“I intend to find a positive in every negative, perception is reality.”
Michael Phelps made history this week by becoming the most decorated Olympian ever. Our hearts also became warm with pride as they put his 19th medal on him. It was an inspirational moment and many of us asked ourselves, “how does he do it?”
The USA women’s gymnastics team also won the gold medal for the team competition in artistic gymnastics. When team captain Aly Raisman was on the balance beam, the commentator said something that struck me. She said that Raisman stays calm under all the pressure by adjusting her perspective to the competition. Could that really be the answer? Hard work and dedication is essential to success but not everybody is able to withstand the pressure in the end. No matter how much you prepare, sometimes your nerves get the best of you.
Take public speaking for example, you can have the world’s most eloquent speech prepared but unless you deliver it with confidence, it won’t have the same effect. A common piece of advice given to people that are afraid of public speaking is to imagine the audience in their underwear. This works because you are changing your perspective. Instead of being intimidated by the audience, you build your own confidence by imagining them in their most vulnerable form.
You can apply this trick in many other ways in your life. If you are taking an exam, instead of hating the material and running away from it – embrace it, love it and remember that you will succeed. If you are trying to lose weight, stop thinking of working out and eating healthy as difficult and unpleasant and change your perspective to it. You have to learn how to train your mind, because it is the most powerful tool that you have to accomplish your goals.
Going back to Aly Raisman and Michael Phelps, they succeed because instead of focusing on all the negatives they focus on the positive. They do not think of tumbling off or falling back, they think of winning, glory and happiness, and that is what gets them on to the medal podium.