A Coaching Power Tool Created by Khoo Yeelek
(Transformational Coach, CHINA)
There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception. – Aldous Huxley (1894 -1963)
- the act or faculty of perceiving, or apprehending by means of the senses or of the mind; cognition; understanding.
- immediate or intuitive recognition or appreciation, as of moral, psychological, or aesthetic qualities; insight; intuition; discernment: an artist of rare perception.
- the result or product of perceiving, as distinguished from the act of perceiving; percept.
- Psychology. a single unified awareness derived from sensory processes while a stimulus is present.
On a day-to-day basis, we constantly perceive or form perception of people, events and experiences that we encounter. At times, we even form perception of ourselves, our identity, the decision that we made or even the predicaments that happened to us. Why do we continuously form perception?
As the definition of perception goes, we perceive as a form of recognition or appreciation by the senses or of the mind; as of moral, psychological or aesthetic reasons. By recognizing or appreciating, it helps us to put thing into perspective so that it is a more comprehensible or acceptable to us (in our own terms at times). Irrespective how or what we perceived, whether it is right or wrong, as long as we understood it the way we perceived it, then we are not stuck with the common question of “I don’t understand why?”. In order words, it validates our ability to see, hear or understand what is going on and indeed aware of it, therefore we have the power to approve or disapprove.
But is that the truth? Do we have the freedom once we formed a perception? Or are we more stuck by the preconceived notion of our perception? How often do we form a perception based on what we “made believed” or what others “imparted” on us?
For example, a couple of years ago, Andy and Tony were being asked to join a free yoga trial class in the company by his female colleagues. Andy was extremely reluctant because he always perceived yoga requires lots of flexibility and therefore it is more suitable for women, further validated by the female yoga practitioner images he has seen mostly. Although he never attended a class himself but he was convinced that his perception was right.
So, what is happening here? Andy has all along formed his perception of yoga despite never really tried it himself. And his perception is further validated by the images that he was exposed to. Therefore, he further formed the perception that yoga is too slow and boring for a guy. In fact, Andy even discouraged Tony to try by telling Tony that yoga is not really for guys or what he call “dude”.
It doesn’t matter whether Andy was right or wrong, but the point here is Andy has formed a perception based purely on external environments and factors. It didn’t really take much of Andy’s personal experience, realistic perspective or personal values into consideration. He made himself believe that he fully understood and aware of what was going on. Therefore, he made his decision based on his perception without even trying, investigating or experiencing the truth. He also approved his action of discouraging Tony. He was not lying, he just made his decision based on perception alone without comprehending the truth.
Your opinion is your opinion, your perception is your perception, do not confuse that with “facts” or “truth”. Wars has been fought and millions have been killed because of the inability of men to understand the idea that everybody has a different viewpoint.– John Moore
The same scenario can happen when we wanted to try on a new job, making a career change, dating a different type girl or guy, going beyond the conventional identity or social norms, trying out a new cuisine and the list can go on and on.
- How do we leverage on perception to get closer to the truth?
- How do we move beyond the comfort zone of perception and therefore discover more truth about ourselves?
How do we use our true self to unlock our unlimited potential of imagination?
All I’m saying is that to liberate the potential of your mind, body and soul, you must first expand your imagination. You see, things are always created twice: first in the workshop of the mind and then, and only then, in reality. I call this process ‘blueprinting’ because anything you create in your outer world began as a simple blueprint in your inner world. Robin Sharma, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari
As it often being said “Perception is relative”. Especially so when perception is defined as : “immediate or intuitive recognition or appreciation” and “derived from sensory processes while a stimulus is present”. What if we take a “little longer than immediate”, “go a little beyond intuition” and “sense a little more than the present stimulus”?
Perception to Conception
We cannot always control what happens in life but we can definitely control the way we perceive and make meaning of it. unknown
Tony on the other hand did not get lock down by his perception, although there were very similar to Andy’s. He approached his perception quite differently. He thought he had had this perception for quite awhile and this is an opportunity for him to move beyond just perception. He didn’t want this to be an apprehension but instead moving it to full comprehension and with that he would know for sure the truth beyond perception or further validate what he perceived. So, on top of listening to Andy, he also spoke to a few colleague and he found out yoga is actually more than just the physical posture. In fact, Yoga is the science of right living and as such, is intended to be incorporated in daily life. It works on all aspects of the process: the physical, mental, emotional, psychic and spiritual.
Conception to Intention
Although he may not have completely understood at a conceptual level, the new perspective has moved him closer to the truth and has helped him to set a clear intention. With the concept he has gathered, he realized he could see this as an opportunity for him to try something new. And if the conception turns out to be true, he could really benefit from it. When he wasn’t a 100% sure, he further convinced himself by asking himself these powerful questions:
- Why not?
- What is there to loss?
- What is the risk?
- If not now, when?
- If I don’t like, what is stopping me from moving on to something else?
Intention to Attention
Then he remembered he has another challenge. FLEXIBILITY. But instead of focusing on his apprehension, he looks beyond the perceived limitation, he further asked himself a few more powerful questions:
- Going back to my intention, what should be my focus here?
- For exploring something new, does it help if I only focus on my limitation?
- What really matters to me now?
- When was the last time I encountered challenges and doubts and how did I overcome them? Can I do the same?
- Will my strength surpasses this barrier?
- Am I truly worrying about my limitation or am I concern about by judged?
- Who is going to judge me if I can’t do it?
- So what if anyone were to judge me?
Not only was he able to shift his perspective from worrying about his limitation, he was able to shift he focus inward instead of outward, making this as an opportunity for him to discover more about himself.
He then realized that maybe yoga would help him to increase his flexibility and by doing so, it may even compliment on his strength training. He eventually realized that in fact, his strength was also complimenting in his yoga practices.
Attention to True self
There is a saying:
If our intention is like a seed, then attention is the movement of nourishment that supports the growth of the seed into a fully mature plant. Our attention at the quite levels of the mind provides direction and strength to our hopes and desire, so that they can become real.
From the attention that Tony has given, he was able to seek for the truth and get more clarity of his potential or passion. Irrespective whether he liked yoga or not, he could at least clearly say with conviction that he have tried or done it. He also realized that the search for truth is from within rather than from without. If he purely made a decision based on perception alone, without comprehension, then where is the truth in that perception?
So this leads us to these questions if we have further doubts;
- Is my perception relative?
- How much truth can I see in this perception?
- Is this perception of mine serving me and leading me forwards?
- What if we are in his or her shoes?
- How would I see myself in all this?
True-Self to Imagination
Once you are able to see the truth, you will know how to align your values and purpose to this potential or passion of yours. You can then start applying your own imagination or using visualization techniques to expand and further unlock the potential.
Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attraction. – Albert Einstein
We have many questions at a different stage of our life and we will get stuck if we stick to the perception that is limiting us.
For example ; Why was I feeling so empty in life? No matter how much money I made or how successful I became, I still didn’t feel any different.
I also wonder whether my chosen career was the one I was supposed to be doing or if there was something else that was destine to be “life work”.
As well, I question whether I would find true love in my life and whether soul mates could really exist.
At times, our ego is so fixated with the identity, the beliefs, the norms, and the certainties they lead us to needing to conform, to fit in or to be heard and understood. We rush to form a perspective so that we don’t feel left out. We look for answers in the familiar and the comforts so that we get the approval. Most of time, we seek for answers from the outside to form our perception.
If we continue living life from the outside in rather than inside out, why are we still wondering why it isn’t working?
In his book, The Book, Allan Watts emphasized the importance of a new personal experience, an experience he describes as,
knowing who or what you really are behind the mask of your apparently separate, independent, and isolated ego.
How little that we realized, we already are everything we have always wanted to become. We simply need to do the inner work require to remove the blocks that have been covering – and denying – our original true nature.
The duty of every human being is not self improvement, but self remembering. To self remember is to reclaim the state of being and the authentic power that we lost when we left the ideal state of newborn children and walked out into this fear-filled world of ours, a world that spoiled us along the way. Robin Sharma, Discover Your Destiny
As a coach, we have to suspend our judgment and be fully conscious that we are not forming any perceptions of our Client or what is being said. This is critical because it is not for us to determine the truth. It is for our Clients discover, to comprehend and to accept the truth themselves.
Our job as a coach is to be fully presence to listen to the truth and be ready to challenge our Clients if they are stopping only at a perception level without full comprehension.
Therefore, mindfulness practice is a key to any coaches because it will train us be totally presence and fully conscious of our intention and giving undivided attention to our Client.
It is also essential for us to establish trust in our coaching relationship because uncovering the inner truth for our Client can be tricky and it will be very challenging if our Clients are not entirely open to us.
Once the truth has been uncovered, the potential will be limitless. And we as coaches should help our Client to ride on this creative energy and creative life force to reach their full potential.
Your life is a sacred journey. It is about change, growth, discovery, movement, transformation, continuously expanding your vision of what is possible, stretching your soul, learning to see clearly and deeply, listening to your intuition, taking courageous challenges at every step along the way. You are on the path… exactly where you are meant to be right now… And from here, you can only go forward, shaping your life story into a magnificent tale of triumph, of healing, of courage, of beauty, of wisdom, of power, of dignity, and of love.~ by Caroline Adams
- How do we ensure that we are not using perception as a form of apprehension?
- How we move beyond perception into comprehension?
- What cause me to form this perception and how is this perception serve me?
- How much judgment is there in this perception?
- Have this perception got anything to do with me worrying about be judged and if yes, why?
- What is my next move once I form this perception?
- Are these perceptions of mine holding me back or leading me forward?
- How do I ensure my perceptions are formed based on facts and truth?
- How do I ensure my perceptions are align with my values?
Be a lamp to yourself. Be your own confidence. Hold on to the truth within yourself as to the only truth. ~ Buddha