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06 Apr 2017

Perception vs Reality

Written by RobynWoodham Category:

Is your imagination making it harder than it really is?

I recently got on a bike again after about 5 years without touching one.  I’d put it off and put it off, imagining hard work, sore muscles and pain every time I sat down for a week.  Once I finally did it though, the reality was quite different.  It was much easier than I remembered.  In fact, I’ve been amazed how far I can go for relatively little energy expenditure (on the flat anyway), and I’ve been surprised at how I’m not that sore afterwards.  Sitting down has not been an issue at all unless on the bicycle seat two days later.  Plus I’ve had the added bonus of rediscovering some beautiful places that I knew were there but had somehow forgotten to visit for a while, plus discovering some new places as well.  In short, the reality of biking is far different to what my perception of it was.

We often do this.  The reality is that people have amazing minds, and with that, great imaginations.  The problem is that sometimes we use them to our own detriment.  My imagination had turned biking in to something far more challenging than it really is, while completely ignoring the positives that come along with it.  Had I been imagining sunshine, fresh air, cruising along, picnic lunches and beautiful parks instead of pain and hard work, I would have done it a long time ago, and been experiencing the benefits of it for a lot longer.

I’m now wondering where else I may be doing this.  Does cleaning the bathroom really take all day?  Is planning my workshops for the year really going to be a logistical nightmare?  I think not.  These things almost always turn out to be quicker and easier than I imagine and well worth it too.  And really, it’s my mind and my imagination, so surely it’s my choice how I focus on things, and what I choose to think about.  What feels better?  Imagining a big pile of dishes that I’m slaving my way through, or imagining the nice clean bench at the end?  Imagining pulling stuff out of the fridge and piling it all over the bench, or the pleasure of putting the last thing back in the fridge, seeing it all clean and tidy and closing the door with a sigh of satisfaction.  I’ll let you decide.

So if there’s something you’ve been putting off, I encourage you to look into your imagination and find out what it’s been creating.  From there I suggest you ask yourself how you could be looking at it differently, in a way that would get you taking action and enjoying yourself in the process.  Who knows?  You may be missing out on something really cool.


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