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How Changing Your Perspective Can Help You Succeed

How Changing Your Perspective Can Help You Succeed

“I intend to find a positive in every negative, perception is reality.”

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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.

Photo by cliff1066TM

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Chelsea, selected from provides content and community for who you aspire to be--personally, socially and globally. Follow Intent on Twitter here.


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11:29PM PDT on Aug 16, 2012

Speaking of the perspectives of Olympic athletes, I realize they train their butts off for many years, but they should see winning a silver medal as winning, not as losing gold. It was interesting to see that there were athletes who were very happy with bronze, but so many disappointed, even angry, with silver.

9:00AM PDT on Aug 14, 2012

When addressing an audience in a nudist colony, picturing some of those in underwear can help a lot!

11:09AM PDT on Aug 12, 2012

Great advice.

6:45AM PDT on Aug 12, 2012

thanks for sharing

5:17AM PDT on Aug 11, 2012


3:49AM PDT on Aug 10, 2012


11:36AM PDT on Aug 9, 2012

Seeing the audience in their underwear? That is rude, disrespectful and invasive. Why not just imagine them being open, friendly and mildly interested in what you have to say, or they wouldn't be there in the first place. That's probably more accurate. No need to picture them vulnerable to shore up your own confidence.What a heel that makes you! Geezz, who comes up with this stuff?

1:48PM PDT on Aug 8, 2012

I always try to stay positive, although I would consider myself mostly a pessimistic. A positive attitude is definitely important to have to get far in life.

9:34AM PDT on Aug 6, 2012

I think this is the first explanation I have heard explaining the old "picture the audience in their underwear" trick that made it make sense, instead of seeming skeevy and a huge distraction from giving a speech. Thanks for that.

7:09AM PDT on Aug 6, 2012

I need this so badly in my life right now, thank you

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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