We underestimate the power of perception.
Perception is everything.
The definition of perception is - the way in which something is regarded, understood or interpreted.
Two people, standing side by side, can experience exactly the same thing and yet have two completely opposite perceptions about what happened.
Regardless of what actually happens in life, how we perceive things becomes our reality. For example, when you receive an email, your perception of the tone and what is meant by what is written impacts how you feel about it and then how you respond. We choose our perception of life around us.
This took me a long time to learn. (I may still be learning it!) There have been so many moments in life that I have felt frustration or sadness or anger because of the perception I have had when something happened. Only to discover, that I misunderstood or misread the situation and gave it a meaning that was not what the other person had intended.
The biggest lesson I have learned around perception is the need for awareness of what mine is and an understanding that other people's will differ from mine.
We see things, not as they are, but as WE are. We are looking at the world through a lens of our experience and expectations of what we think the world is and how people behave based on how we behave. This is often where the conflict lies. It lies in the thinking that other people have the same perception of life or experiences as us. But they are looking at through a totally different lens.
Perception is either positive or negative. We all know those people who, regardless of what happens or their experiences, life is miserable and hard. Their perception of life or their experiences in it is consistently negative. We have most likely been that person from time to time. But not only does our perception of life influence our reality but whatever perception we choose - be it positive or negative - will affect and be reflected in the outcomes of whatever we are trying to achieve.
We see what we want to see. You may disagree with me and that is okay! But in life, we do see what we want to see. Think of those in relationships that they probably shouldn't really be in. Yet, people stay because they choose the reality and the story that justifies their actions and behaviours and choice for staying longer than perhaps they should. People see what they want to and what people want to see never has anything to do with the truth. But it does always have to do with what fits their story at the time.
The lesson I am learning and trying to teach my students is this:
It is not what you look at that actually matters. It is what you see. Our experiences, our stories, our beliefs all alter our perception. Our perception is a reflection of ourselves so what we see in a situation or what we see in someone else's reaction or response has nothing to do with who we are and everything to do with how they are. What we see is based on the journey we have taken to get here and it goes all the way back to our childhood. Everything in our life influences our current perceptions.
Perception is misunderstood. It is so easily misunderstood because the world around us is shaped by our own individual perception. The reality is, is that everyone's version of life is different and we give meaning to our experiences based on the reality and lens we look through. So it is easily misunderstood in other people because our experiences are all different. You are responsible for what you say and for what you understand when you interact with others. Other people are not responsible for what you understand and how you interpret the world around you. Your perception is not likely to be someone else's reality not theirs to be yours.
It just is. The best way to check in with our perception is to learn how to see things as they truly are. No better. No worse. Taking stock of our experiences, being aware of what meaning we are giving to them, and learning to look at them through a lens of middle ground helps us with our reality check! See things as they truly are. No better (exaggeration) and no worse (catastrophising).
Until next week...enjoy your experiences through a positive lens.
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