Getting off the performance treadmill

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In this video, Dick Ryan addresses an issue all too common among artists: the problem of defining our identity (personhood) by our successes or failures in our art (performance). Dick Ryan compares this mentality to an upside down pyramid, very unstable and insecure, resulting in fear, perfectionism, anxiety, self-centeredness, slavery, and jealousy.

We then discussed what it would look like to turn the pyramid right-side-up, if our personhood was grounded and secure and our performances were simply the overflow of our lives. Words that would describe such a person include: confident, joyful, peaceful, hopeful, and free.

Dick then posed the question: How do we get from one pyramid to the other? Some of the responses included being willing to have our pyramids toppled and set right side up, being open to God changing our hearts. Others included relinquishing control of the outcome of our own performances, which we cannot control, and simply doing our duty with what we have been given to do. Or letting our performances be a gift we offer to others out of love.

We will continue discussing more aspects of this picture as the series progresses. Join us next week!