“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” -William James
This quote speaks volumes to me, someone who (like most people) tends to overthink every situation. Stress is inevitable for all people, but we don’t realize that the majority of our stress actually comes from ourselves. One good example comes from my experience at dance auditions. Dancers go in, learn the choreography in a short amount of time, and prepare to perform in smaller groups in front of the judges- usually all under an hour. Though I’ve been going to these auditions for almost two years now, the nerves that come from auditioning have never completely gone away. However, the best way I overcome these nerves is simply by choosing to think positively. I don’t think about how I compare to the other dancers, nor do I panic about how well I know the choreography. These little worries that come into your mind are just distractions, big “What if”s that are not worth stressing about.
My first year of auditioning had me asking myself these “What if” questions, leading to self-doubt as a dancer. But the second year, I told myself that I was an amazing dancer. I told myself that even if I went on stage and fell on my face, I would do it with pointed feet and a fabulous smile on my face. I told myself that I had no reason to put extra stress on myself; all I needed to do was dance. And it worked! I had more confidence in myself, remembered the entire combination, and was even hugged by my dance teachers who were surprised by my change in energy.
It’s natural to feel stress in a high-anxiety environment. But when you boil the situation down to its core, eliminating the stress you create for yourself, you can perform much better. We have the ability to “choose one thought over another”, so in everything you do, choose the thought that brings out your positive energy!