This week I’ve been thinking about the perceptions we all have… about other people, a specific book, a course or product, and about ourselves. While I was working as a classroom teacher and in real estate, my perception of myself was mostly negative. I believed everything I wanted in my life was difficult to achieve and out of reach for me. Others picked up on this and formed their own perceptions about me by reflecting what I gave out in my words and actions. Once I came online as an entrepreneur, I learned how to use positive self-talk and massive action to achieve my goals and create an income that grows each month. Perceptions make the difference with everything we choose to do in our lives.
You can definitely change the way others perceive you, and that begins with changing how you perceive yourself. What’s one action you’ll commit to taking today that will begin your shift in thinking, acting, and perceiving? Mine began with creating and publishing well thought out blog posts, and then turning those into full length books until I got into the habit of writing each day, but you may have another idea that will suit your needs and serve you in a more productive and constructive way.
Your Self Perception Wasn’t Chosen By You
Often times, we let others shape who we are. The environment we’re in and the people we know mold our personalities and outlooks on life, but that shouldn’t be done to the point that you ignore your own wishes.
You have to be content with who you are, and to be absolutely content with yourself, you must carve out your own personality. It can be scary, if all you’ve ever known is doing what other people told you, but you’ll never be truly happy until you pursue your own path.
It’s very easy to be influenced by others – especially when you’re young and still developing. You might have had a mean teacher who told you that you would never amount to anything, and those words might stick with you today.
Maybe one or both of your parents placed expectations too high or too low for you. They might have told you that you have to be a doctor or a lawyer, and nothing else will do, or they may have told you that you might as well get comfortable working at Walmart, because that’s all you’ll ever be good for.
You have to find the strength and the courage to dismiss these expectations, and be who you want to be. None of these people telling you who you’re going to have to be know you better than you know yourself.
Many are just nervous. For example, if you want to launch your own online business, but they’re unfamiliar with it, they may try to dissuade you from it out of sheer fear. You’ll have to do it without their support and understanding. I had to do this to become a writer and make a name for myself in the online entrepreneurial space.
If you always dreamed of being an artist, but everyone pressured you to become something “better” with “higher pay,” you have to look past what they say. Very few people have said that they’re glad they never pursued their dreams and just followed everyone else’s advice.
It might be difficult, it might not even work out, but you’ll never have that itching feeling of wondering how it could have been if you had just tried. You can find satisfaction in knowing that you tried your best.
You also have to be able to define what kind of person you are. Nobody is born inherently worth more or less than anyone else. If a few people think that you’re just as common as they are, you have to look at who they are as a person, devaluing other people to make themselves feel better. Think about how you can challenge yourself to enhance your life experience.
If someone tells you that you’re worthless or have nothing to offer, or anything else that is negative, ignore them and walk away. If possible, eliminate this person from your life. They don’t know your story, they don’t know who you are in your mind, and they can’t make assumptions like that. Evaluate your own worth, think about the people that love you, the good that you do, and how you make a positive contribution to the world and if you feel like it’s lacking, make the change that will make you feel better about yourself.
Our Stories Help Shape Others’ Perceptions
I’ve been giving much thought to how so many of us working online have been able to create raving fans and lucrative businesses, while others struggle to get enough traction to make it worthwhile. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s all about the stories we share.
Storytelling is a powerful way to let others into your life, even when we’re not experiencing a pandemic. I began sharing my story of how I had been a classroom teacher for twenty years, worked part-time in real estate after school and on weekends, and longed for a better life. I also shared that I had survived cancer four times, and a work injury in 2004 left me without sufficient income to cover my expenses, as well as care for my elderly mother.
That’s when I prayed for a way to “meet all of my expenses with grace and ease” and learned about online entrepreneurship soon after. I made a plan and by 2006 I had resigned from teaching and given my real estate clients away to full time real estate professionals. This story – 100% true in every detail – launched me to small success at first and then on to a business that still feels like a dream each day.
What’s your story? Remember that your story becomes your brand over time and sets you apart from everyone else on the planet. Practice writing and speaking about what you’ve gone through at some point in your life that changed your perspective on life. The goal here is to shift the perspective others have of you so they are more likely to pay attention to you and what you have to offer. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your thoughts about this or anything else with me. Let’s connect!
I’m Connie Ragen Green, exploring the world and anticipating great joy in the journey. Come along with me and let’s discover the secrets of the universe, together. You may love my complimentary Action Habits Challenge, and this will give us the chance to become better acquainted.