- I have been a teacher of fitness and health for thirty years. In 1989 I was certified for personal training with the National Acadamy of Sports Medicine. I had a gym in Santa Barbara for eight years. Co-owned and created a spinning bike company which manufactured bikes for five years. Also I have worked with nutrition companies for twenty years. Along with many wonderful non famous people I have trained many celebrities, and members of the Royal Family. My own athletic past consists of long distance running, long distance cycling, cross country skiing, down hill skiing, rollerblading, hiking, sand running, track work, and weight training. I have authored two fitness columns in local papers, and have been writing this blog since January 2010.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
The Power of Perception
Perception is everything. It is how you feel about any situation, person, or thing. Perception can make the difference in being happy, or miserable. It can make the difference in being scared, or confident. Perception can make the difference in all that you think about.
What is perception? A psychology web page defines it this way; "Perception is our sensory experience of the world around us and involves both the recognition of environmental stimuli, and actions in response to these stimuli. Through the perceptual process, we gain information about properties and elements of the environment that are critical to our survival. Perception not only creates our experience of the world; it allows us to act within our environment."
So what exactly does that mean? Well to put it in simple terms; perception is what you think about your experience and interaction to the world around you and all that you do and see.
Two people can have the same experience but have completely different perceptions of what happened. I have seen it with my clients over and over. I have trained married couples many times, and one of them will tell me about an experience that they had, and the other one who had the same experience had a completely different perception of what that experience was. Same experience, different perception.
How you perceive of any situation can make the difference in you being happy with it or not. For instance, if your boyfriend breaks up with you, you can perceive this in several ways. You might think that you weren't good enough for him, or you might think that you are a loser. A better way to perceive it would be to think that he wasn't the right one for you, and now you have the opportunity to find a boyfriend that is.
Lets say that you have failed a test in school. You could perceive this that you are stupid and not capable of learning. Or you could perceive that you did not study like you should, but you are very smart and capable of getting a good grade by giving your studying more effort.
Have you ever heard of the saying, "A glass half empty, or a glass half full"? What this means is that some people look at their situations in life as a glass half empty, which means they see things as less than what they could be. For instance; if you have an old car that has a bad paint job and a few dents in it, you could perceive this as a bad thing. Or you could look at it as a glass half full, and you are lucky to be able to have a car at all. Perception....
I have told this story before, but it is worth telling again. When the fires in Santa Barbara burned down over 300 homes a few years ago, the local television station had a reporter interviewing two families who were neighbors, both had lost everything they owned, and their homes had burned to the ground.
The first family interviewed was distraught and emotionally broken. They talked to the reporter through their tears and expressed their grief in sobs and words of desperation. I do not want to make light of this situation, it would be an awful thing to have happen, but the fact is it did. Being so distraught would not change the fact that this horrible thing happened.
The second family who lost everything as well, announced without tears, that they had wanted to re-model their home anyway, and now because of the fire they had the opportunity to do so. They were accepting what had happened and knew they could not change it, but they could move forward. Perception.
Two families, same situation, different perception. Which one would feel better to you? Many times in our lives things happen that are traumatic and horrible. It is not what happens to us that matters as much as how we deal with those situations that matter. Your perception of any situation will make the difference in how you feel and what the outcome becomes.
So when you are going through your day, be conscious of how you are perceiving things. Did that person say something mean because of you, or was it really all about them. Did you feel jealous because of something that was real, or were you imagining something that really did not exist. Remember that we take a lot of things personal, when they never are.
We create more upset in our lives by perceiving something incorrectly, when we could avoid it by thinking about it in a better, healthier way. Take a look at your perceptions, you may be surprised how you can view your life differently. Its all in the perception!