Challenge Your Perception
It can be exhausting living a life that refills itself with a new and interesting challenge all the time. No sooner have you jumped through one ring of fire, another one happens to appear.
Take it from me, someone who lived such a life, that the biggest challenge inside that scenario is to understand one vitally important part of it. Perception. Years ago, I learned that any challenge I face has a pre-determined success factor based purely on what I perceived. The more I allow my drama-factor to climb, the greater the challenge will become. The more I fear it, the harder the work required to push through. The more I avoid it, the greater the negative impacts that challenge will have in my life.
A close mate of mine, Andrew Ford, was being interviewed on a podcast recently. Now Andy and I have had many chats. Most involve a beer and plenty of laughs, and some have been quite deep and meaningful. But during this podcast he reminded me of some important points about the challenges life can bring.
To paraphrase Andrew, he says having supportive people around you when you’re challenged is great, but it’s better you don’t allow yourself to rely on them all the time. Ultimately, it’s up to us to dig deep and find a way. Because that’s how we succeed.
And that’s the real challenge, that’s what builds resilience, and that’s why challenge is good. We need it in our life, self-doubt, insecurity, and fear. It’s is a pivot point for us. You can perceive the challenge to be beyond you, and quit. To do so, is to fail. But if you keep on fighting, believing in even the smallest of ways that you could break through, that’s when you’ll take your life to a better level.
That view of Andrew’s, I passionately endorse and share. His perception is a great leveller for any of us. We all have stuff going on in life, it’s part of being human. Sometimes we say the hell with it, we’ve had enough, and retreat to the couch. I do that a bit too much to be honest. But as soon as I catch myself behaving that way, I challenge both my behaviour and my perception.
To those who find controlling your perception is indeed your greatest challenge, I have one word for you. Action.
If ever I find myself paralysed by a challenge, stuck on the couch, or staring into space wondering what the hell to do, I do ……. something. Changing our perception has to start with us, and what we do. Forget about trying to figure out grand plans, wonderful dreams, or complicated life-drama’s. Start with yourself, and one tiny little action you can perform that begins to alter your perception of the challenge you face.
The perfect place to start, is to say yes instead of no. If a challenge in life has taken your perception to the negative side of your thought process, change a negative word into a more positive one. Your thoughts help form your perception. If you tell yourself you can’t, you won’t. But if you ask yourself to try, you might get somewhere.
Putting positive thinking aside for a moment, by changing how you think in even the smallest of ways, you’re creating action. And action is key. Nothing happens, nothing changes, nothing gets done, without action. Stop doing nothing, and start doing something. This is the positive side that a challenge can offer. This is why they’re good.
And a reminder to those folks out there who, like me, take a bit more convincing to believe in their own capabilities. It’s OK to be doubtful of yourself, be unsure, be nervous, even to be afraid. But do it anyway. Because that changes the way we perceive ourselves faster than any amount of positive thinking ever will. Action. Do.
Forget about what you perceive everybody else thinks, and think about yourself. Face your challenge, act, and see how good things are on the other side. These are the moments that prove your perceptions can be altered, and that your challenges can be overcome.