Career Development Plan - Dealing with Pressure

Career Development Plan - Dealing with Pressure

Hi Odette,
I am a perfectionist and I want to be my personal best at every moment. I train seriously with a good teacher. I feel as if I'm cracking under all of the pressure and am finding it difficult to cope with the feelings of inadequacy that come from my perfectionism. I feel almost hopeless. I need to make mental changes. Is there any advice you can give me? Thanks!


Reply by Odette

Career Development Plan - Dealing with Pressure


Thank you for contacting me, it is a pleasure to hear from you.

Along with the physical ability, it's absolutely crucial to be mentally prepared for a professional ballet career. It highly depends on your self-motivation to how you succeed in becoming a professional ballet dancer. The Seven Secrets, on the 'Seven Secrets of Ballet' page, will give you the key answers of how to thrive in the ballet world.

I completely understand how you feel and it is not uncommon for dancers to strive for perfection. But what you have to do is stay positive and learn how to deal with the frustration that goes on in your mind. I am a great believer that to succeed you need the right mental attitude in order to progress. It takes time to build the right attitude in your mind and you have to learn to understand, accept and believe in yourself.

Don't be over ambitious in your goals, but always keep things in perspective. I often remind myself to take each day as it comes and to live in the moment, as oppose to stressing over things I have no control over. Knowing what you can and cannot control is one of the skills to a successful dancer. There are some things in life we cannot control, so it's never worth getting distressed about those things you cannot change.

From my seven secrets, I would say you need to focus on believing in yourself and your ability. Stay confident and remind yourself with the great things you have achieved so far. Keep a little book or diary of inspirations to keep you motivated and positive for the future. In this book put inspiring quotes, your favourite dancers, your happiest moments and look at it whenever you feel hopeless or pressured. This will give you encouragement and hope so you can escape from those negative thoughts.

Whenever you come to the point where you feel overwhelmed with inadequacy and stress, just take a minute to breathe and calm yourself. Take a walk. Listen to your most favourite music. Look through some family photographs. Remind yourself you are fine, you are ok and you are strong enough to deal with your emotions under pressure.

Listen to these encouraging quotes and use them as a starting point for your inspirational diary -

"You have to be your own icon." Laura Morera, Principal, Royal Ballet

"Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion." Martha Graham

"It does not matter how slow you go, as long as you don't stop." Confucius

"Whoever wants to reach a distant goal must take many small steps."- Helmut Schmidt
"To the question of your life you are the answer, and to the problems of your life you are the solution." ~Joe Cordare

Now I want you to find some of your own inspiring quotes and tell me your most favourite ones.

Best Wishes,


ps. To become the best dancer you can be, learn the Seven Secrets ..... go to my 'Seven Secrets of Ballet' page

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