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Challenging perception

Challenging Perception

Posted by on Jul 25, 2016 | No Comments

Horse Racing after the race,equestrian sport

It’s amazing what you notice when you begin challenging perception.  I’m a ritual junkie.  When I do my daily walk I take the same route, at the same time, on the same side of the street every day.  It helps me think.  It soothes me, like a salve; makes me a much nicer person.  My husband finds this boring, he likes to mix things up, which is why he rarely joins me.  When Jonathan Fields put out his wonderful book  Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance, lauding the value of ritual, I was thrilled, as it justified my boring ways.

But I now realize, maybe once in awhile I need to mix things up a bit.

It’s hot here in NY.  It feels hotter than Dallas-hot. Yesterday it was too hot to walk on my normal side so I had to switch to the other side of the street to find respite in the shade.  It blew my mind!  It was if I were in foreign territory!  Everything looked different.  I saw houses I had never seen before!  Had I not walked this exact same route hundreds of times I would have been worried I was lost.  Isn’t it amazing that something so simple as switching street sides could alter my whole perception?

But we don’t know that there’s a whole other way of looking at things when we’re on our normal path.  We think our path is the only path – the right path – that what we see is the full picture.

But we don’t know that there’s a whole other way of looking at things when we’re on our normal path.  We think our path is the only path – the right path – that what we see is the full picture.

In the horse-racing world, trainers often put blinders on their horses, to keep them focused on the path directly in front of them so they won’t get distracted or spooked.  Blinders work, because the horses can’t see the full picture.  It keeps them focused and safe.  I think we do the same thing – we have our metaphorical blinders on, to keep ourselves focused and safe, but we don’t realize what we’re missing.

So my walk made me think…  What am I not seeing?  What am I not seeing in my relationships?  In my business?  In the way I view the world?  What magic is right in front of me that I’m missing entirely?

Today I encourage you to do something different to remove your blinders and challenge your perception.
  • If there’s someone you don’t like, go find someone who does like them and ask them what they like most about that person.
  • Focus on all the things that are right in the world – make a list.
  • Get curious and ask questions to truly understand a different perspective, rather than to refute.
  • Or just take a different path – see what you notice

Yes, I’ll still do my walk; and probably on the same side of the street (there’s incredible value in ritual – read Jonathan’s book).  But now I’ll purposely venture off the path now and then to remind myself…  What might I be missing?

For only when we can see the whole picture can we truly decide where we want to be.

©OnStage Leadership, 2016

Do you have someone on your team who has great potential but they suffer from low confidence, poor presentation skills, or lack of direction? Or maybe you have a rising star on your team you want to keep engaged and groom them for greater responsibility?  OnStage Leadership is coming to Dallas on October 20th (3 spaces left!),  and NYC on November 7th;  please notify us of your interest.  Sessions are filled on a first-come basis and limited to 12 participants.

KimberKimberly-Davis-Headshot-20142ly Davis is the Founder/Director of OnStage Leadership, a full-day experiential leadership workshop.  Click here to read what people are saying!  If you’re interested in more information, or in having Kimberly come speak to your group on topics around Authentic Leadership, Influence, Presence, Engagement, Purpose in the workplace, Presentation Skills, or being BRAVE at work, we’d love to hear from you!

If you haven’t had a chance, check out my recent Tedx talk  or my interview with Alise Cortez on Voice of America’s Working on Purpose Channel:  Bringing Our True and Best Selves to Work:  Cultivating Authentic Leadership with Kimberly Davis.


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