Logo of James O'Halloran
An artistic image of a pair of eyeglasses reflecting a vibrant, green landscape with a zebra and tree, set against a barren desert background.

Founder, Career or Business Coaching Can Help You Get More of What You Want and Less of What You Don’t Want, Here’s One Way…

Having worked as a Founder Coach, a Business Coach and a Career Coach for 8 years — things jump out at you. Being objective to my clients as they process the challenging parts of their life; you get to see patterns.

You know when you are buying a new car or just after you get a new car it seems like there are way more of those cars on the road… I want to talk about this phenomenon because it is a big part of the challenge we face as humans. 

With my clients, I refer to this as Perception Is Projection.

Or, to put it another way: the content of your mind organises your field of vision.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the Hungarian-American psychologist who authored the concept and book Flow discovered:

“We receive about 2 million bits of information per second that we delete, distort and generalize down to a comfortable 134 bits per second.”

There is just too much information for our brains to process and deal with so we see, more or less, what we expect to see or what we want to see.

And this is not just about vision. We will, most of the time, experience what we expect to experience. Hear what we expect to hear etc.

Our brain takes shortcuts.

  • We don’t take in every car on the road – we see the cars that we are interested in.
  • We don’t see every person in the nightclub – we see the people we are attracted to.
  • We don’t see every shop on the high street – we see the shops that we need or value.
  • When we go to a concert we don’t recall every song the band plays – we recall the ones we love.
  • We don’t see the abundance of Business or Career opportunities – we only see the ones we *think* are there.


It makes sense that our brain performs this energy-saving trick for us. But it has very big consequences, both negative and positive.

The world is a reflection of our inner thoughts, feelings, values and beliefs. The outer world is a reflection of what’s going on inside.

The phenomenon of Perception Is Projection sets up all sorts of thinking errors. Try this thought experiment… “How many wet days do you think we had in the last year?” If you are reading this in Bristol, UK (where I am based) you might guess 200. However in Bristol last year there were only 98 days where there was 2mm or more of rain. (Reference: https://www.bristolweather.org/htdocs/NOAAPRYR.TXT)

Many people in the South of England don’t like the rain and it influences their perception of how wet it is here. I was chatting to someone recently, it was a really wet day and I said ‘I don’t mind the rain, I’m Irish, I’m used to it’ and she said: “I love the rain … I’m from Australia and there has been so much devastation from forest fires that we really value when it rains.” To this Australian, she has the perception that it doesn’t rain enough even though we don’t get forest fires here

Underwater view showing a collection of plastic debris floating in the ocean, highlighting the issue of marine pollution.

What's the point?

Ultimately we see what we want or expect to see, more or less. Our thoughts create our reality. The tricky thing is that most of the thoughts are ingrained, unconscious thoughts. Thoughts that you were ‘given’ as a child.

This is why it can be hard, or at the very least, very time-consuming to do this work on yourself all by yourself.

This is the main takeaway

Unless you perceive that things are beautiful; positive; loving/lovable; possible or you can accept the reality of what you are perceiving… unless you can do this you can be sure that your perception of the situation/person is likely because of your own individual projection. Being aware that you are viewing life through a lens that is distorted by your beliefs, past experience, conditioning, and emotions is the first step in being able to see things as they are.

Perception is subjective; if you are looking at life through your mind’s eye, which most of us are doing most of the time, you will suffer.

Seeing things just as they are causes less pain and suffering because your system is not trying to reconcile the gap between its perception or expectation and reality.

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

— Wayne Dyer

If you would like support with your performance in work whether that looks like a career change or your business’s performance… reach out to me and we can explore how Founder Coaching, Career Coaching or Business Coaching can work for you.

Book me or reach out to me here

Latest Posts

Want to learn more?
Get in touch with James for more information