While a lot of fun, competitions are also stressful experiences. A single focus on winning or placing in finals can be a recipe for disaster. Avoid it by setting up a realistic goal for yourself.
We are in the heart of competition season. And while competitions are quite a bit of fun, they are also very stressful experiences. We, as dancers, athletes, and competitors, make them even more strenuous by placing a huge emotional and mental burden on ourselves – the burden of placing in finals or winning. Keep in mind that a single focus on winning can be, and often is, a recipe for disaster. The dancers forget about the fun and quality of dancing and only think about getting placed higher…because placement for most competitors directly correlates to being ‘appreciated and liked’ or ‘disliked’ by judges. In reality, this is not the case. For judges, it often comes down to simple timing and whether or not you stood out for them in that particular competition. By placing such huge load on your body and mind, you are actually creating far fewer opportunities to simply enjoy your own performance, which inevitably leads to poorer placement.
So even though the very nature of competition calls for a focus on placing and winning, try to find something else that is valuable for you. It might be the experience of performing/dancing in front of a real audience, or wearing a beautiful costume/makeup, or just simply being a part of something unique and special. Set a realistic goal for yourself for every competition and work to achieve it. Almost always this approach will result in greater satisfaction and a feeling of personal success. You will be the happiest, and you will feel better than most winners.
Small goals are goals too. Just make them about YOU and your experience, not the end result. The great result will follow and the trophy will find you!