For anyone who works in a corporate setting- this is the time of year that you are tracking and measuring performance. Performance is at the center of everything we do in a business. If your product (physical, conceptual, or otherwise) is performing well, then you will see an increase in sales and revenue. From a marketing perspective, if your content is performing well, you will see an increase in engagement in terms of increased followers/exposure and traffic directed to your company’s website.
For some parts of our life, performance can be measured in “black and white” terminology. If you perform well in your classes, you will receive a good grade. If you perform well in your job and exceed expectations, you will eventually receive a promotion or some form of recognition. If you perform well at the gym, you will see positive changes in your body and its endurance. Even these examples have room for gray area.
There are other areas in which performance is much more subjective. For students across America, we are right in the heart of the competitive season for extra-curricular activities. For some activities, such as sports, the parameters for performance are fairly clear (i.e. the team that scores the most points wins). However, there are other activities that are not so cut and dry. Competitions surrounding the arts have a lot more gray area for how performance is measured.
For students competing in these types of activities, I have a few words of advice. First, work hard and have pride in what you do. If you are happy with your performance, that confidence will take you far. If at first you don’t succeed, seek a second opinion. Identify a trusted mentor that has not yet seen your work to bring a fresh perspective to your performance. Often times we get too close to something and we are not able to step back and see the larger picture. Obtaining opinions from an outside perspective can help you better identify areas of improvement that you might have not noticed previously. Lastly, keep your head up. Unfortunately, in some cases, you can work really hard and be really good and still not win. This happens for a variety of reasons, but it’s important to remember that as long as you have worked as hard as you can and you are happy with your performance, that is enough. You cannot control external factors, and there are countless reasons and contributing factors for competitive decision making. Remember in the end, performance is subjective. Your worth is not tied to your performance. As long as you work hard and take pride in your work, you will go far.