Perception or reality?
Actions speak louder than words.
A quote that I believe is a great one. Wouldn’t you agree?
Actions do indeed speak volumes. We can say that we are gonna do shit, but unless we take ACTION then whats the point?
But what if your perception of action was skewed?
Lets have a quick chat about a few things before I enter into this subject.
You walk down the street and your friend Bianca walks past you with her eyes down and clearly she doesn’t want to talk to you.
You can think…
a. What have I done that she doesn’t want to talk with me? Was it that Facebook post? Didn’t I invite her to my party…I’ll have to check my list again…? Why would she purposely ignore me? What have I done wrong?
b. I wonder whats going on in her life that she feels she can’t talk to me? She may need help and perhaps I can call her or send her an sms to ask her for coffee and a chat.
If you can see, I didn’t do a last option, as if you can see, I said ‘clearly she doesn’t want to talk to you…’ Your perception was that she was ignoring you.
What would think first up? Honestly? Okay I am going to assume you are female (as I am afraid that men quite often don’t think this way).
Would you jump around in option A for ages, questioning yourself? Throwing ideas/scenarios around for a while until defeat or a thought came?
What would you do/say/think/feel?
You get it?
Okay – lets look at your perception of the world now.
You believe things to be a certain way in life. Why? Because of your upbringing mainly. Don’t question it… it is what it is. You learnt from a very young age from your parents/teachers/family/the media what to believe.
Think about it for a second.
It is quite a blow-out to realise if you have never done this before… yes?
Anyway, your brain can only function on about 5-7 things at anyone time. Otherwise it will probably self-combust or something like that. These 5-7 things can change with things like high or low emotions. Ever driven home in your car after an argument with no recollection on how you got there? Your brain knew the you were so focused on that ‘thing’ it put itself into auto-control.
These 5-7 things… an example of what they could be is reading this blog, sipping a cup of tea and feeling the hot liquid run down your throat. Listening out for the kids in the background and being aware of the time you have before you need to be somewhere. The TV or radio could be on and you can hear it. Perhaps the birds are singing outside and now I have mentioned it, you have tuned in. You can probably feel your little toe on the floor or in your sock now I have mentioned it. You can probably feel your breathing now I have mentioned it. Need I go on?
Your focus changes but you can’t focus on everything.
Unless you are Bradley Cooper in that film Limitless.
But what about the ‘other’ stuff going on and I am not focusing on – I hear you say?
You filter that shit out!
Your poor brain can’t cope so it will either delete information, distort it or generalise it. True story.
Think about it. Ever had a conversation with someone and you both can’t agree as you both ‘saw’ something differently? One of you filtered something out – based upon your focus and beliefs.
p.s I have a chapter on this whole thing in my book. If that helps..
So how do you choose your focus?
Well, your beliefs play a massive part in this.
What you believe to be true usually is.
I’ll throw you an example or two.
You believe that the rich keep getting richer -you will search for evidence of this. You believe it, you heard it somewhere and you keep finding evidence of it – so it must be true mustn’t it?
You believe that losing weight is hard and is impossible with your build/family history/no time/your job/lack of support/finances…I’ll stop there as you can imagine I have heard them ALL before. You believe it, you heard it somewhere and you keep finding evidence of it – so it must be true mustn’t it?
What if it wasn’t true? What if you just shifted your focus for a moment? What if you shifted your focus and suddenly found evidence to suggest the opposite?
I’ll actually give you a real life example from just a few days ago to help you more.
My client (and don’t worry, this is probably the 50th person I have spoken to about the same subject…) said to me that they believed that you can ‘work’ but you can’t ‘enjoy’ your work. This was their belief. So they had searched for years and years to collect evidence around this (its normal, we humans always to this…we have this need to be right…sound familiar?)
This belief was holding them back some-what and I suggested shift their focus for a moment. Did they know anyone around them who did enjoy their ‘work’? Within just a minute or so, they had listed 3 people in their direct vicinity who loved their jobs/work. I kept pushing…they came up with another handful…including me by the way – people who loved what they did for ‘work’. OK!
So perhaps a belief they had for donkeys years… wasn’t true, and letting go of the need to be right led them to create a new belief! You can ‘enjoy work’
Does that make sense?
Shifting your focus can make a massive change. Awareness is the first step.
Can’t shift your focus on something? I’ll bet you have in the past… ever bought a new car and suddenly your car is everywhere? Ever been pregnant or thinking about it and suddenly pregnant women are everywhere, pregnancy ads are on TV and newborns keep popping up? NEWS FLASH! They were ALWAYS there – your focus just shifted.
Which is what you can do, with an awareness around the beliefs you have. And YES you have tonnes of them. Perhaps just start with the ones holding you back in life.
So back to what I was saying in the first place.
What if your perception of ACTION was skewed?
I get this a bit in my business.
People often say to me (and yes this is one of the reasons I wrote the book) that I always seem to be at the beach or having a ‘great’ time.
Yes this is true. I do go to the beach, I live near it so that makes sense and generally speaking I have a ‘great’ time most days.
But lets be honest.
Its all perception.
If you believe that I have a great life, go to the beach and do cool shit – its because you believe it to be true.
If you believe that I rarely work and have it all ‘easy’ – its because you believe it to be true.
You will search for evidence. Maybe it is true? Maybe its not.
Social media aids this perception malarkey too don’t you think?
So I do try to put #keepingitreal posts on Facebook etc. But ultimately – whatever you believe to be true in your mind…will be the case.
Your perception will skew.
I won’t justify my life to you, but for the sake of this blog I will use me again as the example:
You see me laying on the beach after a swim.
But you didn’t see me up at 4.30am working on my business.
You see me at an event having fun.
But you didn’t know that I had a strategy to get another couple of clients to get paid and feed my family.
You see me on a weekend away somewhere cool.
But you didn’t see me hustling on the way there for new business. You didn’t see me up late whilst my child slept working on a new project, building a website and writing emails. You didn’t see that I bartered accommodation in return for my time.
I think you get the picture. And whilst I wrote all that with complete honesty – I wouldn’t have it any other way! 🙂
So today – what are you focusing on? Is it true? What if you changed your perception of it? What would change?
I’ll leave you to think about that, I agree that its certainly food for thought.
Author, mentor, coach and mum
I currently have space for two new 1:1 clients. One this week and another starting the week after next. If you want to delve into your beliefs more and start making positive changes in your life – then I am the coach for you. Contact me on email@example.com or find me on Facebook and we can chat.