Our own self-esteem may be distorted by our partial, and therefore, distorted perceptions.

From Timothy Gallway’s 1974 book, The Inner Game of Tennis, the cycle goes like this:

  1. Perception
  2. Action
  3. Result
  4. Self-esteem.

It starts with distorted perceptions, as perception is the foundation of our pursuits.

Think about it. We see something that interests us or seems like a worthwhile pursuit, and then these perceptions create the basis of the actions that we undertake to make the thing our reality.

Make no mistake about it, everything we think we see is merely perception.

Distorted perceptions are nothing new…

We’ve ALWAYS had partial – and therefore distorted – perceptions of others’ lives.

Be it friends, family, co-workers, and especially those we admire or look up to; i.e. our heroes: athletes, philanthropists, leaders, etc. – we’ve never truly known the totality of their reality.

Yet we look at them and say: “I want that life” or “I want to be like that person” and then we plan a course of action that we think will take us “there”.

Here’s the problem:

We lacked the complete picture from the outset. Our path has now been plotted with faulty information.

So our perfect plan, even if executed flawlessly, was created with incomplete information and will result in an outcome that is different from our expectation.

This is what happens when our original perception is distorted.

Since we’re humans who tie our results to our identity and self worth, these distorted results lead to chinks in our self-esteem. We begin to think there is something wrong with us because our result doesn’t match our original perception…

So our self-esteem or self-confidence takes a hit when we attain these distorted results..

And then…

Well, you’re going to have to listen to the podcast for the rest.

Tune in for a full explanation of the distortions that pervade our lives and how we can alter our mental approach to accurately prioritize the proper actions and untangle our self-worth from our results.

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