Admitting where we're vulnerable doesn't come easy to most of us. The term harbours such undesirable notions as victim, blame, shame, scapegoating, hiding and avoiding. We say undesirable in that fear is often associated as being antithesis to performance. And yet anxiety is statistically the most common mental disorder. Scratch that. Let’s be real - who doesn't experience anxiety? Really. As audacious or charming, bold or visionary, capable or whatever we think we are, anxiety is part of the human condition and what is anxiety but an expression of fear?
And is fear the opposite of performance? Champion athletes wouldn't say so. Ask an artist and they'll laugh at the absurdity. This begs the question, does this mean anxiety is the opposite of performance?
We have argued in an earlier post that anxiety can arise over that which we have no control over, and sometimes it arises over that which is within our control.
You drive a car. You might crash. That could happen. Now you could be anxious about that fact, or you could stay focused on what's in your control i.e., the performance of your driving, as you're driving, is an immersion in, not a thinking about.
To put it another way, what do champion racing car drivers, dancers and fighters all have in common? They’re both driven to perform and they’re unable to remember their game of play. Why? Because they weren’t thinking about how they were performing when they were performing, they were just performance. In those moments, they and performance are one and the same.
Anxiety, on the other hand, is entirely self-reflective and analytical. This is possibly where anxiety poses a concern.
Google says anxiety is the feeling of worry or unease. Athletes invest in coaching for their worry and unease. They don't avoid it and they don't dwell on it either. They do what they need to do to be in the game. In other words, they attend to their concerns whilst maintaining focus on their goal.
So, what about vulnerability? Is the athlete vulnerable? Or the driver? Absolutely. Driving is a dangerous activity. Being in life is not to question whether we are vulnerable, it's a question of how do we bear life knowing that we are vulnerable. Do we hide, avoid, deny, escape, resist and fight? Or do we acknowledge the vulnerability and meet all the needs that it demands whilst still being present at the wheel?
It seems to us at Cad-Capture that focus and attention, namely, focusing on the vulnerability of self, versus the vulnerability of the performance, seems to be the defining marker between suffering inside of concern or thriving inside of performance.
How's your driving going with your commitments? Are there signs that are blinking red in your home life, family or work? Your world is vast and complex with conflicting demands everywhere. 99.999% of these vulnerabilities we can't help you with but the 0.001% that consists of your piece of data on an asset that you can't find because it's locked away in some old document somewhere, well we can help you with that. We are Cad-Capture, and we do asset management.
In the next post, we will list the key points around the connection between anxiety and performance