What does this picture mean to you?
I first saw this after having just delivered a talk to 100 people on stress and how we create our own reality – meaning that actually we create our own stress! And much of that stress is because we often just see part of the picture, deleting or distorting the meaning to fit our own beliefs or assumptions.
It can be a bit of a challenge for some people to accept that they are the source of their stress, however this image can really help…..
At the end of the talk, one lady asked me if I thought social media was a big source of stress. I was tempted to say yes however, that is my reality! For a lot of people, I know social media is a positive thing.
My answer though is perfectly summarised by this picture. Much of what we see is an idealised image – the people who appear to be having an amazing time, looking incredible, feeling fantastic. What you don’t see is that that is not a true reflection of everything going on in their lives.
This can be a source of anxiety as we use these images, posts etc to benchmark ourselves against – only to find ourselves falling short. If however, you were to see the whole picture and notice that just like you, these other people have ‘chunks missing’, bits of them that are not so perfect, that whole perception of how we compare would be totally different, leading to a different feeling.
So next time there is a situation, or image, or post you see and recognise feelings of anxiety creeping up, remember this apple. Know that there is more to the picture or situation that is immediately visible. Know that the image is not a reflection of the full situation. And in that knowledge, know that you are taking back control of what you are choosing to see – and in a state of control, anxiety has very little room to grow!
Please add your comment below to let me know what you think of this image now, I’d love to hear from you.