Thursday, January 8, 2009
Perception is Reality
I just finished doing the Human Perception Test involving the students passing the basketball. And although I found it interesting, it just confirmed what I have come to realize in working with people towards body transformation goals - Our perception IS reality.
My goal with my clients first and foremost is to change perceptions and change the way the way they see themselves and perceive things.
Here is an example...
Some clients perceive that they are fat even if others see them as "looking good". Some cleints perceive that they are huge, like a football player or a male bodybuilder when others perceive them as looking fit and toned.
It goes beyond that. This is where it gets even trickier for me as their coach or trainer.
Some people perceive that my protocols or recommendations will not work on them or on anyone (for a variety of preconceived beliefs or due to their perception distortions) even if they have worked for others, there is research to validate that it should work or it makes logical sense when explained how it will work.
Once a belief is set, it is hard to shake. So we have preset beliefs and we have perception distortions. This is one of the biggest obstacles to overcome in order to get results.
Excuses and rationalizations are our way around of avoiding confrontation with our preset beliefs and distorted perceptions. They may sound like this:
I come from a family of hippy women, and it is just my genetics. (This is a preset belieft and if it is strong enough the brain will lead the body... thus, even with the right protocols in place to target lower body fat, the body follows the brain).
I have tried to eat this way before and I got no results (they likely got results, but their brain did not SEE the difference because they expected it not to work.)
I don't build muscle easily (men).
I don't want to look like The Incredible Hulk (women).
So, you need to understand this is YOUR limitation you are setting. I can only get as much results as your brain will allow. As part of my approach, I am to change perceptions and make you confront your preset beliefs, but personality types play a big role here too. If a client is an inflexible personality type, with high skepticims but wants results NOW (high urgency factor), this makes for a difficult case study when combined with many preset beliefs and distorted perceptions.
In the end however, each person's perception IS their reality and my perceptions will differ from theirs. I need to see the client as they see themselves and work within that.
How can YOU change your perception and preset beliefs:
- Examine and discuss them
- Challenge yourself
- Be open to other people's perception of you, your body, your best protocols to accomplish your goal
- Get out of your comfort zone at least long enough to try something new
- You must BELIEVE something will work, in order for it to stand a chance of working
- Listen to yourself talk and rationalize sometimes... you will hear and pick up on your own self imposed limitations
My best example of this in my life has been my recent transition from powerlifting to bodybuidling. Throwing myself into a competitive environment that I did not feel comfortable in and where I held many strong pre-set beliefs and distorted perceptions, has helped me be much more open. I now try to see things in many lights and understand that my perception is just one reality.
In spite of my increased "openness", I still failed this test miserabley. How did you do?