When I was a young dancer, about 14 years old, I had the fortunate experience to be chosen to be an I Love Dance Sweetheart.
I Love Dance was another dance competition that my mom’s studio participated in. As it was a new competition, my mom decided to take only a few of her best dancers to test it out. The results were surprising.
I was already a top competitor in national competitions, having placed second overall in Showstoppers National one year. (The only reason I hadn’t placed first was because I was beat by a boy that was more than pre-professional, but that’s another story…)
While I was brought up in a competitive environment, I was counseled by my parents to “stay humble,” not matter how good I got, or how many trophies I had won.
I took that advice to heart and carried on, performing my heart out—and winning.
That is why I won the sweetheart award the first time I Love Dance came to Denver.
The Sweetheart award was awarded to the one dancer in each city that exhibited humility, poise, confidence and, of course, talent. One was chosen in each city to travel to the nationals in Las Vegas and receive master dance and self-care classes plus the opportunity to perform on the closing night of the competition in a large production number.
I was ecstatic for the opportunity and privilege of the Sweetheart status.
The entire week was filled with parades of beautiful, well-behaved girls traveling from lessons, to meals, to shows and rehearsals.
Sigh. The rehearsals.
They went until 2am, just like a real Las Vegas show, and then we each had to get up early every morning to compete or take more master classes. It was quite the grueling experience, though exhilarating!!
As the week wore on, I was exposed to more and more of the personalities of the other sweethearts. One in particular will always stand out to me as someone that DID NOT exude the qualities of a Sweetheart.
Her name was Danielle. She was an arrogant little B*tch.
And I wasn’t the only girl that was put off by her. All the girls I was closer with didn’t care for her either.
Turns out she was the niece of the creator of the competition, so she was there by default, not by (the lack of) her Sweetheart qualities.
And the girls and I despised her. Not because she was there, but because of her arrogance.
I wonder what became of her.
I have seen it destroy people—professionally and personally.
I believe what my parents were actually trying to teach me, as a young budding performer, was to be confident, not arrogant.
And luckily, I had the perfect example of how NOT TO be by someone like Danielle, at an early age.
In my experience, arrogance is fake confidence. Faking it until you make it. When you use conditions around you to motivate you to “puff up your chest” or put on a show when you actually feel small and insignificant, to try to get approval from or please others, you are just building a house of cards that will eventually crumble. It’s not sustainable, and it’s not fun to be around.
Arrogance comes from a place of insecurity and lack consciousness. Confidence comes from security, connectedness, abundance and love of self.
Arrogance is a front or a mask put up to protect oneself from ridicule and attack. Confidence doesn’t give a f*ck.
I have adored the confident people in my life because of their authenticity. They are true to themselves and don’t give a rip about what others think of them. They inspire others to do the same. They are full of love and life!
Here are some tips to tap into REAL Confidence:
- Start an appreciation practice: write down 10 things you love about yourself everyday (extra points if you do it twice a day!)
- Make a list of all the things you are really good at and do those things more often!
- Journal about a time in your past when you KNOW in your core you were confident, and focus on the feelings you felt at that time.
- Take a few minutes everyday to focus on that past confident experience and feel those feelings over and over.
- Take a few minutes everyday and quiet your mind (meditate)
- Celebrate your successes weekly by making a list at the end of each week about things that made YOU proud.
These exercises are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to becoming a more confident person. But you can do it!!
Stay confident, lovelies. We are all in this together, and can lift each other up, if we are authentic and connected.
Athena, aka Gazella
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