The Problem With Your Perception (and How to Improve Your Performance)
We hear stories all the time about successful individuals who were an inch away from the finish line and almost gave up, eventually finding success because of their persistence. These types of stories go to show that not everyone is going to like our work but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a place for it and that it won’t be able to thrive and attract the attention of people who adore it. Just think about what would’ve happened if J.K. Rowling hadn’t continued to push Harry Potter. Millions of people would’ve gone without it, which is an astounding concept to truly consider.
More often than not, the thing that is holding us back from success is our perception of ourselves. It is when you believe that you are unable to succeed that your inability to make it becomes truth. After all, if you don’t think you are capable of achieving what you want, you are right.
I’m a firm believer of not giving up on your dreams and I think that you should always be working little by little towards what you truly want out of your life. However, is your poor self-perception getting in the way of your progress? Do you think that you could achieve far more and carry through certain actions that could lead you to success if you weren’t blocking your own path?
A negative perception can be the worst thing for us to deal with. Here’s how you can change it and live up to your potential.
Start by Working on Your Confidence
Before you can begin working on some of the larger damage caused by wrong perceptions, you must first learn to build confidence and work on your self-esteem. Part of this work will begin with you focusing on the things that you love about yourself. This will help to provide solid ground that you can stand on so that you can build yourself up from there. Sit down and make a list of all the physical and personality traits that you love. What are your strengths? What do you like about yourself? What can you focus on that will allow you to strengthen your relationship with yourself?
Once you are more aware of what you love, you need to start looking at what needs improvement. For example, there was a period of time when I was extremely shy and so insecure that I had trouble looking at people and talking to them. Knowing this, I set a goal for myself to say hi and make eye contact with people that I met when I was out and about. Do you know what I discovered? I literally had nothing to be insecure about. Now, my self-confidence is fairly ironclad and if there is something I am insecure about, I fix it.
Challenge Negative Thoughts and Assumptions
When you let negative thoughts run rampant, you reinforce them. If I believe that I am not good enough and I do not stop or challenge that thought, I let it become a truth, especially if it is something that I am encountering regularly over time. Challenging your perception requires cultivating awareness around these negative thoughts and stopping them in their tracks when they arise. Next time you think something negative about yourself, stop yourself mid-thought and let the thought go. Then, replace that thought with something more positive or realistic. Here’s a great rule to live by: If you wouldn’t say to someone else, you shouldn’t be saying it yourself.
Another thing you need to do if you wish to change your perception of yourself is to challenge your assumptions. Let’s imagine that you really want to get out there and start performing some of your music but you don’t think that you are good enough to attract an audience or build a career. Ask yourself, is this based in reality? Have you performed for anyone? Have you ever recorded yourself? Challenge this thought by getting out there and playing your music for someone else besides yourself. You will most likely be surprised by the results.
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
As much as I would love to be, I’m never going to be Adele. I’m never going to be Ariana Grande. I’m never going to be Bill Gates. As I stated in one of my more recent pieces, however, there is no reason that you cannot be enough for your life and your needs. When we compare ourselves to others and their achievements, we often minimize our own and set extreme, unrealistic goals that can be more than discouraging.
You don’t have to be anyone else besides yourself and you should seek to make that person the best that they can be. You will have achievements in your lifetime. You will see your goals come to fruition. You will make a place for yourself in this world. The key to making this happen? You just need to have the right mindset, confidence, and drive to accomplish. You are enough and you can be great in your own right!
So many people in the world fail not because they have nothing great to offer or lack the skills but simply because they don’t see themselves in the right light. No matter what it is you want, it is your responsibility to go after it and live your life to the best of your ability. You only have one to use and it would be a waste to watch it float away because you lacked enough confidence it to seize it and turn it into gold. If your perception of yourself is your biggest weakness, learn how to better develop your self-image and guide yourself to victory!