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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Veronica C.
Veronica C.3 years ago

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.

Walter G.
Walter g.3 years ago

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

Heidi R.
Past Member 3 years ago

Great advice.

Patricia H.
Patricia H.3 years ago

thanks for sharing

Nancy B.
N B.3 years ago


Donna Hamilton
Donna Hamilton3 years ago


Mary B.
Mary B.3 years ago

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?

Rhianna Martin
Rhianna Martin3 years ago

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.

Silas Garrett
Silas Garrett3 years ago

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.

Sheleen Addison
Sheleen Addison3 years ago

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