This is an Experience, Not a Performance

Written March 4, 2013

I just stumbled upon a great article, Stop Focusing on Your Performance, by Peter Bregman. It pretty much sums up the worry I’ve been having about my recent commitments to writing and creating and, more truthfully, announcing those commitments to the world via this beast we call Social Media.

There is definitely a tendency or desire to figure everything out BEFORE sharing it with the world. We like to plan it fully with each step an accomplishment before it’s even taken. We hope that by the time anyone sees what we’ve got to give, it’s in a nicely wrapped package with a matching bow on top. I however decided to get going with all of these new intentions while the price tag was still on them, discovering that the box wasn’t the right size, and that I’ve run out of scotch tape. Does this metaphor make sense?

More simply, I realized that if I waited until I had it all organized and pretty, another year or more would pass before I actually said anything or worse, it would all just get stuck in my head as another one of my great ideas that yawned itself to sleep.

The only way to gain momentum is to start moving.

To bring that witty quote to life, I’ll tell you that I just spent three hours staring at this computer screen because I committed to writing a blog every Monday and today is Monday (the Monday of the second week of my commitment to be exact) and I panicked that I had nothing of importance to share. Let’s just say I can get in my own way sometimes. I bet you can too, yes? (Please say yes.)

So let’s read and re-read Mr. Bregman’s well-chosen words and be grateful that there’s always someone nearby to remind us that we simply don’t have to be perfection. Sometimes we can be doubtful or awkward. If we need to, we can offer disclaimers* and caveats** and pre-emptive apologies*** in bold typeface to those in the audience we think are expecting a well-rehearsed performance. THEN we can move with a little more ease in the direction that’s calling us and more fully enjoy the experience as it unfolds.

*Disclaimer: The author of this article does not declare mastery of the ability to ‘enjoy the experience’ and only presents it in a confident ending statement to fool herself and others into thinking she’s got it all sorted out which is a behavior completely countering the essence of this article.

**Caveat: In paragraph two, the author uses the pronoun ‘We’ to deflect focus from herself in a lame attempt at making her personal dysfunctional behavior seem universal and therefore less insane.

***As a result of the above caveat, the author sincerely apologies for including the reader in her inconsistent puddle of uncertainty.

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Regina Leffers McCaleb, Ph.D.

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