The Purpose of Performance

The Purpose of Performance

There is no questioning that we live in a performance-based world, and that is not going to change. My last blog post began to address the idea that our performance does not determine our worth as human beings. I talked about focusing on self-acceptance rather than self-esteem which tends to be performance-based. In essence, everything we do is a performance. By that, I do not mean that we are ‘performing’ like an actor on stage, and not being real or genuine, though sometimes I am sure that is the case with most of us depending on the situation. I am using the word performance to refer to anything we do. Every action, every thought, is something that we do. We perform them. So in that sense, they are performances. If we are going to function in relationships and in society we can not just decide to stop performing.

Performances themselves do not cause problems with our self-acceptance or our self-esteem. It is in my best interest to work on performing well and to attempt to minimize poor performances. If I want a positive, healthy, marriage relationship it is my best interest, and the best interest of the relationship to work on performing well with my partner. If I want a successful career it is in my best interest to work on performing well at my place of business. If I want to be a better basketball player, it is in my best interest to work on performing better in practice drills so I can perform better in games. Our performances do matter. The way we perform affects our lives and the lives of those people we are in contact with. It seems to me it is always a good idea to work on improving our performances. Keeping in mind that everything we do is a performance, it may be worth our while to look at what we do, and how we do it. We may be “doing” the proper behavior with a negative expression or attitude. That expression or attitude is part of the performance. Some performance review articles state that the attitude displayed by an employee is sometimes a better indicator of advancement in a company than the actual work the person does. Many companies want to know the person working for them really wants to work for them and not just pick up a paycheck. I believe the same principle applies to relationships. We want to know the person we are with really wants to be in the relationship with us. A husband who goes shopping with his wife because she wants to spend time together is a good performance on his part. However, if he looks grumpy, frustrated and annoyed that he has to be there, his emotional performance has more power than his physical performance. So, it is in that husband’s best interest and the interest of the relationship to work on not just his physical performance but also his emotional performance. Performing poorly does not make a person bad. If however, they continue to perform poorly and refuse to work on making positive changes they are indicating the relationship, or the job, or whatever it is they are doing, is really not very important to the people they are with.

Now having said all that, keep this in mind. Our performances matter but they do not define our worth and value as human beings. A bad performance will always be a bad performance and will usually have negative consequences. A good performance will always be a good performance and usually has positive consequences.

The performances, however, do not change my worth and value as a person. Our worth is based on our existence. Every human on the planet has worth and value simply because they exist. I believe until we separate our performance from our worth and value as humans we can not honestly evaluate our performances and make changes. If I believe my performance determines my worth, I will either justify my bad performances to feel good about my self or will be to critical and harsh of a good performance because they are ‘not enough’.

Self-acceptance says I will accept myself as a person of worth, and I will work on my performances.

I would love to hear your thoughts.

No Comments

Post A Comment