Competitive athletes can certainly attest to the power of experience in refining their skills for optimal performance. But when does experience become an obstacle in competitive sports?
Ask any athlete who’s experienced a slump in their career and they can tell you the difficulty in letting go of what they have learned in order to move from what, “used to work,” to what works NOW. Change is the one thing we can be certain of in this world; it does not discriminate. Therefore, the most successful (and happy) individuals are those whom can navigate change and make it work for them in a positive way.
So, what exactly is a Beginner’s Mind and why is it a key component in achieving peak performance? In briefest of terms, the beginner’s mind is the ability to experience something as though it was the first time. Athletes’, performers, business executives, etc., have reached the higher levels of their craft through years of practice and learning; each experience building on the next. So, cultivating a beginner’s mind may seem contradictory to the very practices that have afforded them to be at the top of their “game.”
Mindfulness practices, both informal and formal, help to cultivate the beginner’s mind. This is a mindset that is present and fluid; where one approaches their experience with a “let’s see” mindset. This “let’s see” mindset allows for endless possibilities and opportunities to try something different, without judgement or anticipated outcomes.
Mindfulness, as well as other contemplative practices, condition our minds and bodies to work together as they were designed to do, accessing our intuitive intelligence to do things like:
- Overcome performance blocks
- Promote health
- Expand learning
- Assist in healing and recovery
If you are interested in achieving your fullest potential, I invite you to contact me to learn more about how Mindfulness can assist in achieving your peak performance. Please visit my website to learn more or contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org