I think it is fair to say that all of us have self-doubt at one time or another. We think we aren't good enough or a similar negative thought.
One of my common negative thoughts is about my age. I am relatively young. I am only 30 and began bellydancing when I was 23. Now I came into this with little to no dance experience, and to be honest quite a klutz. Sometimes I see amazing dancers and I hear that one of the reasons they are so good is that they started young and have already danced a long time. Now I don't mean Ansuya or Suhaila young, just 23 young like me.
That makes me panic. At only 30, with 7 years dance experience I should be on my way to the big time.
The thing I have to step back and realize is that I don't want to be in the big time. Yes, I want to continue to grow and push myself to limit but my limit is not that of some others. Part of why dance makes me so happy is that it is a part of my balanced life. I have a full time day job. I keep a clean house. I like to cook and bake from scratch. I have a nice lawn and flower beds. I visit my elderly grandparents twice a week because I want to spend what little time they have left with them. At the end of the every day, I watch about 1-2 hours of tv with my husband. We chat during commercials and it is the time that we are together and not really distracted. This balance in my life is what makes me happy. Yes, I could dance 2 hours everyday and push myself to advance faster than I am but then what? Do I think it would still make me happy? I am not sure. I love dance and I spend a lot of time practicing, choreographing, attending workshops, and reading. I could spend more time doing those things and even though I love it more that many of my other activities, I am not willing to give any of them up to make more time for dance. In the short term, for a special performance I will but that is different.
My husband came up with this analogy for how I feel about progressing my dance:
There are people who play golf. There are people who play golf really well. Those people may never go into the PGA. They may not want to. They may just be the Country Club Golf Pro. They give lessons, know about all the latest equipment, and almost everything there is to know. They may give lessons to someone who ends up in the PGA. This is me. This is who I want to be in the dance world. I do not want to be a Bellydance Superstar, have an instructional DVD or be a master instructor like my mentor. I want to be always learning and getting better and sharing my knowledge but never pushing so hard that I have to give up any other aspects of my life for dance. The balance is part of what keeps me happy, grounded and moving forward.