It never is about performance. Most of us spend our lives feeling we have to be something for ourselves or for others. We feel we have to perform no matter what arena of life we are in. Truly it is never about performance. It is about honoring who we really are and need to be in that moment. You can never move others more, or do a better job than if you are mindful and centered in this moment just allowing your deepest being to express through you. Sometimes doing that may look like success , sometimes it may feel like failure. However expressing ourselves truly is never failure, it is just beautiful truth.
If you are in a hugely important meeting and you are feeling like you have to perform by becoming who you think others want you to be.You are not offering your full value.In this space of performance you will never be as powerful and moving as if you tune in to your inner being, decide what feels most wholesome for you to express and then simply express that. There is a kind of rawness and openness that comes naturally when we give up performance. Of course sometimes there are constraints in a work place , however there is usually always some room to be more who we really are, than to perform.
Sport or clubs
If you are a member of a cricket team (or any team or club) and you haven’t been making many runs and the coach suggests you may be out unless you perform this game.Aim to have some acceptance for either possibility, staying in or not staying in.Trust that either outcome will have some value for you and you will put yourself under less pressure.Just go out and be who you are,play the way that is most comfortable for you. Be present and focused on each ball, one at a time, letting your body do what it’s good at. Let go of overall performance and just do what comes in each moment.This is what being a conscious mindful being is all about.
If you are a school teacher and the principle or the curriculum tells you certain things have to be performed a certain way. However knowing your class you have some deeper sense of other variations that may really help your students. Trust your gut instinct, be present with your lovely class and let your deeper intuitive self guide what you do. Of course there will be constraints, that’s OK work with them not against them.It will possibly feel scary to trust yourself initially and to risk what others may say.That’s OK feel the fear and do it anyway.
Always being most true to ourselves will be the best way to be, even if who we are in that moment is hugely vulnerable.Socially we often feel the need to perform , to be bubbly and happy or the life of the party.We don’t need to be any of those things. We will never be more available to ourselves and others than when we let go of being anything and just aim to be who we truly are in that moment. If we are feeling vulnerable or not confident we can just allow that internally, but don’t let it make us withdraw. Aim to stay warm , open and perhaps a little quiet initially but with increasing ability to say what comes from our heart.
Truth and vulnerability, non performance
I read a beautiful article in Saturdays West a few weeks ago about a radio show hostess who was experiencing some depression. She had the courage to express truly what she was feeling, live on radio with no previous discussion to her bosses nor co hosts. She let go of all performance in that moment and was simply herself allowing openness and vulnerability. Nothing is ever more powerful than the authentic expression of who we are, it was hugely well received by her audience.
For most of us performance starts the minute we are faced with another human, actually many of us are even performing to ourselves.Sometimes it takes a lot of slowing down and tuning in before clients in psychotherapy will acknowledge the truth of themselves, it can be very hard to acknowledge our own neediness, or our fears or inadequacy or ache for love.Unfortunately we will never move beyond what we don’t acknowledge so staying in the “I’m OK” performance, lying to ourselves, will never get us anywhere.
Performance always becomes more pronounced once we are in front of other people. Many of you reading this article may not think that you perform. If you think that, tune in more deeply, it is a very rare human who is beyond performance entirely.Performance always takes huge amounts of energy and it takes us further away from who we need to be to feel whole.
Presence is really the only way out of performance. Spend more time tuning in to your inner being. Acknowledge what is there with acceptance whether it is turbulent or still. Aim to maintain some contact with your inner being such as your breath or the energy in your body (see Body meditation on meditation resources page) when you are with people.Be willing to be open and vulnerable as much as possible.It always feels scary to be vulnerable and undefended but that is the only way to allow love and consciousness to flow in your life.Aim to let go of performance and you will be on your way to a more authentic, present and joyous life.