"I know what I am capable of achieving, and as long as I know that that was the best that I could do in that very moment, then I won't have any regrets walking away from it," Francesca Hayward tells us in the latest instalment of our Master the Art franchise.
As a principal dancer at the Royal Ballet, the 28-year-old knows a thing or two about the self-discipline and unrelenting focus required to be successful in such a role. Performing at such a high standard naturally means that expectations are equally high, but Hayward - known as Frankie to her friends - insists that you can only ever do your best.
"Perfectionism is concentrating on an ideal that doesn't exist," she explains. "I will never have a perfect show. It's more the feeling that I get from it - that I can walk away from the stage and know that I handled the situation really well. That I let the best of me come out."
Perhaps surprisingly for a woman at the very top of her game, Hayward actually doesn't think of herself as a naturally "very disciplined person"; it's something that she's honed and worked at over the course of her career.
"Every time I step on stage I know there's a certain level expected of me," she explains. "I absolutely have days where I really feel like I'm struggling. Struggling to keep my head above the water. Or I feel a bit disheartened because I don't think I've performed well that day. And what I try and do on those days is just to realise that you really can't be perfect. There is no such thing as perfection."
Watch our full video interview with Hayward above, in which she gives her advice for being more self-disciplined.
The June issue of Bazaar, starring Francesca Hayward, is out now.
You Might Also Like