This week’s blog is a guest post from Spirit Quest Tours’ partner, Geoff Edwards, The Success Coach. Geoff has been a terrific coach for me for many months now, and he has started helping our clients expand their comfort zones and build success! He wrote this great (and very useful) article on how your perception can hold you back, and how much changing it can improve your life. Check it out! At the bottom, there’s more info on Geoff, too.
This article originally appeared in Oxygen Magazine, to which Geoff is a regular contributor.
IT’S VERY EASY TO TAKE YOUR PERCEPTION AS REALITY. IF SOMEONE GREETS YOU DIFFERENTLY YOU DECIDE THAT THEY’RE ANNOYED AT YOU, OR A COMMENT FROM YOUR MANAGER MAKES YOU FEEL THAT YOU ARE NOT DOING A GREAT JOB AT WORK. WE HAVE A TENDENCY TO BE OUR OWN WORST CRITICS, AND THEN EVERYONE BUT US MOVES ON.
By Geoff Edwards
One of the major factors in reducing stress is to change your perception. The good news is that it’s a very simple thing to change.
INCREASE YOUR AWARENESS How you experience life is controlled by your perception of yourself. One of the first things you need to do to change your perception is to improve your awareness.
Do any of the following sound familiar? “I know I will mess this up,” or “I never achieve enough.” Do you always see the problem – or the solution – in every situation? Do you have a “glass half empty” perspective? If you’re not sure what your answer is, then you need to pay more attention to how you react to certain situations. Be aware of when these thoughts come and address them before they happen, so you can control them.
I have achieved great success with clients in increasing their awareness, changing their perceptions and developing their inner potential. The idea is to become aware of situations that arise daily. Note how you feel and perform over a week. Typical things you could consider include:
• Why you feel the way you do
• How you manage your thoughts
• Unproductive patterns of behaviour
• Triggers that you react to
• Fears and beliefs
With this information, it is important to then trace the root cause of any unproductive states and perceptions. You can do this by taking notice of a number of things:
• How often are you running at less than optimum?
• What situations are drawing on your power?
• What are your underlying habits, fears and beliefs?
• What thinking are you engaging in?
• How successful were you at turning negative situations around?
• Overall patterns of behaviour.
From this, you will then gain an idea of how you feel on a weekly basis and whether the state you are in is productive, supports your perception and will ultimately lead you to success Another way of increasing your awareness is by gathering information on your achievements and to seek the views of others on your performance. Quite often this closes the gap on your preconceived views, enables you to adjust where appropriate and to become aware of the amazing potential you have to offer.
CONTROL YOUR THOUGHTS Once you have built an awareness of your perceptions, it’s time to make the decision to control your thoughts for an improved outcome. You mightn’t have the power to control other people but you do have the power to control yourself – and especially how stressed you may feel. Any stressful thoughts should be disposed of. You can do this by creating more positive thoughts to replace negative thoughts that enter your head. Start to think about new thoughts that make you feel better about yourself. So the next time you find yourself in a situation where you think “I’m such a fool,” replace that thought with “I’m clever and more than capable of doing this.”
CREATE NEW HABITS If you want to stay focused on changing your perception, you need to create new habits. The only way you can create a new habit is to persist through, and face, every stressful event that stands in your way. It’s important to remember that this will not happen easily but you can do it – all you have to do is believe in yourself. To create momentum for changing habits, a “reasons why” list is also very important. Below are some great reasons to change your perception.
• To overcome fear
• To feel great about yourself
• To increase your self-esteem
• To see the value in yourself
• To let go of the past through release
• To better accept other people
• To feel independence
• To let go of reasons, fears and projected obstacles as to why something cannot be done.
Typical obstacles to change can occur during this process:
• Change may be difficult and painful
• Worrying you might fail or make mistakes
• Not understanding your emotions
• Fear that you will be different after the change
• Fear of leaving your comfort zone
The key to changing habits is to be conscious of your behaviour. Decide if a change is necessary and then move out of the undesirable habit by taking the following steps:
• Decide you definitely want to do this
• Ascertain reasons why you must do this
• Seek an alternative perception
• Repeat the process until your state changes
CELEBRATE SUCCESS Part of the change process is to acknowledge what you achieve on a regular basis. This provides an opportunity to build on and accumulate successes, like interest in the bank. Then, it is important to reward yourself! Remember, you are not your perception! So the next time something stressful comes your way, remember that stress has more to do with your own personal perception and your beliefs. More importantly, remember that you have the ability to change. Always look for the solution and the opportunity in every problem – don’t close yourself off to the possibilities! Manage your perception to feel good, be empowered and discover your true state!
“There are things known and there are things unknown and in between are the doors of perception.” Aldous Huxley
Geoff Edwards is an internationally accredited Life Coach with over 25 years and 3000 hours of coaching experience. He can support you on your journey to success with results that last.