The Performance Trap
Sometimes we get all caught up in trying to be what we think we should be or what others think we should be. I call it the Performance Trap. I’m not talking about performing for fun – like karaoke and stuff. I’m talking about putting on a show for others. Trying to act like somebody we are not. We can end up doing, and being, what others think we should be. Or we hold an ideal for ourselves to live up to and constantly fall short. While we want to be our best for ourselves and the people we care about, we can never lose sight of who we are. We can best serve our fellow man by first loving ourselves. Are you caught in a performance trap with Hepatitis C Liver Disease or HCC? Let’s look closer…..
BTW – I’m not saying we should be lulled into thinking that we do not have to work on our weaknesses or limitations. Far from it! But, rejecting your weaknesses is rejecting YOU. Embrace all of your flaws as well as your gifts.
You might have performance trap if you can answer yes to the following questions:
Do you do things in order to get praise from others?
Is it hard for you to let someone get too close?
If someone criticizes you, do you take it deeply personal and dwell on it?
Do you hold back from trying new things for fear of failure?
Is being alone hard for you because of the need for approval?
Beating the Performance Trap with Your Individuality and Passion
Bob Dylan was always focused on music. It was his passion. He spent much of his spare time growing up listening to music or honing his lyric writing and guitar playing skills. We’ve all scribbled down words on a page or a journal that spoke the truth that we felt.
Bob cared deeply about things. Many times others did not want to hear about them. So he wrote about them. His plain spoken gift has inspired a generation of political movements, musicians, and poets. He has also had criticism. He put out some influential Christian music during my teen years that meant a lot to my personal growth. No matter what, he just keeps being Bob. He stepped away from the performance trap. Maybe that’s what I like about him so much is that he is honest about who he is and what he is passionate about.
How can you focus on your individuality and your passion?
Here are a few ideas.
1. Take inventory of your best assets. Make a list of all the things that make you who you are. Are you stubborn? Be thankful for the roadblocks you have plowed through that made you tenacious. Maybe you are a little introverted? What a gift to be able to go within yourself and listen to your thoughts. Is your personal life a little cluttered? You’ve definitely learned to tune out your environment and get through the day without being distracted. Do things have to be perfect for you to accept them? Be thankful that you pay attention to details. Write down your gifts and them celebrate your gifts.
2. Write about the things that move you. Stir up the ideas that are locked in your mind. You have a fine mind. The fact that you’re reading this tells me you are a seeker. Be honest about what moves you. Listen to that brilliant and distinct voice inside yourself. Tune in to who your are and then be who you are to the best of your ability. With social networking, you can always find a listening ear to share your ideas with. You can bring up your list with your family or friends to start a discussion. Most people will be happy to hear what amazing thoughts you have. A personal note here: My daddy was a truck driving man who worked hard and raised 4 kids. I gave him a journal. Some of his thoughts were astounding. Some were rambling. All of them are still there to read when I miss him. I’m glad to get to know daddy through his squiggly writings. Think about leaving a legacy like that for your loved ones.
3. Say good things about yourself. Words are powerful. They can heal us or hurt us. Things that others say can cut us deeply. What we say about ourselves can be even more harmful. Your inner dialogue – you know, that voice inside your head – has a profound impact on how you view yourself. See yourself with all of your limitations and learn to say good things about you. An example might be: “I’m a very forgiving person. I learn new things every day. I help others to feel at ease when they are around me”. See what a great person you are?
4. Learn not to make comparisons. You can always find someone who is better than you in some areas. You can always find someone who is worse. Let that go. Know what your strengths and limitations are and accept them. When we compare ourselves to others we can become critical. You are a unique individual. There is no one exactly like you. You do not have to blow someone’s candle out so that yours will burn more brightly. Light up your corner of the world in a way that only YOU can.
I kind of enjoy being a little off beat. Marching to the tune of my own drummer. Grabbing my own thoughts and lingering on them. I’ve been thinking about the performance trap and playing a soundtrack in my head as the day goes by. Remember the Bob Dylan quote – “All I can do is be me, whoever that is”. haha. Thanks Bobby.
Your BFF in the battle, Karen:)