Reframing the word “PERFORMANCE”

Performance in this season of my life looks much different than it has in my past.

I’m not as strong.
I’m not as fast.
I no longer feel the sensation of invincibility that I once felt in my youth.

Whether I like it or not, things are changing for me.

And although these differences are sober reminders of who I no longer am, I refuse to let these differences be an excuse for me as I keep journeying forward. No matter how chaotic the road ahead may be.

A lesson that I am still learning to embrace, is this: Performance, much like progress, is messy! Performance, much like people, is messy! (I’m primarily speaking to myself)

Whether I’ve got it together or not, every day that I wake up, there’s a task, an expectation, or an opportunity that lies ahead.

Sometimes I win. Other times I lose. I prepare and plan. Hope and dream, but even in the midst of expectations, the unexpected always happens. As clean as I love things to be, there always seems to be mess somewhere in my life.

A great coach once told me, “If you set expectations, people will meet them.” That’s all he said. He didn’t specify that there had to be these perfect set of conditions. He just said, “set the expectations.”

That’s the mindset WE have to have when it comes to understanding performance. Just set the expectations and do the work with a standard of excellence.

I used to believe that I needed to have EVERYTHING in perfect harmony, in order to perform in a way that met my expectations or the expectations of others that I held in high regards, but that’s not realistic. To be frank, that’s not performance either because the very essence of performance requires one to be tested, trialed, and exposed.

At some point, we must be made a mess of in order to improve, in order to better our performance.

My college career as an athlete was the ultimate rollercoaster ride. It started out with much promise, but finished on a very low note.

After graduating, I had no sense of real purpose and no real desire to pursue anything. Honestly, my mind and my body just felt broken. I was a mess and I still am in some ways, but it was in that mess that I realized that I could help others. And by helping others I found my passion for human performance.

I love performance coaching and I want to be one of the best to ever do it, but it’s messy. Many days I feel exposed and incapable, but to some extent, that’s just apart of the performance process.

As the old saying goes “sometimes before it gets better it has to get worst.” And please hear my heart on this, at no point do I think that people should be judged purely on their performance. Our identity as people is much more than just what we do. And in the same breath, I still believe that what we do and how we do anything is of extreme importance.

Now, take a moment and reflect.

Where in your life can you elevate your performance to another level?

Is it your health?

Is it your habits?

Is it your words?

It is your environment?

What is that particular thing for you?

Take your time. Figure it out.

Be intentional.

Once you know where you want to perform better, make a plan, create some goals, set a timeline, and call on someone to hold you accountable.

The process forward may not always be easy, but even the smallest step forward is an accomplishment worthy of celebration.

So…instead of running from performance, why not run towards it?


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