Perception of progress

03 Jun 2020

Perception of progress

“I don’t need easy. I just need possible” – Bethany Hamilton

As the old proverb goes ‘the mind is more powerful than the body’. How you perceive yourself dictates how you interact with the outside world and the individual challenges you face. This is why adopting a growth style mindset will accelerate you closer to your goals. Adopting this way of thinking will show you an understanding of your personal talents and abilities and how these can be developed through effort, good teaching and persistence.

Everyone wants to be successful and the Bill Gates and Micheal Jordans of the world are perceived to be highly intelligent, gifted and motivated individuals. That being said, these people will often tell you that they learned more about their success by failing than winning. Failure lays the bedrock for learning and growth and this all comes down to your perception of the situation.

Perception can be defined as “the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses.” This involves signals travelling in from the outside environment through the nervous system, which in turn will elicit physical and/or chemical stimulation of the sensory system allowing you to interpret sight, smell, taste, touch and hear.

So how does individual interpretation of a certain circumstances/situations affect the outcome? Well this comes down to mindset. The mindset we choose plays a dramatic role in shaping our psychological and physiological effects on attention, arousal, motivation and affect.

Here is an example: take two people who want to touch their toes. At the beginning of the process both could only just reach past their knees. When stretching, a certain degree of pain through various stretching methods is required to elicit the adaptation of increased flexibility.

If the first person was telling themselves that “this hurts, what is the point” then it is unlikely they will be touching their toes anytime soon! This is because the pain is perceived as a form of suffering, greatly affecting their mindset of the situation. If the second person however, had the mindset before stretching that the pain is beneficial, a necessary evil if you will, then perception of  the pain of trying to touch their toes is not so bad and they will reach their goal.

Below is a 20-minute TED talk of how the power of mindset can greatly influence the perceived outcome in a given situation, especially with regards to health and fitness!