On Perception

Remember that you are in control of your story, always!

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“I was always afraid to talk to you and ask for help! I didn’t know how you would respond.” This feedback hit the nail on its head and left me perplexed. Reading this and several other similar comments left me even more confused and wondering, “Why?”

There was a tradition back those days, especially among college-going students, where you would circulate a slam book and ask others for their feedback or opinions about you. When I did that, most of my friends mentioned that they always thought me as a difficult to approach and rather a too uptight person.

It was puzzling for me, mainly because during my undergraduate studies, I was a relatively diligent and hardworking student. Moreover, I would also help others in getting up to speed and tutor them when possible. I always thought of myself as a friendly and helpful person. I also believed that others would be thinking of me in the same way. But that was far from the truth. After reading slam book, for the very first time, I realized – you are not what you think, you are what others think about you!

You are not what you think. You are what others think about you!

Although my opinion about himself wasn’t wrong (from my point of view), I did not come across to others like that. There was a stark difference between what others perceived and what I wanted to be. It was all about perception.

What others perceive is often based on what they see, hear, and think. Their perception is directly dependent on what they believe. The point is how you present yourself and how people view you – that is the deciding factor for the impression you will eventually leave behind. While you will go about the business of carrying on your life, people will form opinions about your appearance, personality as well as your capabilities.

If you do not like how people perceive you or what others think about you, you must take charge of your perception of reality. Remember that you are in control of your story, always!

It might seem a bit counterintuitive at the outset, as I keep insisting that you must pay attention to what others think of you. In our modern life, people repeatedly tell us don’t worry about what others think of you, do as you wish, and like. And I fully agree with that sentiment. However, when you think about business, career, entrepreneurship, and several other things that we focus on in our life, where people around us play an integral role, I think it is quite critical to consider others’ opinions about you.

The way this world is changing, economies are transforming, and options to live a good life are evolving, I think you need to start giving some attention to others’ perception about you.

Note: This article is extracted from my upcoming book YOU 3.0.

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