We often mistake perfect preparation for perfect performance. Preparation is important, but it can be limiting.
We get fixated on an idea when we prepare or over prepare. We get an image in our minds of how things are going to be. And we think to be happy it must happen exactly like this.
The Best Laid Plans
Let me give you an example. We’ve begun planning whole classes in yoga school. We were assigned to write three sequences around a peak pose and teach them to our partner.
So, I wrote each sequence with care. I made sure they were balanced and challenging. Then I spent some time reviewing each sequences. I felt ready to go.
When I met with my yoga schoolmate the first sequence went great. I was clear, confident, and she responded well. But the on the second sequence things got confusing.
I was reading the sequence off Evernote on my phone. Somehow, I scrolled incorrectly and realized that I was teaching part of the first sequence again.
I wasn’t sure what to do. Do I stop her and go back? Do I keep going? Do I do the first sequence again?
Act With Faith
In that moment, I could have gotten anxious, stumbled over my words, and given up. The image of how I thought it would go wasn’t matching reality.
Instead, I put down the phone and taught a modified version of the second sequence. I made sure she was balanced on both sides. I added some things in. I left some things out.
Later I apologized, but she told me she hardly noticed. I was able to do this because I wasn’t attached to the outcome.
What the Pros Do
Now, I’m not an expert yoga instructor, but this is what an expert would do. What makes an expert an expert isn’t their ability to follow a script.
It’s their ability to rely on their experience and have faith in themselves. Acting on this faith means stepping forward with the confidence that things will work out.
This is what being mindful in movement is all about. When we become curious about our bodies and movement, only then can transformation happen. Talking about engaging the core is nothing compared to actually feeling it engage.
But we must pay attention and move with careful confidence. If we do this, then we can become experts of ourselves. Moreover, this knowledge becomes the ground for our ability to help others.
Pick an upcoming race, event, conversation, or assignment you have.
Decide what would be a reasonable amount of time to spend preparing.
Write down what your intention is for that activity.
Just one sentence, no more.
Get to work; set a time and track your progress.
Once you hit the allotted time stop preparing.
Just before you start your race, event, conversation or turn in your assignment, read or recite the following:
Letting go of the outcome, I will – Your activity –
(run this race, talk to this person)
With the intention of – your intention-
(improving my health, being kind)
I have faith in my ability to respond with skill.
Being present is the best preparation.
If you try this out let me know how it goes.
Let’s Talk: How do you like to prepare?
Comment below and let me know.