Who’s in charge of your performance?

Which part of you is the best part of you?

Have you ever considered the relationship between your conscious mind and your subconscious and body? A few years ago I read the book The Inner Game of Tennis by Tim Gallwey and I realised that I hadn’t considered it much. Then I realised that I have always identified myself as ‘being’ my conscious mind. Believing that it was the best part of me and the one that was truly ‘me’, and that that was the bit that was in charge.

I think quite a lot of people who have been academically or intellectually successful do this. Not only did I feel my conscious mind was the best part of me, I believed that if anything could solve my problems, it was this part of me.

My body, on the other hand, was never quite the right size or shape, it never did the things I wanted it to do quite the way I wanted them done, and it generally an appendage that caused me issues. I’m not sure I gave my subconscious that much thought.

This belief led me to spend my life working hard to consciously get things right. If I could work out the best strategy, solve all my problems intellectually,  if I could just get control, perhaps I could make my life the one I should have, the best life I could. Maybe even one where I didn’t feel like I was about to mess everything up all the time.

For me this showed up most in my social life, as an introvert I struggled to understand the rules of engagement socially. I went into every social situation painfully aware that I was going to mess things up (notice the language there!) I felt as if everyone else had a rule book of what to do and that it had been hidden from me, I felt like if I could just work out the rules, I’d be ok. I’d know how to do things & if I could just work out the rules, I’d be ok. I’d stop messing things up and feel in control.

The Inner Game of Tennis got me thinking differently. The subconscious and body are as much a part of who I am as my conscious, and in fact they are responsible for far more. They are a positive supercomputer relative to my ZX Spectrum conscious.

I then went further. What if my thinking, my conscious mind, not only was not my saviour, but was in fact the cause of a lot of my problems?

I already knew that my thought patterns could be hugely unhelpful, critical and damaging even; but I hung on to the idea that my conscious mind, my brain as we sometimes think of it, was my best hope of fixing that. That I could think my way out of my thought problem, I just needed to work it out.

The Inner Game of Tennis gave me an alternative viewpoint, what if I trusted my subconscious and body to do the job it is an expert in? What if I let go of trying to control what they were doing? What would happen then?

Some of you may have seen my recent blog on trust, and the idea that trust requires uncertainty because if something is certain, we don’t need to trust that it will or won’t happen. That’s why trusting our subconscious and body can feel so hard. The conscious mind love certainty, it loves rules and ‘knowing’ not just believing.  It wants to be in control.

What if more control is not the answer but in fact less control and more freedom are the way forward?

What would you do differently if you trusted your body and your subconscious? How would it feel? How would you perform? What would it free up?

If you would like to see the video that I did on this subject it is in The Fearless Performer Group, my free FB group. You can join using this link: The Fearless Performer.

With much love

p.s. Here’s a link to my blog post on trust – Do you trust yourself as a performer?