Friday, September 21, 2007

What if... We Gave Up Performing?

The other day, I read an article about a former Olympiad whom spent many of her young years training to be a gymnast. The training did pay off as she won a gold medal in one of her events. Her disappointment, however, came when she didn’t place in any medal position in the other gymnastic events.

Reading that article reminded me of a book I read over the summer called “Dancing Solo” by Tim Green. The book talks about how to break the ‘performance trap’ that comes too easily for many, where performance seems to define who you are. Like the gymnast, you might relate to how winning one gold medal wasn’t good enough-she wanted more. In her quest for more, she overworked herself, and performed her way out of any other medals.

Do you ever feel like you’re ‘chasing the wind’ only to realize that once you attain that goal, it’s never good enough and you press on for more? This gymnast did. The result is a 20-something woman who has given up her career as a gymnast and is trying to decide which direction her life is heading. Her performance defined who she was from a very early age. Life is not just about ‘doing’-it’s learning how to enjoy the ‘being.’


1. Be honest with yourself and evaluate if you depend on performance for recognition and self-esteem. If so, ask yourself if it’s bringing you all the happiness and contentment you need personally and professionally.

2. Being performance-driven is an ingrained mindset. If you are committed to change this, realize you can’t break the performance trap overnight. (I know-performance-driven people want change and results yesterday!)

3. Realize that complete self-sufficiency is what drives performance. (i.e.‘I’ll make things happen,” “My goals will get me where I need to go” etc.) It’s like running at 110% 24/7 with no break! This obviously starts to wear you down after many years. Consider having faith in something other than yourself and your abilities to bring definition, peace and balance to your life.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this message, there is a fine line between doing our part and leaving the rest up to God. So often we believe that if we press forward with iron will then all will work as planned. Often that is indeed the case, and then there are times when it is simply not Gods will.

I have asked God to open only the doors that I am meant to walk through and then became frustrated and weary as I pounded on those very same doors with clinched fist and firm shoulder because I wanted them to be opened to me.

I am so grateful that our creator is mindful of us and our tendencies to give lip service to phrases like, “Let Go & Let God” only to watch us wrestle and fight to keep control of the things that He’s “not handling” as we believe He should.

Praise God for grace and growth!