Are You Present or Performing?

Published on February 16, 2012 by Annetta Wilson

When was the last time you ‘acted’?  I’m not talking about ‘taking’ action or ‘doing’ something. I’m talking about not being authentic.

There’s a quote by writer Jean Giraudoux that has always made me laugh: “The secret of success is sincerity.  Once you can fake that you’ve got it made.”  The sad thing is that many people live their lives, especially their professional lives, as if that’s something to be proud of.

What motivates someone to choose ‘performing’ over being ‘present’? Most of the time, it’s sheer terror.   There are few things that can make you feel more vulnerable than revealing yourself to another person.  Ironically, it’s that vulnerability that creates powerful a powerful connection.

When you’re in front of an audience, whether it’s one person or a stadium full of people, each person is having a one-on-one experience with you.  We don’t listen as a group.  We listen, process information and connect  one individual to another.  Why would you not want that moment of communication to be all it can be?

Being ‘present’ means tuning in to what your audience wants and needs. Who are they? What brought them into the room? What are they looking for? What’s their biggest problem?

When you focus on ‘them’ rather than on your ‘performance’, the need to perform fades away.   When you are ‘present’ you are connected.  You’re serving. It’s hard to put on an act when you’re giving.  Giving makes most people feel good.  An audience picks up on that energy.

It takes a lot of effort to remember your ‘act’.  Do you have that much time to waste?

No one said it better than the late Steve Jobs:

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.  Don’t be trapped by dogma- which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.  Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice.  And, most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.  They somehow already know what you truly want to become.  Everything else is secondary.”

Be real with yourself, first.  If you really pay attention, you can tell when someone is insincere. Do you feel honored by that?  Or, do you feel as if your intelligence has been insulted? If you can tell with them, they can tell with you.  Even if they can’t,  you know the truth. You know the difference. You know if you're authentic. You know if you’re present or performing.

When YOU show up, who shows up?

©2012 Annetta Wilson Media Training and Success Coaching.  All rights reserved.

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