Tag Archives for " perceptions "
Many times we get stuck thinking there is a limit on what it possible for us. This is mainly because of the perspective we currently hold. It is quite common top hear people knocking down the possibility of an idea because they can’t see how it can be done, or how ‘they’ could do it.
What we must recognize is that our perspective, how we see things, is only an opinion. and just a current one at that. You have many examples in your life where your perspective of something has changed over time, as you have done more things and met more people. So, having thoughts come up related to why you can’t do something is based on your current perspective, nothing more.
Change your perspective about what can be done, and even about what you personally can do and you increase what is possible for you. The only reason you don’t see something is possible for you is that you don’t believe you can do it. Here’s the thing, if someone else has done it, or something similar, it’s possible for a human to do it, and this means you!
I recall the story of Roger Bannister, who was the first man to break the records running a mile in under four minutes flat. Up until that point, it was commonly believed that this was not humanly possible. A man just could not do it, and nobody did. But after Roger did it, several others followed suit very soon after, clocking times under four minutes.
The other runners had shifted their belief and perspective on what was possible, so they allowed themselves to do it as well. Since we are talking about athletes, what is it that an athlete does to achieve the highest levels in their sport? They don’t have the knowledge and skill to perform at record breaking levels when they start out, they work up to it.
I don’t think Bannister had his sights on the four minute mark when he started, he probably believed much like all the others, it was not possible. But at some point, he had to get to where he at least was thinking, “What if?” As he practiced and developed himself, he would see another opportunity to improve that he had not previously seen. Then another and another, and so on. Each time an athlete progresses, an new mark becomes a little bit more possible. This is what drives a person, seeing that something is possible.
Succeeding is not so much about what you know or can do when getting started with something, it’s more about how and what you learn as you go. If Bannister cold run at all when he began, he could learn to run better, faster. He just had to have enough of a vision to believe he could possibly get somewhat good at it, and get started.
The important part becomes what you do after you get started. It’s important to be open to learn, open to new ideas, to new perceptions. Here are Ten tools you can use to keep yourself continuously improving day to day.
1) What can I do better?
Ask yourself the question, “What can I do to improve/encourage/enhance/feel better about ______ ?”
Each day in the morning, give 10 minutes to thinking about something you could improve on today.
Do this multiple times a day. Notice what you are involved with, ask about improving it.
2) What if?
Ask yourself the what if question as often as possible.
This will allow your creativity to help you to see what’s possible.
It helps keep you focusing forward rather than allowing yourself to get stuck in problem and why not.
3) Watch other successful people.
What are they doing? What are they moving towards?
Use this as evidence of what is possible.
How are they doing it may reveal something you can use, or an idea that leads to something.
4) Be around positive motivated forward thinking people.
It’s very easy to hear reasons why not, you can do that yourself.
Don’t allow yourself to be flooded with the naysayers negative energy.
This is very important in assisting you with keeping your possibility thinking open and your energy up.
6) Expose yourself to new ideas and situations.
This creates a normal mode of open mindedness which will serve all of what you are doing.
Even getting exposed to things unrelated to your main focus can reveal new ideas you would not have thought of otherwise.
Go do something you have never done before, on a regular basis.
7) Learn and understand more of what you are capable of.
Many stifle themselves as they judge what they think are their talents and shortcomings.
Study what other people have proven can be done.
Study about your role as a creative human being and what this entails related to what you are capable of.
Realize that capacity and talent are mainly a state of mind, a perception.
8) Accept a challenge.
Be willing to take on something you may feel is a stretch with time or ability.
Know that a healthy challenge is an opportunity to grow and prove to yourself what more you can do.
Choose the perspective of, “How can I?” rather than dwelling on why you can’t.
Excitement and curiosity open your creativity, worry, doubt and fear close it off!
9) Listen more than you speak.
Most of what you speak is reiterating what you now know.
Listening to others allows you to pick up on other peoples perceptions and vantage points.
Ask more than you tell, don’t waste your time trying to prove yourself to others, or feeling good from hearing yourself talk.
10) Keep a notebook handy to capture ideas.
You know how ideas come in an instant and can go just as fast when you are involved, you won’t remember everything!
This allows you to easily capture an idea from anywhere, anytime.
Answers to your questions come many times when your mind is on other matters.
Review your notes at the end of each day, sort them and file them away appropriately for easy access.
Remember, what you focus on most will have the greatest effect on your tomorrow. Learn to be a possibility thinker by focusing more of your thoughts and feelings on what can be done. I agree with many others in saying that because you get an idea, it means it is possible. It is just a matter of getting yourself to totally align with the results.
Everything that you do is an outflow of energy which effects whatever you are part of. And, you are part of the universe we all live in. You may be aware that your attitude and actions effects the people you are around, but actually it effects everything. Your thoughts, feelings and actions are all energies that contribute to the collective energy that radiates throughout the world. Carl Jung coined the term, “collective unconscious” which refers to the totality of all shared experiences of the human race. He was certainly not the first to talk about this vast database of human awareness that not only makes up all that has been, but of all that could be. We are all contributing to it and are all influenced by it.
On top of all that, there is something else that is effected, you, the individual. Whatever thoughts, beliefs and perceptions you have will be supported and expanded by your mind, that’s just part of it’s job the same as it keeps your heart beating without your constant attention. Everything you think and do is reenforcing a belief of some sort, helping you to continue to do the same with less and less conscious thought.
So, are your thoughts and actions really supporting what you say are your principles, what you want to stand for? Or are you acting and reacting based on thought programming you have not considered to question? If you say that we should be treating all people equally, are you? Maybe you are most of the time, but what about those certain people or situations? We all have advice for other people on what they can do to make the world a better place, when we can’t actually change anyone, except ourselves. As you change and align your thinking and actions with the ideals you desire, it effects everyone in a positive way not just by direct contact but through the collective unconscious.
What you are thinking and doing is contributing to the overall consciousness of your family, your community, your country, the world. In recent years science has proven what the great spiritual leaders have espoused for centuries, we are all part of the collective unconscious which is energy constantly interacting and changing form. Many of the beliefs you now have were passed on to you through the consciousness of the people around you, your parents, relatives, close groups and community. And you are unknowingly perpetuating these same beliefs.
In order to change this constant repeating of the same beliefs and related actions one must choose to take command of their thinking. David R. Hawkins, in ‘Power vs Force’ states that the first major step to raising our consciousness is in accepting personal responsibility. And our responsibility starts with our thinking. Our ultimate power lies in our command of our thinking. We can consciously question our thoughts, our beliefs, our perceptions and our actions and determine which ones presently support what we want. We can release or alter thoughts that were put into place years ago so that we are more congruent with the direction we want to be going with our life today.
As we upgrade our thinking we are not only helping ourselves, but also everyone around us and the world as our energy becomes part of the collective unconscious. How we effect the world is part of our responsibility, we are the only ones who can do anything about it.
Have you ever been overwhelmed with fear as you have faced doing something? We all have I think, each at our own level, with some becoming physically immobilized by it. If your fear feelings overpower you to the point of inaction you have given fear the upper hand. I stated it this way on purpose, your fear is not doing anything to you, rather you are allowing the fear to affect you as it does – it is all within your thought. And you have command over your thought and feelings as well.
When you get the fear feelings based on doubt, worry and uncertainty you choose to allow these thoughts to roil around in your head. You choose how you interpret them and how you react to them. A fearful thought does not come pre-packaged with a specific set of feelings and behavioral commands. Those too are of your choosing.
When you let yourself remain in the fear, you are choosing to have the fear guide your actions. It’s a logical progression to react to the fear feelings based on how most of us have developed our perceptions around fear. But when you realize that you have created the whole cycle in your mind, you can begin to see that you have ultimate command over the whole cycle. You can change this existing cycle of perception, interpretation and reaction to one that is more supportive of the life you want.
Dr. Wayne Dyer is well known for saying in the Power Of Intention that – when you change the way you look at things, the way you look at things changes. He is referring to your perception, which may appear at first to be totally automatic but it’s not. Well it is and it isn’t! It is automatic as it functions now, but you have the ability to change it and have it automatically be different. Just because you now, as most do, react to worry, doubt and uncertainty with fear thoughts does not mean this is the only way or that it must be this way.
So how did your perceptions, interpretations and reactions get the way they are? And why does it seem that this is just the way they should be? Because you were taught these things by those you were around as you grew up. You took on the perceptions, interpretations and reactions of those who provided the greatest impression on you as you grew up. Your mind allows this, unless you consciously step in to stop it, because it seems normal in the environment you were in when young and highly impressionable. When most or all of the people you are around do it ‘this way’ there is no red flag raised in your thinking to question it, so you don’t. Their way becomes your way.
This is how your behavior and that of groups, families and societies is formed and why it appears to be ‘normal’. And the fact that many people behave in a certain way does not make it the best way, many times it is just the easiest way. It is easier to conform than to take a unique path. You don’t have to remain stuck in the mode of allowing fear thoughts to control your actions. You have command of your thinking so you can change the whole cycle or mental chain of events that occurs with fear. Initially the thoughts of doubt, and some uncertainty are normal when you are facing something new, different or challenging but you don’t need to let the heightened feelings well up and create this big fear thing that you then cater to.
You can change the way you look at doubt, worry and uncertainty. They are just certain thoughts questioning what you are about to do. “Am I prepared?” “What if ____?” “Maybe I won’t remember?” “How will they react?” “How do i look?” These are mostly logical concerns about what you are about to do and if you can answer them logically, without emotion, you can clear them up and soothe your mind. Some you can specifically answer and check off the list and others you will determine you can’t do anything about, so you do not concern yourself with it any more. Choose to leave out the doom and gloom thoughts, the “i can’t” thoughts that are not part of the original concerns – they are your reaction to those thoughts.
Just because you are concerned with how you look, dies not mean you should stop from doing it. Just because you are wondering if you are prepared or not does not mean to turn and run. Just because you have not done this before does not mean you can’t. Your interpretation and reaction to the logical progression of thought leading up to your planned action is what causes you to freeze up. But even when you allow the feeling of fear to well up over these thoughts, still does not mean you must behave in a certain way. You can proceed with the fear, don’t interpret the fear feelings as a stop sign. Just acknowledge those feelings and move on. Accept them, realize how they come about and let them be. Fear thoughts and feelings in themselves can’t do anything, only when you choose to react in specific ways do they. Choose not to react to them.
In acting they teach actors and actresses to channel their fear. It’s not that that many don’t have it, but it’s how they have learned to handle it. Many who perform live or speak in from of large groups are nervous every time before they do. But rather than letting this stop them they are able to channel the energy in the fear towards what they are doing. This actually transfers that heightened energy you notice with fear thoughts into their performance or presentation. Have you ever noticed that some performers seem to have a different ‘personality’ off stage than they do when they are performing? Many are quiet and reserved when talked to away from a performance, but when on stage they come alive with energy and boldness. I wonder where that comes from -re-directed fear perhaps.
Everyone has the ability to do this, to transfer that energy attached to fear thoughts onto something else, like what it is you want to do but feel afraid to. It’s really a matter of perspective, yes, how you look at something and how you interpret it determines what you will do with it. Have you noticed how that when you have chosen to do something you feared you did it with a higher energy level than you normally operate with? This is that energy re-directed to something of your choice, which better supports what you want.
In fact sometimes your energy is so high, in a calm way that you are ‘in the zone’ able to do what you are doing without much conscious thought. This is how powerful it can be to channel your fear associated energy onto the task at hand particularly if you are prepared to do it. As you may have found, even being prepared for something still does not prevent you from feeling fearful about actually doing it, but preparation does make it flow better once you get yourself to go.
Don’t allow your fears to slow or prevent your progression in life, choose to change the way you look at them so your personal dreams can be expressed fully. When you feel the fear and do it anyway, you choose to let it be and proceed as planned, and channel the fear energy into your planned actions to enhance your performance. As you do this, like with anything, over time it will get easier and easier. You will be actually re-training your unconscious thought patterns to automatically behave differently, to do it the way you want it done. Dropping the emotional reaction to logical thoughts can allow you to address them and move on. Once you have checked your hair, it’s good -stop dwelling about it.
Remember that you have command of your thinking not the other way around. It may seem that your thoughts and feelings run the show, but this is just because of the default programming that had been allowed to become established as you were developing. At the time you did not know any better or different so as to guide this development differently. But now you can change your perceptions of everything in your life, you can alter how you interpret everything that you see, and you can adjust your reactions to these as well which in turn changes your behavior. Choose what best supports; the life you want, what you want to do and how you want to feel.
Have you written off your dreams because you think you are too old?
Think about this, more and more Olympic athletes are over 30 and some over 40. The 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing China has more athletes over 30 participating than any time in history. Do you realize how difficult it is to make the Olympic team in a country with a lot of athletes trying to get on the team and where there are many young athletes competing for the positions?
Dara Torres, 41-year-old swimmer for the USA, just got two Silver medals and she out swam her much younger competitor during the last leg of the relay. She has successfully balanced the rigorous training needed with being the mother of a 3-year-old daughter.
Ekaterina Karsten of Belarus, competing in the women’s single skull rowing, brings home a bronze medal and she is 36. This is her 4th Olympics, she has won three gold’s and one silver in this event in those efforts proving she has remained in top shape for many years.
Romania’s Constantina Tomescu is 38 and just won the gold in the women’s marathon. In fact at the halfway point she was in 26th place before she gathered speed to end up finishing almost two and a half minutes ahead of the second place finisher. She finished 20th in the 2004 Olympics but has improved steadily in the last four years as she has gotten older in age.
Oksana Chusovitina the 33 year old German gymnast received a silver medal on the vault. My two daughters were both involved in competitive gymnastics, I know how physicaly brutal this sport is. She has stated that if she is able to qualify for the next Olympics she will, she will be 37. She said, “if I can I’ll do a sixth Olympics.” Is she giving up on what she loves? She says, “I don’t feel 33, I feel 18.” She not only made the German team, she took 3rd place amongst all competitors, most of which are about 16 years old!
Jason Lezek, the US swimmer who helped Michael Phelps win the two team relays, is 32 swimming against athletes 10 to 15 years younger. He has shown that he can still compete in finals in the Olympics as well as other international events.
The ability of athletes continuing to compete at such a high level as they age can be attributed to several factors; more financial support for athletes, better sports medicine, more understanding about diet, but mental perspective and determination is at the foundation of it all. It definitely can become more difficult physically to train as a person gets older and the drive to continue must be strong. But the decisions you make based on your perceptions are the determining factor to what you will motivate yourself to do.
These older athletes are redefining what is possible as we get older. Their success shows what we are capable of when we have the vision, motivation and determination. More importantly is shows that more people are able to see themselves in this role as they continue to get older. When you can see something as possible you are more likely to find the ways to bring it about.
The demise of ones abilities begins with their perception of what is possible and not possible. So often people fall into the mental trap of thinking they are too old for something or that it is not appropriate for an older person. This is just not the case in all instances. Your physical abilities and mental drive is governed by your perceptions of what is possible, what you ‘should’ be doing and many times the influence of others.
This concept does not just apply to sports, any endeavor that you have stopped allowing yourself to see as possible is not necessarily dead, unless you condemn it in your mind. Take time to assess your deep wants and desires and rather than staying with restrictive perceptions, take a fresh look at it. You will discover that many times it is your own mental decisions that have stopped your progress and squelched your dreams, not your actual abilities.
Harland (Colonel) Sanders did not even start franchising his chicken until he was 65 years old, you may have heard of Kentucky Fried Chicken.
What is really possible for you ‘if’ you were to follow your dreams without telling yourself no?
More life changing concepts at Effective Personal Development Blog
Do you think happy people have more in their life to be happy about? Well, yes and no. They are happy about more things in their life because they focus on being thankful and grateful about more things in their life.
What you focus on expands. When more of your attention is on things that bring up good feelings more than bad feelings you will be much happier and less dissatisfied with daily life. It boils down to perspective. First, what are you looking at and how are you looking at it?
For example, you may feel that the home you live in no longer suits your wants and needs, so you focus on what you see as the negative aspects. And I’m sure you have noticed how easily your mind chatter will support your thinking about what you don’t like. This automatic feature of your mind will help to enhance whatever you think and feel – it does it so easily with dislikes.
But think a minute, isn’t there a lot about where you now live that you can appreciate and be thankful for? You do have a roof over your head, you are protected from the elements, you have running water, flush toilets, etc. Think for a moment, if you did not have this home? I think you‘ll see that there is really a lot about it that you can be grateful for. This is true of most everything in your life. If you are not sure, compare what you have and do against other people that have less. Think about your home, your clothes, your job, your possessions, your community, accessibility to what you want, how your basic needs are met, what IS going right, and so much more. There is always a good side.
Teach yourself to focus on anything and everything that you can no matter how minute you think it is and your happiness will increase. You can really only focus on one thing at a time, multitasking is when you bounce between different things more rapidly. But you can’t think about the good of something while thinking about the bad of it, always one or the other. To feel better and to send out the best signal, focus on the good. You can decide to be grateful for no specific reason, just for being alive and all that entails. This is actually a great base line for your life, your attitude, thinking, perceptions, health and behavior – grateful to be here, to be you.
If you have been thinking a lot about what you don’t like or want and you switch to fairly consistent gratitude, you will be amazed at how you feel. Your attitude, disposition and outlook will be much brighter, you may feel like you woke up on the ‘right’ side of the bed. Your body will respond positively too with more vitality, less stress and even some health improvements. The thing is, none of this is chance – the more thankful and grateful you are the better you will feel. You will be improving your happiness without even changing anything in your life except your perception.
Now you may be wondering what to do with all the new and different things you want in your life and I have talked about grateful for what you have. You need to do both. One of the ‘tricks’ in life is to find the fine line between two aspects of life, which we have an example of here with gratitude for what you have and thinking about what you want. Both are required for the most happiness and satisfaction in your life.
Where most of us fall into a trap is when we think it is logical to delineate what we don’t want, actually we just find it easy to complain about it since we have attached emotions that support our dislike. The key is this – you can express thanks for what you have and feel grateful for it, and want more at the same time.
What you shouldn’t do is, to repeatedly express your dislike for something and expect it to change. When continuously expounding on what you don’t want, you get more of it. Every thought you hold is an order to the universe – for what you want. To highlight how pointedly powerful each and every thought is, “I AM” in front of everything you are thinking and feeling. If you are thinking, “(I am) I hate my hair” you are what you want, just as an acorn is saying, “I am an oak tree.” The same forces that ensure the acorn develops as requested is working in your behalf in the same way.
Be grateful for your current situation, it got you here, it is a stepping stone on the path, there is something to learn or gain from it. If anything it is a clue to what you should not be doing, if you don’t like it. But rather than going on about not liking it, let it help you find what you do want.
Also, I am not suggesting using gratitude as a way to ignore anything that needs attention and action. You can be grateful for something and be working on changing or improving it. There is a big difference in thinking about something as you are working with it as opposed to thoughts dwelling on the negative aspects of it.
The bottom line is that there is something about anything that you can find to be grateful for. Sometimes this can be tricky to find and you may need to adjust your perception in order to see it. It could be a lesson or something that needs to be experienced for you or someone else. As you know by now some lessons and experiences can be painful. I just recently had to face this as my wife passed away three months ago.
If there is something in your life that you are having difficulty finding an aspect to be grateful for, don’t let it bog you down, just look at other things that you can be thankful for now. But if you can see the lesson, it is something to be grateful for, because now you know and can do something about it and grow from it. And that is worth being grateful for!
The more you do this, the more you will. Start with whatever you can and you will notice more and more to be grateful about. As you express gratitude for a few things your perceptions will change a little
Writing down what you are thankful for increases your commitment and increases it’s power, and sharing with others does so even more, plus others will benefit from it as well. To share your gratitude and/or the results of your increased gratitude with others, plus get some encouragement and insights reading what others write – go to the Gratitude Journal – see category list.
John Halderman writes and trains in personal growth and development focusing on what can be done daily to enhance your happiness and satisfaction with life through the understanding of how life works, managing your thoughts and purposeful actions.