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Learn the P&P Concept: You are constantly presenting (yourself) and being presented to (by others). Consider what you are presenting and whether it is the “real you.”

Just as we have an image of how we see ourselves, we also form images of others. If we view others as incompetent, we will treat them as if they are incompetent, and in doing so, this will damage their Self-Image. The same works for or against us.

Your environment also has an effect on your self-image. If you surround yourself with negative people with poor self-images, you will begin to adapt these beliefs. The same is true if you surround yourself with people that are positive, self-actualized, and goal-oriented. Which do you choose?

The P&P Concept

  • Presenting – how we present ourselves to others
  • Presented – how others present themselves to us

In this duel concept, we consider both sides of the mirror.

We must deal with other people in this world and very often it is important that we do our utmost to put our best foot forward. We want (and often need) others to think highly of us. This need might flow from personal neediness and insecurity, or from building a successful career.

I am sure you have heard the theory that we should always give a good first impression. This initial image is the image we seem to remember, and it isn’t any different with other people. It functions sort of like an indelible snapshot and once imbedded, it’s difficult to replace. It can be done though.

We also need to consider the impression we offer to others. I remember something Bill Cosby said on his television sitcom, The Cosby Show, many years back. He was explaining that you could have the best steak in the world, the tastiest looking piece of meat that you could ever sink your teeth into, but if this steak was brought to you on a trash can lid, it would most certainly present a poor appetite-killing first impression – it’s all in the presentation. Those were not his exact words, but you get my point. How we present ourselves is important.

It has also been said that if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. So if you happen to make a poor first impression, you can change the image other people have of you by submitting more of yourself and doing your best to present yourself in a way you want to be remembered. Replace that original snapshot with a better one.

Those who know me well know that I am a playful, very often comical guy who enjoys pizza nights, video games, and movies (among other activities) that help me add value to any fun-filled gathering. In fact, many students might remember some of the famous weekend parties I would throw that often included 24 hours of non-stop game playing. With this being said, I found it really odd to hear one of my peers, and a person whom I highly respect, tell me that I was too stiff. I needed to learn to loosen up and relax, and that perhaps I was focused too much on the job and didn’t seem to have the ability to have fun. This image that he had of me was stunning. How could he think that?

I had to stop for a moment and reflect. I was shocked that I was seen as a “fuddy duddy.” In review, I realized that whenever I worked with this person, I was too focused on showing him how great a worker I was, and I completely neglected the rest of my personality. I could have argued that he didn’t take the time to get to know me, but that wasn’t the case. We had been on numerous trips together, including river rafting, trips to Mexico, and spent many hours training together in the martial arts. My respect for this individual motivated me to always show one side of me, the side of good student, good worker, and responsible person. But what I was showing him was one-dimensional; a cardboard cutout of who I was.

So even though I was constantly trying to demonstrate a good first impression, I failed to share the rest of my personality – the other dimensions of who I was. After hearing him suggest that I might want to be a little less of a workaholic, I felt compelled to drag over my friends to speak in my defense. But naturally that would be extremely unrealistic, so I was left asking myself why. Why was I seen this way? Why wasn’t I sharing my full personality? Was this helping or hindering my relationship? Who else was seeing only 10% of my personality?

It was my fault for not submitting a proper image of me.

Too often we simply assume everyone can read our minds and know who we are and what we are all about. This is most certainly NOT the case; most people are not mind-readers, and they don’t have the time or motivation to investigate. In business and in relationships you have to submit a Self-Image that you want people to store about you. You can do this by presenting yourself in a manner which causes them to see you this way. You can also submit a Self-Image-Resume as explained in the CMT section of this book.

Just as you will submit a better image of your overall personality to others, you can also do your best to elicit more from the people around you. This will help you to get a better image of them. Dale Carnegie’s book How to Win Friends and Influence People will tell you that if you can learn more about another person, you will in turn win their respect and admiration which improves the picture they have of you.

I know that many of my students have an image of me as the tough coach who will accept nothing but the best from those who join my program. I have come to realize that more balance is required in my own process of being a guide to excellence, and that although I believe in tough love and serious training, I also believe in a work-hard, play -hard philosophy. My solution is to include students in the play-hard part of the day. Since my programs are very personal to me, I have come to adjust my programs to offer a lot more flexibility in the process of becoming a Ninja. I still maintain a work-hard philosophy, but I balance it with the idea that we shouldn’t take life too seriously, and I would like students to be my friends as well as my students.

This thought actually goes against the grain of what we are taught:

When you play, play hard; when you work, don’t play at all.” Theodore Roosevelt

Looking back, we might discover that some of our best friends come from everyday environments such as school and work, people we see on a regular basis, such as a musical group, acting club, fellow martial artists, or other members of our sports team. If you are working at a company for a number of years, it is likely you will build friendships. I know that in my case, most of my friends are previous students. With the knowledge that you might have a great friend who shares very similar interests at work, but not even know it, it might be a good idea to submit more about you as a person. That will elicit more information from them about themselves. You must first open the door to yourself, for others to enter and share.

Not all companies will allow employees to share their personal life at the office. If that is the case, you have to ask yourself if you are on the right path in the first place. Is this your passion? In the movie Jerry Maguire, starring actor Tom Cruise as the main character, he shares his views and beliefs with other employees in the form of a detailed memo and mission statements. This memo inevitably leads to him being fired. However, his true character was not congruent with the company goals. His drastic change allowed him to focus on a career that was aligned more with his own beliefs and true personality. So it is not only important to present your true self to others, but also to discover or be aware of this true self in order to know what it is you really want.

Winjitsu Work Out

Design – draw or write out – the picture you are continuously showing to others. Is it a one-dimensional cut out, or is it a 3-D movie with sound and special effects? Do you make different presentations to those at work, in social settings, and in your martial arts training? Consider how you might expand your presentation to give others a more full bodied impression of who you are and what you’re all about.

About the Author RICK TEW

I will do the splits for you too. I provide edutainment events that help you to be a Ninja in what you do. I offer Martial Arts Therapy Retreats on Samui Island in Thailand. My unique Winjitsu Mind-Body system of coaching inspires you to BE more fulfilled and to DO more to KickStart your ideas.

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