Performance, the word for the week of 24.01.2022.

What do you understand by performance? What comes immediately into your head and which emotion do you feel primarily and spontaneously before any other thoughts emerge?


Pride (of something achieved)

Pressure – pressure to perform




What else?

This week I invite you to look at your understanding of achievement or performance. What you associate with it, in which value category it falls for you and which emotional needs you can and want to fulfill with it and maybe even have to, because you don’t know any other way.

Observe whether and how your understanding of performance corresponds to that in your environment, in closer and broader relationships, in society, and what you discover for yourself as a result. Where are the similarities and differences and what would you like to keep and change for yourself in relation to performance?

Which degree feels good for you, when do you go too far, beyond your limits and why?
To what extent do you think you have to excel, for whom and why?

Does performance for you only refer to professional life or do you have other areas of performance? Which ones would these be and which performance do you need/want to show?

Is performance something that corresponds to your values, that you perhaps associate with the chance to be able to show what you are capable of because of your abilities, your commitment?

Does performance have a value in itself for you, which you would feel, even without an evaluation, measurement, assessment, perception from the outside?

Do you associate performance with something that is expected of you, that you HAVE to perform in order to have a right to exist, to be recognized, respected or even loved? Is it then a means to an end for success and status and even for permission to relax?

Do you feel recognized, respected, valued, even if you do not perform, but simply be as and who you are – as a human being?

Is performance for you connected with effort in the sense of being strained or with effort that lets you grow in a positive sense?

How do you measure (your) performance, which standards do you set for yourself and others and according to which and whose standards do you evaluate your own performance? Who evaluates your performance according to which criteria and what is the consequence?

Which achievement are you proud of, you feel an inner satisfaction, a respect for yourself? What have you achieved that provides you with this feeling?

Which achievement do you admire from others, in others? What do you describe as achievement and not “mere” doing according to your standards and at what point does it get this quality? Which characteristics must a result have for you, so that it is considered an achievement?

How do you view other people when they do not perform according to your standards? What influence does their performance – over- and under-performance – have on your opinion of them? How does this translate and what happens when you find yourself in such a situation?

What happens when you can’t perform? How does the issue of performance affect your self-worth and how you think others will react or what they will think about you if you do not perform according to the common definition (e.g. due to illness, unemployment)?

In a society where performance is expected and often equated with a job or defined by the fulfillment of a role, it is not always easy to see your own value, your own dignity independently.

In my coaching practice I often experience that unemployment is perceived as “I do nothing” with great inner distress, as a stigma up to self-loathing, because the perceived self-worth is highly dependent on the professional activity, ergo: no work = no value.

Achievement can be something very positive if it makes us feel validated, proud, and self-efficacious. However, a direct and exclusive cause-effect connection can also be dangerous for the psychological and physical immune system. Negative effects can occur when, for example, we go beyond our limits to meet the demand for performance (in whatever role) and thereby endanger our health.

These are some thought impulses for you on performance. Notice what develops for you around this theme for you this week. If you realize that it is high time to release and clear up something about this, feel free to contact me.

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It’s your life, it’s your design.

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