Your big day has finally arrived. The competition you’ve worked so hard to prepare for is about to begin. You step out and OWN that dance floor! Everything comes together perfectly. You and your dance partner are completely in sync and you’ve never felt more connected to the music. Awards time comes and you’re the winner! You couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day.
Then after the costumes have been put away and the makeup has been washed off, you wake up one morning and think, “Now what?”
It’s not uncommon to feel a dip in your mood after a big event. After the high of performing your passion and coming out victorious, the return to reality feels like a downward slope. We talked before about how to bounce back after a big loss, but strangely enough, sometimes it can be harder to find motivation after a big win!
All of your focus, time and energy went toward this event, so it’s natural to feel a little lost after the event is over. Your point of focus is gone.
When I write or talk to people about staying motivated to practice, I always emphasize the importance of knowing your big why, as in the overarching reason you dance. For example, I dance because I feel closest to my true self when I’m dancing. It helps me face fears and grow stronger and more confident as a person. I feel happy and accomplished when I dance. My main reasons for dancing do not include “I want to win X title at Y competition.”
Specific events should be considered milestones on your dance journey, not the final destination. They are smaller goals that help you track your progress. They’re important because they give you something tangible to shoot for. But events like competitions are not the end all, be all.
So after that amazing victory (congratulations by the way!), if you’re feeling a little lost and wondering, “now what?”, reconnect with your why. Remember your victory through that lens. When I think back to the competition where I won my World title, I remember how amazing I felt dancing and how strong and confident I felt. I remember the feeling of walking out on the dance floor in full ownership of who I was. All of that happened before I actually won the award. The title was more like a result of me connecting with my why for dance than a reason itself.
When you’re clear on why you’re dancing, then you’ll be able to answer the “now what” question more easily because you’ll know what tangible goal will support your why. I dance because I love the way it challenges me mentally, physically and emotionally. So I knew moving up to the Open division after winning the title in Closed Silver would be the perfect next goal to continue challenging myself. Maybe you already have your event schedule lined up for the year. After your last competition, what will the next competition represent? It can’t just be the next one on the calendar. Is it a chance to improve your technique? Or perhaps a challenge to be more expressive?
When you know why you’re putting in the time, money, energy, blood, sweat and tears, “now what?” will always be an easy question to answer. So let me know! What’s your next move and what will it do for your why?