It’s a harsh reality to face but there’s always someone out there that’s better than you. You may have nailed that hip lock or finally held that handstand but it only takes a quick look on your phone to go from feeling mightily chuffed to totally miffed. The internet is overflowing with people whose talents make your mind explode. It can be motivating, but it can also be soul destroying, so what can we do about it?
Stop comparing yourself to others. It’s unfair. Were you born into a circus? Did your parents stretch you to the point of tears daily? Have you practiced one skill for hours a day, every day since you were three? Unless you’ve had the same upbringing, circumstances and opportunities as the flawless creature you found on YouTube then don’t bemoan what they can do.
Forget about those two little words – if only. If only my back was more flexible. If only I could jump higher. If only I’d started circus younger. Sure life would be different if you started circus when you were three but it wouldn’t necessarily wind you up here. Maybe you found circus at exactly the right time in your life. What if you started earlier and didn’t like it, got injured badly or just grew tired of it? Everything you did in life brought you to the point you are now which is here learning circus and that’s a good thing.
Remember all the things you do well. Maybe your split isn’t as flat someone in your class or your toe isn’t as pointed but don’t forget what makes you amazing.
Think of everything you do well outside of circus whether it is your job, cooking, sport, excel spreadsheets, speaking a second language, painting or trimming the edges of your bonsai. Circus isn’t about being better than anyone else, it’s about bettering yourself. Think back to a year ago, if there’s something you couldn’t do back then that you can do with ease now then congratulations, you’re doing circus great!
And lastly, remember the camera always lies. Editing is a powerful tool. Social media is full of highlight reels. If you are going to post a ‘look at me, I’m so awesome’ clip to Instagram you always pick the one that makes you look awesome, from the best angle, with the best lighting and the best filter. That’s why going to circus classes is so good for you, there’s no filters. You see other people struggle, fail and get frustrated. You remember nobody is perfect and that circus is hard. So be kind to yourself, unless you started circus with a single goal of being the best in the world then celebrate your own victories. #yourock
Kyle studied at NICA with Daniel, they were actually stretching buddies all through first year! He specialised in unicycle and flying trapeze whilst dabbling in juggling, clown and group acrobatics. Kyle has spent the last three years as a full time performer with Circus Oz. He also plays the trumpet, scuba dives and makes a great coffee!