I use these words a lot. I say them all the time. I write them over and again in this blog, on this website, in social media posts, in articles and even in books. I even call myself a “Performance & Wellness Coach” (and I’ve got business cards to prove it!).
Most of us probably have our own definitions of these words. We likely have images in our minds of what a “performer” looks like, or what a performance is. Maybe you hear the word “performer” an automatically know that means you. Maybe you feel like your work is a “performance”, but are unsure if these terms apply to you.
So let’s get clear on what these words mean at Five Winds. And it’ll give you an idea of the kinds of people I work with and what it is we do together.
According to the dictionary (Oxford English, please), the (abridged) definition of “to perform” is:
• To carry out a task, action or function or to present in front of an audience.
In other words: doing stuff in front of other people while they watch or listen to you.
Of course, it is much simpler to talk about than to actually do, but at its core that’s all performing is: doing stuff in front of other people.
So who does this kind of thing? More specifically, who does this kind of thing often enough that it is a major part of their life? Who is a performer?
Turns out, a lot of passionate, motivated and skilled people.
But there are 3 things these people always have in common:
1. They do the majority of their work in front of others, often in high stakes situations.
2. Their work is high intensity and involves their whole beings (body, mind and emotions).
3. They have trained to do this work for a long time – years, decades, their entire lives.
These people are:
Artists: actors, dancers, musicians and writers who make and present art in front of audiences. They capture our attention by appealing to our emotions and showing us their hearts. And they are constantly honing their craft with practice and rehearsal.
Athletes: solo performers or team players who work in constant win-lose situations with the eyes of 100s, 1000s or even millions on them. Usually their training begins in youth, and its passion, drive and dedication that keeps them moving forward.
Leaders and Change-Makers: CEOs, politicians, speakers and teachers who present new ideas and innovations and work to motivate the hearts and minds of their employees, audiences, students, or even the public. It takes creativity and passion to do this work, especially in the face of challenge.
So here at Five Winds, when I talk about performing and performers, this is what I’m talking about –
I’m talking about you, doing the important and intense work that you do in front of others, honouring all the training, motivation and passion that drives you to do it every day.
It’s hard work. I know this first hand as a performer myself.
It’s a unique job we do.
There are big struggles we face:
Judgement – from audiences, spectators, critics, or even yourself
Confidence – staying grounded and true to yourself in the face of judgement.
Isolation – feeling alone in the “spotlight” and that everything rests on your shoulders.
Balance – between your personal life and your performing life.
Sustainability – keeping your body, mind and heart healthy so you can do this job for the long-term.
My job at Five Winds is to help you manage these struggles.
To help you get your body and mind healthy and focused, so you can do your work to your best.
To help you stay connected with yourself, so you keep moving in an authentic direction in your career.
To provide with the support and tools to cope with the stress and intensity of your work, especially when it all becomes a little too much.
We work together using body & movement based methods and meditation techniques to create a personal practice to help you prepare for performing, to keep you healthy as you perform, and to help you recovery from the stress and intensity of performing.
We work in person or online.
And we work from where you are.
So whether you’re an artist, athlete, leader or change-makers, you belong here at Five Winds and I’m here to support you.
I’ve got some great stuff planned for the blog this fall, including posts on confidence, bravery and battling self-doubt (and few insights from my travels this summer). I’ll also be doing a new post at the end of the months feature some of the best performance and wellness resources I’ve come across that month.
It’ll be fun, so consider subscribing in to blog in the sidebar, so you don’t miss a thing!
So grateful to be exploring this work with you.
This blog is a part of my work with Five Winds. It’s a space where I share thoughts and ideas on performing and wellness, and offer tips and ideas on how to stay balanced and healthy (body, mind, emotions and spirit) while living the life of a performer.