Month 7 Week 2 – Perception is Reality

“Its very difficult to change the perception people have of you” – Kristin Cavallari

I read the quote “Perception is reality” in a book years ago. I don’t know when I read it or what was going on in my life but it stuck. It stuck because of the industry I work in. If someone believed something to be true and several other people believed it to be true, then it was true. What I failed to add was it was true TO THEM.

The second quote “Its very difficult to change the perception people have of you” popped up this week. It stopped me in my tracks. It stopped me because it was exactly what I needed to hear at that exact moment I needed to hear it. It struck a chord because it made me realize that while that perception might be true, I can’t spend all my time trying to change that perception. At the end of the day I simply must be me.

There is a perception of me out there that I’m pushy, aggressive, and maybe even rude. That perception is only held by people who don’t know me, and by people who heard it from someone else. While on my flight back home I was actually able to link this comment back to one person. One person. Yes I know I spent way too much time worrying about this, but I did. One person told someone else that I was difficult to work with. Then of course when I worked with that person they had that preconceived notion so of course I was difficult to work with. This person then passed this information along confirming it for other people and the perception was born.

While working this week several situations came up that further solidified the image these people had of me. The only problem was everything they believed I was doing actually had nothing to do with me. Because I was stuck on perception is reality I let this eat away at me for far too long and it began to take a toll. It began to make me question myself, question what I was doing, question if I belonged. At one point I even said “maybe this is not where I should be.” Luckily another co-worker snapped me back into reality and quickly reminded me of all the people who did not feel that way. They reminded me of all the people who appreciated me visiting and who benefited from the work I was doing.

Now as you are reading you are thinking, “What the hell does that have to do with weight loss?” For me it was everything. The perception I had of myself as the fat girl, the lazy girl, the tired girl became my reality. If I did something that mimicked those thoughts it only went to prove to me that they were true. If I was winded walking up a flight of stairs it was because I was fat and out of shape. If I was sweating and burning up, it was because I was fat and out of shape. If I got hungry after dinner, it was because I was fat and out of shape. What’s crazy is none of those things were true.

I was winded because I was carrying a backpack stuffed with several laptops and notebooks up two flights of stairs. I was sweating and burning up because I was carrying all this heavy crap on my already jacked up back. I was hungry after we had dinner because we ate dinner at 5pm. It was now 11pm and I had been working on this project nonstop so yes I was hungry. See how the explanations clear up so many misconceptions. Again the problem is no one had this misconception except me. No one said Machon you are fat, winded, and sweating. Nope. The only person telling me that was me, and guess what? I needed to shut up.

This last week taught me three very important lessons. Three lessons that I will carry with me since I will be traveling monthly.

  1. Do You. People are going to think what they are going to think. The time I spend trying to make them feel differently about me is draining my energy. You are either going to like me or you won’t. Instead of me trying to get you to change your mind I need to focus on those people who do like me. At the end of the day those people matter more to me than you do. I’m sure you have your own issues you need to work on.
  2. Be Kind To Me. I need to stop beating myself up. I don’t need others judging me because I’m doing a fantastic job. I need to remember that positive self talk needs to be more powerful than negative self talk. I need to focus on the good. The good is I took the stairs and not the elevator that was ten feet away. The good is I only ate one thing for a snack instead of a bag of chips. The good thing is I was sweating which means I was burning calories :).
  3. My Perception is My Reality. I need to control my reality. I need to control what happened around me. Focus on my reaction to things instead of those things. Focus on how I respond and how I move forward. I have enough baggage of my own, I can’t worry about anybody else’s.

With all of this madness you would have thought I would have put on five pounds. I’m happy to say I put on three. I put on three because I flew and for some reason when I fly I come back heavier, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. If I drink water and eat reasonable for 24 hours the weight comes off. This time four pounds fell off the next morning. Those four pounds got me exactly where I was supposed to be for the week. 263. I followed the rules I told you about in the last blog and even with the drama I started my day with gratitude. I got my blue dot because I needed a lot of meditation, and I just remembered why I started. The people who tried to annoy me this week don’t know my story. They don’t know what I’m trying to do and where I’m trying to go. If I let them get me off course the only person who suffers is me. They don’t get to have that power.

This week I challenge you to stay on course. I challenge you to remember why you started and not let anyone deter you because of their issues. I challenge you to stick to the plan and remember who you are doing this for. This one pound loss is huge for me. I could have taken all that negative self talk and drowned it in cake. Instead I drowned it in work. As I continue to advance in work and life in general they will be exactly where they are, behind me. Yes I’m petty, petty as hell. Thing is I don’t spend my time telling them these things. I spend my time proving them wrong.

This blog also gets a special shout out to my friend Jax. Jax got me a bracelet that says “Prove Them Wrong.” Each time I know I’m walking into some BS I wear this bracelet. It gives me that little boost of courage I need to get through another day. If you need one, get one. We all need a little courage juice sometime.

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