how to move forward when self-sabotage strikes

With every new beginning, with every first step, there usually appears a moment of doubt or critical self-talk that wants to pull us back into old habits and sabotage our efforts.

“Are you really sure you can do that?”

“What if you fail?”

“You’re not [blank] enough to get there.”

I’ve been hearing from many of you that you’re in a time of transition and uncertainty. You might sense that big opportunities await you, but you’re still in the wings, waiting to emerge, scared to step forward.

As I’m totally in this as well, I wasn’t surprised to see a negative, self-sabotaging old pattern crop up this week: I noticed myself getting really critical about my body in the mirror. It stems from the programming I received in the ballet world years ago, which created a need for perfection and control over freedom and expression. One of the ways I tried to perfect and control myself was through my body image. I can now recognize that it was a great way to keep myself small and make excuses for not doing the things I really wanted to do.

What’s your version of that? What programming did you receive when you were young that still affects you today?

If I could go back in time and whisper in my younger-self’s ear, here’s what I would say:

Dear Jess (in pink tights and pointe shoes),

  • Your belly is supposed to change shape. It expands when you eat and at certain times of the month and it’s beautiful in all its forms.
  • Dance for yourself, not for the approval of an outside eye.
  • Dance to your favorite songs even when – especially when – you are being critical of your body.
  • Eat real, whole foods. (Tasti-D-Lite doesn’t qualify as a meal.)
  • Technique isn’t everything. What shines through most is who you are.

Do any of these resonate for you? What would you tell your younger self?

I encourage you to write a letter to him or her and then read it back to yourself from where you’re at now. It might just give you the confidence you need to take that next step forward. 

Share your letter below!

So this week, let’s band together and be willing to trust ourselves, to leap forward in the face of uncertainty, to quiet the critical voice in our heads, and let our heart-expanding visions pull us into a new future.

Don’t hold yourself back. The world needs your brilliance.

to the realness of you,