>”You have to realize the important thing is to be focused on yourself and motivated by yourself, not by your peers.”
— Daphne Fernberger, 18, Juilliard ballet student.
That’s partly very wise, and yet partly inaccurate. Self-motivation is terribly important, and looking to others for your strength — be it from praise, from support, or simply from any kind of attention — is not going to give you the strength you need, which only can come from self-motivation.
That said, competition against our peers is what spurred most of us on to excel to begin with. Without looking around to see how we stand up against others, many of us would get too comfortable to keep striving to create something better. It’s also part of the performing artist’s career to be judged and compared, constantly, to others. Plus, being too focused on oneself leads to living in one’s own little reality, and it can get lonely there. It is not an easy line to toe.
Can you say if your biggest motivator is yourself, or others? Or both equally important?