Some days I just didn’t want to get out of bed. Some days my body hurt. EVERYWHERE. It hurt like hell. Some days I was so tired I felt like I was dragging my body through quicksand. Some days I hated looking at myself in the mirror. But I still did it. I knew I was never going to get anywhere if I gave up now.
In my life as a professional dancer, I sometimes have to force myself to go to class every day, even when I don’t want to. When you achieve great results in life, in business, in your relationships: Persistence Pays.
Dancers are the most hardcore athletes on the planet. Not only do they put themselves through punishing training regimes EVERY DAY, they do it with a smile on their face. Dancers know they have to be ready for anything, at any time. The industry is competitive and jobs are few and far between, and any moment a choreographer could spot them in class and make them a star. They want to look their best and perform their best all the time. Because any day could be the day. EVERY day they are dancing is a gift that they cherish for life.
Dancers, like all top athletes, commit to a long term training programme with goals they commit to working towards over many years, which conditions their physical fitness, hones their mental focus, and optimises their skills so they can produce a great performance, at any time. Once skills are locked into long term memory, a dancer can pull off the most complex feats of physical coordination and control… without even thinking about it. You know the feeling. “I’ve got this” you can say with confidence. There is no doubt in your mind as to whether or not you will be able to pull it off. You simply do it.
There is an amazing process that is happening as you progress from beginner to expert in something new.
When you were a beginner, you had an incredible insight into yourself, because you believed that your future self would be able to do something that right now you have no idea how to do. You just had this feeling in your gut, that this is right for you, that you really want to do it. That feeling is exciting. It’s inspiring. But it’s hard. To really really want something that you are sure you will be able to achieve one day, but right now you are completely clueless about.
When was the last time you tried to teach a beginner something that you know really well? Were you frustrated that they weren’t picking up the simplest things that you think are really obvious? And you could tell, they were frustrated too. What happened?
Did they pull faces? Curse? Get tense? Furrow their brow? Give up and walk away?
That’s because persistence is hard. That image they have of themselves, easily relating to you and imagining that they will be able to do what you can do with as much effortless grace as you have, that image was threatened. Why didn’t it match up? Why does it look so easy when you do it?
Now consider your physical and mental fitness.
Are you in the exact place you want to be right now with your body? With your lifestyle? With your mental health?
Do you feel like you are sure you could achieve something you want, if only you had the time? The money? The patience? What stops you?
What is going to take you from where you are now, where you really want to achieve your goal, but you are just talking about it, dreaming about it, but not doing it?
Talking won’t get you there.
Dreaming won’t get you there.
You have to commit.
And you have to keep committing, every day.
You have to persist. Even when it’s hard. So you can master the skills to perform effortlessly.
Get out of bed, and decide: Today I will work towards my goal. And do it.
Great athletes are always training. They might cross train, they might do supporting activities, they might have rest days and easy days, but every day they are working towards their goal. When they are tired or injured, they do conditioning, or study other great performers, or visualise themselves performing the skills they will need to get them back to the top. The best athletes have a team of expert mentors, coaches, and health practitioners, who all help them get the very best out of every training session, show or competition.
You too can achieve amazing results and perform better than you ever thought you could, if you commit to long term goals and stick to them.
Even when you find it challenging, setting up routines, coaching, and a team of experts to motivate you and help you achieve your potential will help you stay on track, stay in shape, and stay the course.
Perform at your best, every day.
Why would you settle for less.