Mindfulness for Performance

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Realising your full potential

Being fully present in the moment is the only way to achieve optimal performance, there is simply no space for anything else…

“I have self-doubt. I have insecurity. I have a fear of failure. I have nights when I show up at the arena, and I’m like, ‘My back hurts, my feet hurt, my knees hurt. I don’t have it. I just want to chill.’ We all have self-doubt. You don’t deny it, but you also don’t capitulate to it. You embrace it.” The late Kobe Bryant (4 time Basketball Player of the Year – USA).

Mindfulness brings awareness to experience, allowing us to see our humanity as exactly that – we are all human. We will experience the full range of human emotions. For example, when difficulty is present, Mindfulness gives us tools to be with the difficult, as opposed to panicking or wishing things were different. It allows us to be fully focused in the body when it matters: when performing.

What does Mindfulness for Performance offer

Full embodiment of your experience

Actors, musicians, sports performers, public speakers, artists all know that to perform they need to fully embody their role. It needs to be an inner-felt sense of being in the moment.

When fully immersed in performance, the distractions, the self-doubts, the ruminations of the mind have no space to be heard. This is sometimes referred to as ‘flow state’, which can lead to optimal performance.

Secrets of the stars?

Mindfulness helps many performers including, Emma Watson, Katy Perry, Jerome Flynn, Laura Trott, Hugh Jackman and Oprah Winfrey amongst others.

Mindfulness techniques help you ground yourself in the moments prior to performance. This can keep nerves at bay and allow you to focus on the task at hand unimpeded. Also during extended periods between performances it can help keep a healthy mental balance. Mindfulness can build confidence and deflate self-doubts.

Developing a new capacity - groundedness

About to step on stage, to go live, the moment before a speech in front of a large audience, you need composure. Mindfulness explicitly develops the capacity to ground yourself in that very moment. It allows you a stable mental platform from which to perform.

Waking up to the critical inner voice

Many performers report being plagued by a critical inner voice between performances. Always repeating the same well worn paths of thought about not being good enough. Mindfulness exposes this critical inner voice and provides tools to ensure that it is not fed or fuelled which will lead it to naturally dissapate.

In this 4 minute clip Phil Jackson, the most successful NBA Basketball Coach of all-time talks about Mindfulness being the key to his team’s successes.

Working with several teams including the Bulls, Lakers and Knicks, with personalities such as the late Kobe Bryant and Dennis Rodman, his success just kept coming.

Find out what his angle on Mindfulness and elite performance is in the is clip shared by OWN via Super Soul Sunday on YouTube for all to watch.

Frequently asked questions about Mindfulness in Performance.

Ask yourself how often do you experience negative self thoughts or have trouble accepting compliments. Do you tend to blame yourself first if things don’t work out? Do others say that you have too high expectations of what is possible? Do you procrastinate  when faced with certain tasks  or to avoid certain situations?

If the answer to one or more of these questions is yes, you may be experiencing Performance Anxiety. Mindfulness can help you overcome this.

Is there a cast iron guarantee that I won't get nervous when performing.

The only certainty in life is uncertainty. Mindfulness develops your capacity to be calm in the face of uncertainty. We can rehearse a thousand times and every time it will be slightly different. Rehearsing for the different is what Mindfulness gives you: the flexibility to be in the moment with the difficulty, with the uncertainty. There is no cast iron guarantee in life and there is no cast iron guarantee in Mindfulness, but it will make you as prepared as you can be. It is the next step up from being simply well-rehearsed.

I prepare my body / voice - is Mindfulness like preparing my mind?

This is a good analogy. Sports performers spend countless hours on fitness. Actors and speakers spend countless hours on their voices and embodying their words. Yet often with the mind it is just assumed that it will perform its task with no training, no care and no support. It is not surprising then that it goes wrong on occasions through nerves, fear, confusion or loss of confidence. Mindfulness develops the capacity of the mind in the same way a gym develops the capacity of the body.

My performance isn't 'here and now', I am a writer, designer, innovator - how can it help me?

Creativity in the mind is stifled by routine, habit, expectations. Children can find up to a 100 uses for a paper-clip, whilst adults only average 7! Mindfulness restores the ‘beginner’s mind’ that allows us to see the world through a new untainted pair of eyes, allowing creativity and innovation to flourish.

My needs are very different from those I perform with - so how would groups sessions benefit everybody?

Mindfulness is both generic and personal – a bit like eating food. We all do it, but we all chose our own diets, it will bring different flavours and impact on our digestive systems in a very personal way. Mindfulness is focused on self-realisation, so the meaning is very personal to you as it is borne out of your experiences with the practices. These will reflect your performance needs and not those of others.

I work alone, are 1 to 1 sessions best for me or can I join a group session.

This is a very valid question. Group sessions for performance will have broad themes such as reviewing our routines and habits, and seeing how these impact on you. In a specialised session for actors, for example, the question will be framed in an acting context but essentially it will be the same question. Other people’s answers may resonate with you as it is our humanity being explored, not our specific talent. Get in touch and we can talk about it. 

My Approach

Your performance, your approach and your way of being in day-to-day life will speak volumes to me. A discussion about what you feel you might wish to develop, change or remove in your performance will highlight your intentions for seeking out mindfulness. 

I will bring a sense of optimism as well as a sense of reality. The best next step is to get in touch so we can discuss where you or your team, cast or collection of people are now and where would you like to be

How It Works

Schedule a free 1 to 1

Setting up an opportunity to talk is the first step. We can explore where you currently are and where you would  like to be. It sounds simple, and Mindfulness is simple in essence, but sometimes challenging in practice! Like performance, life on occasions can get in the way!

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Choose a Coaching Plan

Once we have established some aims for developing performance, I can suggest specific components that we can look at which will help. We will also need to look at tailoring the logistics of where, when and how often to meet to best suit your needs. Online is also an option.

 

Reach Your Goals

You may have a very specific goal or a broad intention at this stage. As the process unfolds we are likely to see several steps forward and perhaps a few steps backwards. This is because Mindfulness is grounded in reality of day-to-day life.

Performance Coaching Programmes

Once I have had the opportunity to meet with you and discuss the outline of a programme to meet your goals and intentions, I will be able to formulate a price for the programme. Typically individual hourly rates are between £40 and £60 and groups rates from £75. Attending a mixed group e.g. sports, actors and writers typically will be £195 for 8 weeks.

More Details

Following a conversation with you, I will be better placed to discuss the bespoke programme that will meet your needs.

Only you have the power to start the process of change; I would be honoured to help you with this...