I read through an interesting article on the Harvard Business Review blog. The author (Peter Bregman) was nervous about the ceremony and the pressure of everyone watching them. He is Jewish and his wife is Episcopalian. The ceremony was looking to be complicated. He then shared some advice he received on the day before his wedding ceremony that has stuck with him:
Try to remember this: It’s not a performance; it’s an experience.
It’s a great reminder for us in whatever we do each week. It’s easy to kick into performance mode but with that comes the weight of expectations. Without that pressure you are able to enjoy the experience of each moment and the adventure that comes from that.
When I originally thought through this concept I thought that it sounded nice but the reality is that our performance matters. I don’t know about you but if I start mailing it in I’m not expecting to keep my job for long. That’s when Bregman makes an intriguing point:
But here’s the paradox: living life as a performance is not only a recipe for stress and unhappiness; it also leads to mediocre performance.
Could it be possible that you could actually improve your performance by thinking about it as an experience instead? I think about this with giving a sermon. Some of my most memorable moments were when something went wrong. That’s when everyone really tunes in to what you are saying and nobody forgets those moments. But those moments aren’t planned or performed. They are experienced. Maybe it’s true for what you do as well.
You can read the rest of the article by clicking here.