Over the past few weeks, I’ve been unexpectedly led to explore my world as it relates to the concept of Perception vs. Reality.
Most of us intellectually understand that our individual interpretations of an experience may not be the truth. However, I believe that very few of us consciously take that into consideration as we interpret the experiences in our day to day lives.
Of course, we know and can generally accept that we are not always right, but what about when you believe you are right, and take action on that “belief”? What happens when you take action on a belief that may be incorrect or unintentionally hurts someone else?
Based on a recent personal experience, I’ve come to understand that what I accepted as my objective belief was distorted by my personal perception. There was an undeniable gap between the way I viewed an experience and another. I was faced with varying truths, based on the filters of each of our views of the situation. We were all experiencing the truth according to our individual perceptions of reality.
It’s often difficult to objectively see how our perceptions cloud reality.
Our perceptions define our reality, and our behavior is based on what we believe to be real. What we think is true may simply be an alternate reality that lives within our subconscious mind, in the world as we experience it through our senses, our past memories, and our present conditions.
What is “truth” depends on the information available, and our willingness to objectively interpret and accept it.
Consider this…Reality is objective and subjective
There is no single reality that is consistent among any of us. Our brain automatically transmits what it perceives into a representation of what we accept as our personal reality…which may ultimately be an illusion.
Objectively, reality depends on what actually happens. Subjectively, reality relies on how our brains make sense of what happens.
Keep in mind, when a person speaks of reality, what they are actually referring to is their own interpretation of reality. Everything that has been written, taught, or believed is based on someone’s perception of reality.
“Everything you see or hear or experience in any way at all is specific to you. You create a universe by perceiving it, so everything in the universe you perceive is specific to you.” – Douglas Adams
A Shift in Perception…
“The smallest change in perspective can transform a life. What tiny attitude adjustment might turn your world around?” ~ Oprah
There are countless ways our perceptions are inaccurate representations of reality, and when we are living inside the illusion of our story, we are likely deceiving ourselves.
It is counterproductive for any of us to claim we know the whole truth in any situation. Each of us respond to experiences based on our own set of perceived facts; oftentimes, incomplete, misunderstood, or totally wrong interpretations and/or assumptions.
A shift in perception begins with an increase in awareness. When we become aware of the judgments we are making, the beliefs we have, and how we perceive reality, we can begin the process that has the potential to bring positive change to our lives.
Shifting our perceptions means we must become open to accepting what we believed we have seen, heard, and/or remember may be wrong…especially when we are dealing with emotionally charged situations.
We must be willing to experience the discomfort often associated with the truth if our goal is to achieve positive, long-term results.
How you focus your attention affects your perceptions…
Ask yourself…Is my automatic default to look for, and focus on the problems in situations?
The process of increasing your awareness, and noticing how you perceive and relate to reality, will help you identify whether your perceptions are supporting you in creating the life you want to experience, or keeping you from it.
Steps to Shifting your Perception...
· Awareness - can help you make a conscious choice to start to look for what will empower you…the blessings and solutions.
· Observe - your feelings. Question why you feel the way you do.
· Explore - your patterns, thoughts, fears, self-talk as well as your triggers and reactions to situations.
· Release - stressful, fear based, and negative thinking patterns.
· Choose - self-empowering thoughts and habits that are in alignment with what you want to create and experience in your life.
· Gratitude - actively look for reasons to be grateful. Express a daily attitude of Gratitude
· Forgiveness - being willing to forgive yourself and others is a gift you give to yourself.
· Celebrate - your successes, as well as, the accomplishments of others
Remember, everything is first an idea. If you are unable to imagine a life that is filled with unlimited possibilities, it is essential that you begin by taking control of your mind. Being mindful, and present in the moment, will support you in avoiding and eliminating the negative thought patterns that keep you from visualizing the life you desire.
The universe never ceases to amaze me! At this time in my life, the topic of Perception vs. Reality is exactly what I needed to examine. I am so ready to consciously commit to exploring how my personal perceptions have affected my life, and the lives of those very close to me.
It’s an absolute blessing to give up the need to be “right” and to powerfully step into another realm of my life where I can open-mindedly receive new experiences, and actively explore them with renewed zeal.
Beginning the process of surrendering my unconscious need to be right is allowing me to get to know myself on another level, and is freeing! I am free to make mistakes and forgive myself, and I am free to acknowledge the differing views of others, knowing they do not diminish my own.
I believe that we all inherently want to be the greatest version of ourselves. We want to express ourselves in ways that show love and respect for ourselves and for others. Truth is…we are human and will sometimes fall short of personal expectations based on our interpretations or assumed meaning we have given to an experience.
Perception vs. Reality
~ Everything we think we know about the truth is subject to revision…