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What’s Your “Visual Cliff” and How Are Others Influencing You?

I stumbled upon this video today and thought it offered great insight.

In the video, Dr. Joseph Campos explains an experiment he did with small children. In the experiment, the children are trying to reach a goal (a toy in this case) but are faced with what they perceive as a risky situation in order to get there. Their success is greatly effected by the emotions displayed by those around them (in this case, the child’s mother).

Happy, positive emotions make the child much more likely to take the risk to reach the goal. Negative emotions cause the child to stay where they are and not attempt to reach the goal.

Watch the video and then read below:

What struck me about this experiment is that this type of response to emotional signals is not restricted to children. This is a metaphor for challenges we all face in our lives every day!

Do a little thought exercise for a moment: Think about your own life. Think about your goals and desires. What “visual cliffs” are separating you from your goals?

And think about the people around you that are helping you interpret the risks and awards associated with your goals. Include yourself in that group.

Now think about what emotions these people are projecting related to those goals and those risks. Are they projecting a safe, supportive environment? Are they warning you to stay away from risks that are not real? Are the dangers blown out of proportion? What emotions are you projecting to yourself when you think of your goals and desires? How does all this effect your decisions and your behavior?

For me, this experiment emphasizes the importance of surrounding yourself with positive, supportive people if you want to reach your goals. And the most important positive, supportive person has to be you.

Your personal success is greatly dependent upon your self-confidence and your self-confidence can be  greatly influenced by the important people in your life. Share your goals with those that support and encourage you and don’t allow the “Debbie Downers” deter you from reaching for your goals!

Here are a few of our programs that can help:

30 Minutes to Self-Confidence

Become Super Self-Confident…Auto-matically

Coping with Difficult and Negative People






Jeff Griswold

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