Gina & Susanne connecting this week over events in their lives as artists. Creating space with the intention to shine a light on dark corners with the hope to support you. Come join us with no judgment. We are holding space to learn, laugh, and downright pointe at ourselves.
Watch the episode here:
Rise 360 with Gina & Susanne | Choosing a different belief
Choosing a different belief
‘Always remember that you are absolutely unique just like everyone else’-Margaret Mead.
If we could choose another belief, what would it do to our personal career, our life, how we show up, and how we train on a continuous basis. There’s a belief that being female is going to be harder than it is for the boys.
We realize how in different ways we, as industry support male dancers over female dancers. From school; free scholarships, all the way through to getting paid more than female dancers in a company for example. It does not have anything to do with any person in particular. It’s something that we have created as a collective over the years, over the decades. And the more we believe this to be true, the more we’re seeing it. And then the more we’re choosing actions that will support that belief.
There’s something in our brain that’s called the reticular activating system. It works as a filter. It is there to protect us because otherwise we would be completely overwhelmed with everything and anything that comes at us during a 24-hour day or time period. And it lets through only a certain kind of noises or triggers. And one of them is what we believe in. What we have bought into. Meaning that for example, when we bought a new car or when we decided this is the car that we want. And this is the color. All of a sudden, all we would see was this particular car. It’s turned up everywhere, over and over again. Well, that same principle applies to other things in our life. If we believe that we are a diamond in a dazzle, then our filter will filter everything else out. It will not show us the opportunities that are actually there for us. It will only show us the lack of and therefore the belief will be created more and more. And it becomes a cycle. Our rabbit hole is deep. And the only way to interrupt that is by choosing a different belief.
When to replace that limiting belief
What would it look like for us to choose a different belief? What if we’re not a diamond in a dazzle? What if we are as unique as everybody else? And what if there is work out there for us? What if it would be easy? What if is such a powerful question; why it’s called a limiting belief. And it’s literally a limiting belief. We have the power to choose when to replace that limiting belief. And what is the opposite of being a diamond in a dazzle is being beautifully unique that no one else can replace or replicate.
As dancers, knowing and owning our uniqueness is not typically one of our top strengths. We’re amazing at comparing ourselves. And we’re amazing at thinking of all the things that we need to fix before we’re acceptable. We’re not always great at looking at what our strengths are. That’s the belief to tap into rather than the belief of,’ ‘We are a diamond dazzle. Everyone around us is competing with us for the same job.’ And if we imagine how differently we would show up in the world with this. Embracing our uniqueness as dancers, we’d see, going back to a female-male analogy, a lot more female choreographers, female artistic directors, leaders in the dance world because were, we’re not limited by the belief that we are a diamond in a dazzle.
Changing our beliefs into powerful beliefs
And it starts with us stepping into our professional life. It starts that young. There is never a right or a wrong time to start changing our beliefs into powerful beliefs that won’t hold us back. Not acting like a ceiling that wants to be the suppressor of our potential. Because that’s really what it is. We can do whatever our minds can create. And since we’re working together, our mind knows exactly what we’re capable of. It is our beliefs that we have received from wherever, from our caregivers’ teachers, even just conversations that we overheard that make us believe that there’s only a certain thing or a certain way. Or even a certain job title that we can have and anything outside of that, it’s just not ours. No that’s not true. We can be anything and anybody that we can think of. We understand that it’s super easy to know what we don’t want. And it’s also very important to know what we don’t want. And we put a lot of time into what we don’t want. However, that is not how we create what we actually want.
We need to know what we want
In order to see the possibilities, in order to activate our filter, we need to know what we want so we can actually see it. So our brain can tell us where these possibilities are. What do we want to see? What color glasses are we putting on? Are they black, gray, or are they pink and glittery? We have that choice. There’s no growth without the rain in whatever analogy we want to choose. Let us know that even when we’re going through these tough moments. We do get to choose who we are going to become on the other end of this.
And maybe even if we can’t connect those dots at that moment or two or three years later maybe we can do it later. Or maybe we can help somebody else to really let them know how uniquely beautiful they are in every possible way.
It’s not just in how we show up physically. What we look like, but it’s in the air that we carry around us. There’s a sense of someone who knows their unique value, what they have to offer. They carry this beautiful air of confidence. And it’s something we can’t quite put our finger on. But we can totally see about them. And that’s a powerful way to show up in the world and to really give everything that we have to give. So being aware that we’re going to carry that aura with us and people will notice it, opportunities will open for us when we fully embrace our uniqueness, rather than settling back into that limiting belief.
We are a magnet
We become a magnet. We always are a magnet. Whatever we’re experiencing in our life is because we are a magnet and our beliefs create that magnetic field. It’s so beautiful to say that when we believe in ourselves when we understand how magical we are without being arrogant or wishing that on somebody else, so we can be better than them because that’s not coming from a loving route. When we have that deep knowledge about ourselves. How beautiful and unique we are in everything that we are, we will become the magnet for exactly that. It doesn’t matter how many people are in the room. And if somebody can’t see that, it’s because that’s not what they’re looking for. And then that is not the place for us. It may be hurting right now because we really want it to be for some reasons that are perhaps outside there. It’s not necessarily the same for us because there’s something better out there for us.
It would be very helpful for dancers in an auditioning process to keep that in mind. If they’re not drawn to our unique gifts, our special package that only we have, then that’s not the right spot for us to be. There’s another spot that we’re meant for rather than, ‘they didn’t pick us. We’re not good enough. They didn’t pick us.’ In business and even in investment, it is always a two-way conversation. It’s always building a relationship. It’s always paid. How can we really tap into each other’s superpowers? And for some reason, we were not applying that in ballet. At least not in our thinking on either side. Dancers are so afraid of wanting the job and not getting it because there is too many of us and only the best will get it. But what if we would make it into a collaboration where, ‘We are here to offer everything that we have, and we can stand behind each other with all the power and all the love that we have within us that we can offer a company to attract that kind of audience to come and see us, which then will turn into monetary funding. Or we can show up as, ‘Oh, I’m so afraid. I don’t know if I’m good enough. I’m not for this company’.
When we are coming from that place of knowing and the place of not chasing, but creating. And if every dancer would do that, imagine what actually would be created on a stage and how powerful that could be compared to what we’re seeing right now.
Because our choices as artists don’t just stay within our own bubble. They reverberate throughout the art that we make. And so the impact of us choosing to embrace our uniqueness doesn’t end with us. It resounds. It goes out into the world, through our art. So it’s worth taking the time.
It’s not only a magnet. Doesn’t only attract one pick of metal. Whatever metal there is, it’s just all going to flock to it. Same thing. It’s like a speaker.
Inquire within and inquire without
As a dancer, first inquire within. Let us ask ourselves, ‘what are our biggest strengths as artists’ and write them down. And then after inquiring within, and then inquire without. Let us ask some of our closest friends what strengths they see in us as dancers and begin to develop this list of knowing what we’re amazing at and owning it. We do a fantastic job of looking at how many dancers there are and how few jobs are available and looking at all the things we want to fix. But if we could inquire within and inquire without about our strengths. And start to develop that within us and really own it, and focus on it rather than the other. That would be a good starting point.
Beliefs are everything
It’s the best because we need to know our values in order to really shift our beliefs. If we believe we’re not, ‘I just want to do this and I don’t think I’m enough.’ Well, we’re not going to get there with that kind of belief. Beliefs are everything.
And beliefs take time and patience to turn around. It certainly won’t be like a switch that we flip. But we’re encouraging us to begin the work now. And that possibly focusing on our strengths might be the first step to going from the lack mentality. And that the chasing after the job to, ‘we are worthy, we have something beautiful to offer’. We can’t wait until someone notices that and gives us an opportunity. We’ll be aware of the opportunity because that limiting belief will have been lifted and we can see clearly the opportunities in front of us.
Tapping into new beliefs
The whole, ‘We are not good enough’ comes with a lot of judgment about all the things that we’re not great at. So we have strengthened that muscle, that beautiful knee. Now when we’re starting a different work; we’ve been training classical our entire life and we’re starting modern. It’s going to take us a while to let go. To loosen back up and to use different muscles. It will hurt in different parts. It will feel uncomfortable and our heart will beat in our throat because our body is warning us of danger. This is different than what we’re usually doing. And that is where awareness will come in. So importantly, knowing that we’re still okay. It is just our emotions are a record of the past. Meaning that even when we’re feeling fear, it is just the record of the past because we don’t know anything else yet. We haven’t primed our brain to believe something different yet. So when we’re tapping into this kind of new belief, it will feel like our jacket, our point shoes are so small, we can hardly stand up. And the more often we stand up, the stronger those muscles become, the bigger those point shoes will get. The more comfortable the two tubes will feel on us. It is a matter of time and it only will align with us if we stay consistent just with everything else in our life.
Low vibration beliefs
Particularly as dancers, because the mind can be our demon, if we are not working on it, it will just go. And it will default into all of the low vibration beliefs. It’s not that we can’t control it. 95% of our life is being run by our subconscious and that subconscious mind. It’s like our hardware. It’s our computer. It’s what has been put in there up until the age of, some say 7,15. It’s experiences that have created traumatic experiences in our life. And if we’re not aware of that and understand that they may be coming up at any given point that’s nobody’s fault, it is what it is.
The new way
But how do we react to them? What are we going to do with them? Are we going to buy into them? Are we going to take it for face value and say, ‘Oh, that’s the truth.’ Or do we know exactly what’s happening and say, ‘Oh, Nope, not my truth anymore.’
Get in the backseat, buckle up because we’re going to go fast that new way. That is a power that is so underestimated and it is so highly important. Particularly for dancers to be aware and to have the basic knowledge. So that we can move our mind the way we need it to be and not have the mind being our driver.
Okay, we’re sending you so much love. Thank you for being here. Thank you for always listening and till next time.
So much ❤ Susanne
Important Links to Gina McFadden:
I’m so glad you are here. With all that I have, my goal is to serve YOU – to inspire YOU to better health and wellness in an accessible, actionable way. My passion is to empower dancers like you in their pursuit of better health and peak performance. My work as a dance educator has focused around giving dancers the knowledge and tools to care for their bodies and minds.
Dance has been a part of my life since I was nine. I trained at ballet studios as well as competition studios – my heart knows and loves both worlds! (Did you know you were reading the bio of Teen Miss Dance of Michigan 1994?!) I went on to dance professionally The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, Ballet Pacifica, State Street Ballet and The National Choreographers Initiative.
My students include ballet “bun heads,” competition dancers, concert and commercial dancers…I’ve even taught 3-year-olds (which, as it turns out, is a lot like herding kittens). Most recently, I have been on the faculties of Boston Ballet School, New Jersey School of Ballet, Grand Rapids Ballet School and an adjunct professor at Grand Valley State University and Hope College.
Want to sample some of my writing? I have a blog here and am a blog contributor at The Muse by Apolla. Want to take one of my virtual classes? I teach Apolla Insta Live Series twice a month!
My degrees in business and legal studies tell the tale of a young lady who once thought she wanted to be a lawyer…but this beautiful art form kept calling me back…
Wanting to learn more about anatomy and mind-body connection, I completed my RYT yoga teacher training in 2016. Oftentimes my students will end up in down dog in the middle of a ballet barre because…down dog. I am a Holistic Life, Career & Executive Coach and work with clients (dancers and non) around the globe.
I am married to a handsome Marine (oorah!) and mamma of two lovely daughters, ages 9 and 12. My other joys in life include cooking from scratch, working out, spending time with my family, hosting big dinner parties and reading.
Honored that you are here, Dancer! Please reach out to me via email if you would like to connect!