Just Be Yourself… wait what?

Hey guys!  It’s Emily Stillings here and I am so excited to be writing for Whine Night today!

So here’s a little background about me:

I have been a professional dancer for almost three years now.  (Which, when I write that out, seems very soon to writing a blog post like I’m a seasoned professional but we are all learning here right…?)  Anyways, when I decided to be a dancer I really did not comprehend how often my life would just be putting myself out there and hoping to book a job.  To get a job as a dancer you have to go to A LOT of auditions – about 15-20 a month during peak season.  That’s like 15-20 interviews, 15-20 anxiety attacks, 15-20 first impressions and 15-20 times I hear from castings “just be yourself.”

Simple right? “Just be yourself.”  Like what does that ACTUALLY mean.  You’ve probably been told this by a friend before a first date, an important interview, or when you’re asked to write a blog post…. to “just be yourself.”  I’m sure we have all heard it and attempted to put these words into actions.  But like, how tho?

It wasn’t until recently that I have had the pleasure of being on the opposite side of the situation at an audition.  It was my turn to tell people “just be yourself.”  I finally got a front row seat to see what really gives that people that extra something.  Maybe I could fill this empty phrase with something substantial.  Right from the beginning of the day, I quickly realized the people who caught my eye.  They were the dancers who I could tell, loved the way they specifically moved and were excited to share it with me.  I enjoyed watching these dancers even when they didn’t get the steps perfectly because they invited me into their love for their movement.  On the other side, I could immediately tell the girls who felt awkward.  The ones who were still learning how to love the way they moved and in turn, it made me feel incredibly awkward to watch them.  It finally dawned on me what about “just being yourself” makes us attractive to other people.  It’s the love of what you have to bring to the table.  If you love what you have, others will love it too.

What I could take away from this experience was that I found comfort in someone who loved what they brought to the table.  So when you’re on that first date, don’t be nervous about sharing your passion about Japanese anime, go for it and see how the love in your interests are taken.  When you go to that interview, love that you bring a new and unique element to the design company with your background in music.  And when you’re asked to put yourself out there and write a blog post, love that you have something you believe is worth sharing with viewers across the web.  If it doesn’t work out, that job, that guy, that blog (….), it is not for you and that is okay.  You love who you are and that’s all you can do.  So the next time your bff is advising you to “just be yourself,” try this new approach of being confident and don’t look back.  Don’t “just BE yourself” but “just LOVE yourself.”


*****disclaimer: easier said than done…but still try.

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