My recent deeper study on the attitudes of mindfulness have brought me to the topic of evaluation, and in particular, self-evaluation. A question I have asked somewhere before now has popped back into my mind with more importance than I understood previously, so I share it with you…

If no one (even those who share the water with you) ever saw or even cared how you performed in swimming – they didn’t notice or care how fast, how far, how often, or what great challenges you are preparing for or have handled in the past – would you keep training as you do now? If this were the case, what might change in what you value in your activity? What different things might you aim for? How would you measure progress?

Photo by Grégoire Hervé-Bazin on Unsplash

Another way of looking at this is to consider what it would be like if you had no one to compare yourself to, or if you could somehow totally ignore what others were doing. How would your experience and motivation for training change if it was only about how you want to be in this moment right now?

How else could you go about discovering how much it matters to you what others think, and how much your self-evaluation and your training goals and motivation is tied up in what you think others think?

I have no other agenda than to give you and I an opportunity to reflect on how much we may be evaluating ourselves or being concerned with how others are evaluating us, and consider how that factors into what we choose to value and focus our resources and efforts upon. In what ways do these evaluations serve us? In what ways are they costing us more than we gain from them?

This may be tying back into an upcoming essay in the series because our habits regarding evaluation affect our experience. I’d be interested in hearing about your reflections, especially if you notice something you didn’t quite see in yourself before.

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View the whole series on the Attitudes of Mindfulness for Swimming:

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