When You Feel Like Quitting

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“For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13

I know you have days when it feels easier to quit, to give up. We all have those days. I want to encourage you on those days, when you feel like quitting…

Ballet is intense, it is difficult, and it involves an elite level of training. Ballet is beautiful, glamorous, and lovely, but to get it to look effortless on stage it takes discipline, work, and sweat. When you start to feel like it would be easier to just quit, take a breath, take a break, and run to the Lord for a right perspective. Mostly I want to encourage you to not do anything drastic like walk out of a rehearsal or call your director and announce you are quitting. When your emotions are intense and you feel like flinging your pointe shoes across the floor, resist the urge to just give up. We all have these moments, but we have to remember that dancing professionally is not going to be easy. It involves pain, hard work, time, and sacrifice. Also, if you are in a position of dancing professionally, whether it is as an apprentice in a company or as an advanced student in a school, or even as a seasoned veteran in a company, the fact that you are dancing there is a huge accomplishment and privilege! I do not know what is causing your frustration, but I know it could be the expectations put on you, the struggle with your body, the pain of putting your body through intense rehearsals day in and day out, the competitiveness of the environment you are in, or that you feel like your teacher or your director does not notice you. It may be a combination of all these things. Whatever it is, you can talk to the Lord about it. He promises to take your hand and to help you. So instead of making a drastic decision that you may later regret, pull away for some perspective and talk to the Lord about it. Finish out your commitment to that performance, workshop, or contract while you bring your emotions to the Lord. He will show you what is right for you. He will guide you in this just as He will guide you in all things. But don’t just give up! Ballet is difficult. You are asking your body to do things that are not natural! Press on, one day at a time, leaning on Jesus through it!
There have been a few heated moments in my career where I wanted to walk out of the studio and just quit. I am so glad I did not quit! I am not saying it was easy to keep pressing on, but usually the moments I wanted to quit were when I was tired, in pain, burnt-out, or just discouraged. For me, it was an invitation to draw close to my Savior….a reminder that although He has given me this blessing and gift to dance professionally, it does not mean I can do it all by myself. It is a reminder to let Him in my dancing and every corner of my heart.

Prayer: “Dear Lord, You know how I am feeling today, and You know how my heart just wants to quit. Thank You that You pursue me constantly with Your love and grace. Help me take the time to just sit in the lap of Your beautiful grace and love and just talk to You about my emotions. Let me linger there awhile and let You work in my heart, trusting You to show me the path You have for me. Help me press on even when it’s hard, even when I don’t feel good enough, and even when I am weary.”

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