded in yourself. You have succeeded in achieving you.
Remember that it is your responsibility to be confident in who you are, and that the most satisfying compliments you’ll ever receive are the ones that come from your own mouth. Do not let that failed audition define you, and do not believe that rejection is as a reflection of your success.
Believe in you, celebrate yourself and take control of your own self-worth. That way, you’ll never fail.
About the Author
Mia is a writer and author, who created Audition Quest in 2018. Specialising in dance, she has previously trained as a contemporary dancer.
Mia writes for a variety of magazines, websites, creative businesses and individuals. Her work is regularly published by dance companies, theatres and magazines.
Mia is the author of the e-book ‘How to Write an Amazing Performing Arts Personal Statement’, which has sold successfully since its publish in April 2020. Mia regularly delivers workshops and online seminars aimed at improving applications, writing and audition confidence.
Mia is available for written commissions and collaborations, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information