Why “Doing Good” Isn’t Good for Thriving
Who doesn’t want to “do good”?
We’re born and are conditioned to do so. It’s something we don’t even think about anymore. It’s part of our DNA. We live to “do good” because by doing so, we fulfil the promise of being loved, seen and recognized.
Our parents, grand-parents, and the generations before them lived by the same mindset. “Doing good” is a bit like a silent pass for thriving in every context of life, yet the consequences of constantly acting good aren’t as glamorous as we think.
While being a Pilates instructor looking to help clients stuck with performance issues, I discovered the negative impact of “doing good”. Every time my clients tried harder to “do good”, their performance was dropping. What on earth was going on? Even I, was puzzled, until I realized what was happening.
They were reacting against their own strict ruling!
From that moment on, I decided to take into account the pressure or stress factor involved in “doing good” and advised them to “feel good” instead. The performance increase spoke for itself, making it clear that the relationship between performance and “doing good” or “feeling good” matters a lot.
Both mindsets carry their own beliefs’ system. To increase performance, we first need to change the one that says trying real hard delivers better results, because it’s actually the opposite that works best, when we’re more relaxed.
When we’re “doing good”, we logically think we are:
- Doing the right thing
- Guaranteeing better results
- Subconsciously gaining more recognition about our good work
When in fact we are:
- Making choices with our head only
- Setting expectations that restrict unexpected and positive outcomes
- Putting pressure on us to deliver exactly what we believe to be the best
What we’re not aware of, is how deeply conditioned we are to produce according to certain expectations. Delivering under strict conditioning is equivalent to factory work. You do things without questioning them because what matters is what’s expected.
Is that the way we want to gain performance?
When we ask ourselves if doing things a certain way feels good, we’re on a path of self-empowerment through presence and awareness. This way of doing things is not only more pleasant, but it’s also way more productive for delivering results.
Our brains can’t be fooled about the difference between “doing good” and “feeling good”. It sets boundaries for abuse, especially the ones inflicted by us to ourselves, asking us to return to more joy, while doing what we do.
Results matter but it certainly doesn’t have to imply ignoring “feeling good” in the present moment. On the contrary. It’s a little bit like the difference between a destination and a journey. Taking our time getting somewhere, involves more awareness about the present moment. Performance increase relies on that exactly.
How do you choose to perform you and your life?