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Jon Gold, M.A | Go 4 Gold

“Curiosity is a Superpower”


In performance we default to results. Whether “good” or “bad” we ride the roller coaster of emotions and become exhausted by this ride. Up and down, twist and turn…  It takes a toll on us. In turn we become restless.

We get consumed by the counterproductive thoughts and we cling to the unpleasant emotions. We are desperate for this conflict to be resolved, so we jump at the idea of quick fixes. 

The reality is that restlessness is often caused by uncertainty. In performance we never know how we are going to perform or what the stat sheet will look like, so when we get “good” results we’re happy and we’ve checked that box. Now we know how we did, and the emotions are pleasant. But when we don’t get “good” results we become distressed, disappointed, and rattled. 

Once again, we become uncertain about how to fix it, and of course how to get the desired results… It’s an anxious loop… Instead of the need to answer this complex cycle, we can shift towards mindful awareness.

Awareness brings about understanding, and increased awareness only occurs with curiosity and an open mind. If we are seeking clarity, we need to be open to trial and error, imperfection, and patience. 

By being curious and diligent in our efforts, training, preparation, and performances, we gain insights and clarity into the question of what actions help and which actions don’t. In doing so we also pivot away from the concept of good and bad, and we become more open to the idea that “bad results” may not really be all that bad. When one thing doesn’t help, rest easy in the understanding that something else will. A bad result is just an opportunity to adapt, change, and grow.

Rather than judging outcomes and judging things that didn’t click right away, we can shift our judgements to moments of increased awareness, acceptance, and curiosity. When something doesn’t help us, acknowledge it, and investigate it. Maybe this leads us to try something different, OR maybe it doesn’t. Maybe we did everything right, and it just didn’t go our way this time. In this case, stay patient, stay the course. Curiosity and awareness allow us to accept the moment as it is and make this distinction!

This isn’t math class anymore where trial and error take too long and there is always some equation to apply… There is no equation for this, it’s ever changing and nuanced.  

The mind doesn’t like this, it wants performance to be analytical in nature. When the mind goes there, this is a moment where the mind is becoming a distraction. We need to be aware and curious about that too – maybe even critical of it, but never judgmental.  

Be well,

Jon Gold

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