There is a lot of voodoo around participating in activities outside of your performance and taking time off from performing. If you participate in outside activities then you are not training, practicing or working hard enough. Some performers think if they take time off it means: OMG I can’t ‘stick it out’ or I can’t handle the pressure or I don’t have the strength to keep going. Some may go so far as to think if they take time off they might never come back: how will I get started again. Have you ever felt this way?
For many Elite Performers all you have and do is your performance
If you once had other things in your life, you’ve let them go. You don’t add things outside preparing for performances and performing. Most of you stop spending time with friends, family and spouses. You are so enmeshed in performing that you end up with a 1-dimensional personality: as a performer.
What’s the problem with this?
- If you don’t have anything else in your life, if there is no balance, then you continue to work on/in your performance all the time. These performers generally get burnt out.
- One-dimensional performers (consciously or unconsciously) at some point end up feeling unfulfilled because you’ve let go of most, if not everyone and everything to ‘perfect’ your performance life. Life involves more than one dimension and in order to mentally feel fulfilled you need to develop other aspects of your life.
- What do you do when you need to transition out of your performance world when you’ve given everything else up? You don’t know what to do and generally become lost and depressed.
What do I need to do
- Find some balance. Balance is important for the above reasons and others.
- Taking time off is not a weakness. Time off gives the mind and body time to rejuvenate and grow so that you can come back stronger. Sometimes we need a break from doing the same thing(s) that we do everyday. This is one reason businesses give their employee’s vacation. There has been a lot of research done on the ramifications of overworked employee’s: more injuries, increased health concerns leading to increased insurance costs, stress, anxiety, etc. This is no different than the effects of being enmeshed in performing.
These things are not going to hurt you, in fact they will help mentally & physically support what you are trying to do!