Going through my files, Part 2: Personal Qualities that Affect Performance

In my performance anxiety folder, mentioned in my previous article, I also found an artist’s profile. Apparently, I completed a questionnaire that was associated with a book called Performance Success by performance psychologist Don Greene, who has worked with artists all over the world, including at the Juilliard School, LA Opera, and the Olympic Training Center. While I still have the book, I do not remember taking this test at all. But I did. (I suspect it must have been free because I was a serious cheapskate in 2002. It’s not free anymore.)

Here’s a summary of how I scored:
Strengths:
  • Risking Success
  • Ability to Recover 
  • Commitment 
  • Will to Succeed
  • Ability to Risk
Mid-Range Scores: 
  • Ability to Fight (confrontation)
  • Intrinsic Motivation
  • Expectancy
  • Insular Focus
  • Self-Confidence
Areas for Improvement: [note it doesn’t say “weaknesses”]
  • Mental Quiet 
  • Duration of Focus
  • Object of Focus
  • Presence of Focus [are we noticing a theme here?]
  • Performance under Pressure
The overall analysis of these items was that I had terrific energy, commitment, and that I was passionate and perseverant. (Aw, shucks.)
BUT
I needed to work on my concentration (monkey mind!), my intensity, and poise. And that I overthought while performing instead of being in the moment. And that I worried about other people’s opinions of me.
YEP.
I think this has changed. I hope it has changed. I don’t think I could’ve done some of the things I’ve done in growing and sustaining a successful studio if my focusing skills hadn’t improved.
Maybe I should spend the $19 to take the test again and see if it has. What do you think? Should I do it?

I think I should. 

I’ll let you know if I do and if anything has changed in 17 years….

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