How to Achieve Your Goals with Mel Mah

When I was 16 years old, I had a crazy dream that seemed so far beyond my reach… I wanted to dance on a world tour with an artist. At the time, I was living in my hometown Toronto and I convinced myself that this was a crazy idea to pursue. I was certain that following in my dad’s footsteps and becoming a doctor was what I was meant to do, so this dance dream couldn’t possibly be real.

… But then why did my heart feel so incredibly pulled towards this path? Why was dance all I could ever think about day in and day out? Why would I memorize Janet Jackson’s “All For You” choreography until 2 in the morning when I had a Biology exam the next day.

I didn’t have all those answers yet, but I was fortunate enough (or maybe impulsive enough) to listen to these inner voices that were telling me to pursue dance, even if it was a different path from my family’s. 

Flash forward 9 years later, and I’m performing on my hometown stage in Toronto with Janet Jackson.

How did this happen? How did I go from believing that performing on a world tour was nearly impossible for a little Canadian girl like me, to the point where I’m hugging Janet Jackson after performing onstage for all my family and friends and living out the exact goal I had almost a decade ago?

I can now see that there were necessary steps I took in order to shift myself into the right mental, physical, and spiritual place so I could manifest this goal. The thing I’ve realized about goals is that they are totally possible as long as we believe they are. If we get our mindset right and shape our thoughts in a particular way, we can harness the mind in powerful ways so we can create fulfilling, successful, abundant, and loving realities for ourselves.

Here are the steps I took to achieve my dream of dancing on a world tour:

STEP #1: LISTEN 

How often do you slow down enough to listen to what’s going on in your brain? Studies have shown that the average person has over 6000 thoughts a day, which means that we’ve got a LOT to listen to. 

If we aren’t creating time to be present with our thoughts, it becomes very challenging to develop the kind of awareness needed to know what goals you’re going to pursue. Listening to yourself allows you to determine what YOU want to do instead of relying solely on other people’s opinions. 

Meditating, practicing yoga, and journaling are all fantastic ways of listening to your inner voice, and this is a huge step that so many people miss out on. You can only be 100% clear of what goal you want to pursue if you’re taking the time to listen. 

yoga instructor mel mah wearing a yellow tank top standing in warrior two pose in front of a brick wall

STEP #2: PICK YOUR THOUGHTS

Positive thinking is the key to achieving your goals. Period. If you are operating from a negative mindset and give more power to your fears, it is much more difficult to accomplish what you want to do. On the other hand, a positive mindset can help you attract all that you want because you are literally more radiant and vibrant with an optimistic outlook.

Now let’s be clear… it’s totally normal to have negative thoughts and I’m not asking you to push negativity down. You are human and you will have days where it’s really hard to be positive. The point is to try your best to shift your thinking into a more positive state when you can.

Once you’re aware of what thoughts are going on inside, you can start choosing thoughts that serve your highest good. Try creating affirmations, which are positive and present statements that support your truth.

I am confident and capable of achieving my dreams.
I am exactly where I need to be.
All the opportunities I desire are flowing to me now. 

When I auditioned for Janet, I cycled through 3 affirmations throughout the whole day: “I am present. I am passionate. I am grateful.” This centered my energy and allowed me to give my best in every moment of performance because my mind was focused on thoughts that served me. 

Find the words that truly resonate with you and repeat your affirmation consistently. We can literally rewire the brain by using affirmations. If you don’t believe your statement quite yet, you will with dedicated time and practice. 

cli studios teacher mel mah and assistant journaling and laughing while sitting on a yoga mat

STEP #3: ATTRACT

There are 2 pieces to this third step: you must VISUALIZE your goal, then you must TAKE ACTION in order to ATTRACT what you want.

Now that you’ve selected what goal you want to pursue after steps 1 and 2, you have to visualize the goal as if you’ve already manifested it. Can you see the moment where you’ve accomplished your goal? What are the emotions around it? What are you wearing? Where are you in the world? Visualizing is an easy way to garner excitement for the road ahead so you can stay motivated to do the necessary work.

Then, you must take action on your goal. For me, I knew I had to make a move to LA if I wanted to fulfill my dream of dancing on a world tour because that’s where the auditions happen. This process required tons of planning in terms of saving money, getting a visa, finding an apartment, and more. In this step, you need to apply tenacious effort to get the job done and trust you are prepped to handle any difficulties that come your way.

STEP #4: TRUST 

I struggled with this step for most of my dance career. At a certain point in pursuing your goals, you have to surrender and let go. This means you must enjoy your life and release the need to create any tension around achieving your dreams. I wrapped my self-worth in my goals for so long and I’d take every rejection so personally. But when I booked the Janet audition, I was in a completely free and playful state with dance. I stopped stressing about when it was going to happen and started living in the moment, and I know that wasn’t just a coincidence.

Dream chasing should be fun and it’s so easy to fall into the stressful, anxious, and impatient trap. When you trust, you allow yourself to flow with life and know that you’re exactly where you need to be. Freestyling is a great way to bring in more trust, or cultivating a new skill such as playing a new instrument or taking a painting class. Get creative with how you can learn to go with the flow. 

dance choreographer mel mah and assistants wearing all black at cli studios while teaching a contemporary class

The people who manifest their dreams are the ones who cultivate self-awareness, choose positive thoughts, visualize and take dedicated action towards their goals while having fun with their lives. I’m a firm believer that we’re all meant to accomplish our dreams. We just have to understand what steps we need to take in order to get there… and these 4 steps serve as your road map. 

If I can accomplish my crazy dreams, so can you. 

Go for it. The world needs you to share your gifts, and remember that you were put on this planet for a reason. It’s not random that you are alive at this specific time and it’s up to you to figure out why you’re here. Believe that you were meant to do great things, and you will.

You got this. 

Bonus Exercise:

Print and fill out the worksheet below to start working on your goals. 

cli studios and you got this girl "goal setting worksheet" with 3 writing sections

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