We’ve all been there if we aren’t there now; that overwhelming feeling of not being as far along in life as you think you should be. The society we’re living in now isn’t helping either. With technology, we have the ability to peek in, creep, or troll anyone’s virtual life to start forming our opinion on how the other half live. It’s all perception and we are buying it, hook line, and sinker as reality. Look how successful everyone else is that must mean I’m behind. Does that give us the motivation to bring out our competitive side? For some yes but for most it just makes us feel sad and bad about ourselves. It’s demotivating because it looks like we are worlds apart and there is no way to catch up so guess what….I just won’t do anything. What if where you are is exactly where you need to be? What if self-acceptance gives you the motivation to grow? Want to dig a little deeper?
Perception…..ah the double edge sword. You might say to someone who is stuck in their way of thinking, “you need a new perspective”. Many times that means, I want you to see it my way. But for so many of us, it’s true, we do need a new perspective and a new way of looking at the world, what’s around us, and ourselves. But perception can easily be skewed when we accept what we think we see as reality.
I was in web-marketing for several years and I can remember sitting across from a Mom and Pop shop uttering these exact words: You may not have the money to change your facade or re-sod your lawn but you can be as big and rich as you want, on the web. It’s all perception. You drive up to a business that has holes in the parking lot, a building that needs repair, and outdated decor and what do you think? They aren’t doing very well, they must not know what they are doing. But you land on an up-to-date and slick website offering the same services and you immediately have more respect - they are successful and maybe even cutting edge.
Don’t you think the same scenario can apply to personal lives portrayed on the web? Do you think the person who is obsessed with selfies is so confident with the way they look that they just had to overshare with the world? NO? Possibly they are the ones in need of validation and someone to tell them how attractive they are so they can feel something, overcome something or just be able to look in the mirror. I say perception is surface level. It’s only one layer of the story. But instead of challenging and digging deeper to understand and form our opinions, we are limiting our senses to only our sight. What we see becomes our reality. I saw it so it has to be true. Communication is 55% body language and 38% tone of voice. Are we saying that no longer matters?
Someone posts a picture in full glam, standing next to a sportscar and behind an obscene amount of filters and they are successful and rich. No questions. They are doing well for themselves. Just as you can’t judge a book by its cover, you can’t accept reality in a photograph, nay social media pic.
I love technology and I hope my constant reminders are not painting the wrong picture here. We need a healthy balance in all that we do. I’m just shining a light on how easily things can get off-kilter and what can happen as a result. Being aware is the first step. Sometimes we just feel bad and we let it go at that. We never dig deeper and peel back the layers to see why. Could it be what we are consuming and the rate in which we are consuming it?
When you feel overwhelmed or behind, have you asked yourself why? In a cause and effect trial, should you remove causes to judge the effect? Or do you just throw up your hands and blame this mean old world and the hand you’ve been dealt? You have the power to take control of your reaction to any action.
I read a book with the most profound advice; The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. I often quote each of the agreements separately when they apply...and they do, often! The fourth agreement is to always give your best. Now that sounds simple but it’s much more complex the deeper you dig. You see, today you may have it all to give but tomorrow you may not. So if you always give your best then you are giving what you have on that given day and nothing more. We see giving 100% as all. Imagine a full glass up to the brim. That’s all that glass can hold so it’s 100%. But what if that the glass was only half full? How could you give your best or 100%? Well if you give the whole half then you are giving all you have to give at that moment and that is your best.
It’s hard to conceptualize because we have bought into this idea of 100% as everything to the fullest. If you don’t have a full glass then you don’t have enough. How often do you have a full glass? What happens on the other days? You feel bad and less than perfect, behind, losing.
But what if you gave YOUR all….not it all but YOUR all every time? Wouldn’t you feel great knowing that you gave it your all? Would that change your outlook before the day even started? Today, I’m going to give it my all! No matter what happens, I’m giving it my all and that’s enough!
CHALLENGE: Look within first. Before you compare your life and list of accomplishments with what you see, find out who you are and what is most important to you. Today give your best, whatever that may be.
I Know You Can Do It!
Dr. Jim Taylor, psychologist, and professor at the University of San Francisco
Rae Jacobson for the Child Mind Institute
Henrik Edberg for the Positivity Blog:
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