Actually, I CAN…

I can, personal, self-belief, self, trust, belief, believe, can, power, powerful, personal



Two of the most powerful words in our own personal universe. How would it be different if we used our ‘I CAN’ muscle more often than the ‘I CAN’T’ one? How would that feel? Would it feel like possibility, potential or adventure? Would it be a relief or a chore?

Would it feel like freedom or fear?

Would it through you off balance?

Would it be enough?


Choosing the belief in yourself and potential is enough. We are all already enough. How would you speak to a friend or a child when they are struggling? Most likely with kindness, compassion and encouragement. Sadly, we don’t give ourselves the same boost when we are facing a setback or when something doesn’t seem to go our way.

The truth is, it seems harder to be nicer to ourselves. Somehow in society, the message has been misconstrued that having self-belief equates to being boastful or selfish. I have definitely thought in the past that someone’s strong sense of self, can come across as being over-confident or disruptive to the harmony of an environment. They might seem to act like they are better than the next person. It made me feel uncomfortable and I would make myself a little bit smaller in the world around these people. 

Eventually, I worked out that I had it all wrong about self-belief.

It took me years to realise, that those people who believe in themselves, aren’t the loud or boastful ones. The people who exercise their “I CAN” muscle frequently and especially when faced with difficulty, aren’t the ones telling the world how amazing they are. They are just brilliant at what they do, they believe in others as much as themselves, they are supportive, friendly, loyal and generous people and they certainly have their bad days and rough patches. They are ones who can balance themselves and their lives through their inner strength.

Their inner strength and self-belief is a presence they take with them everywhere, no matter where they are in their lives. 

Because that is the secret….by being enough you encourage others to feel the same. Imagine if you found out that one day you had completely changed someone’s day and perspective by showing them kindness and the support they needed, perhaps even just a warm smile. Celebrating each other’s greatness and sharing in their successes and joys only makes your experiences more rich and fulfilling.


I have the good fortune to be blessed with so many people in my world that inspire me on a daily basis, countless times a day. Being a dancer is an opportunity to be inspired constantly by what or who is around you. I have also learned that with all this inspiration around there has to be another potent ingredient in the mix…

My “I CAN” muscle – if I don’t believe that I can do it, dance a role like I want to, go on stage and be present or even get through a hard day, it most likely won’t happen. Even with all the other extenuating factors, we create our own opportunities and the opportunity to feel good about ourselves in a whole host of circumstances.

I urge you to dare to dream, dare to believe that you can. Even when and especially when, it feels like no one else around you believes. You can be your own best friend and be successful at anything you do and not be the loudest one in the room. It is all a question of balance.

It’s not selfish, boastful or brashly confident. It’s a quiet feeling, it hums along even when life gets rough and you can’t quite hear for all the noise. On the odd occasion, tapping into this feeling can completely change your day for the better. 

We need to balance the influx of the ‘I CAN’Ts’ with the ‘I CAN’s.’

Working your “I CAN” is complete self-empowerment and it’s our birthright to be enough already. Don’t let anyone tell you that that is not even close to being enough. Being on your own unique journey is enough.

I can.

You can.



  1 comment for “Actually, I CAN…

  1. Lizzie
    April 4, 2015 at 11:10 pm

    Hi Dana! I am so glad I found your blog. I am a regular with my mum to the Australian Ballet’s performances in Sydney and read about your blog in your bio. Your story is such an inspiration and what you have written is so true! I live in a country town and I took very few dance classes so I didn’t start ballet until I was in boarding school in Sydney. Now, at 16, and two years after stating ballet classes, I have only recently begun dancing en pointe. I feel like a career in ballet was a missed opportunity and then the constant onslaught of the same question, “what do you want to be when you’re older?” is painful to answer. I have no idea, but I do know that I don’t want to give up dance completely. Maybe teach classes part time, at least during university. What you wrote about having the mindset ‘I can’ was really heartening and motivational. I know that a substantial career in dance might be to late for me, but I can still keep it part of my life. If you can make it through a major health issue and still go on to become a soloist with the Australian Ballet, then I have no excuses!
    Thank you so much and best wishes

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