what is perception?
Let's try a definition of perception:
The way we see and understand the world around us
What creates my own particular perception of the world?
The beliefs and assumptions you hold about yourself, other people, and the world in general creates your perception
So this would be perception?
If the kid is afraid of ladybugs she’ll perceive this experience as a horrible, scary moment.
If the kid wants to study bugs when she grows up, this will be an amazing, exciting moment.
Our perceptions of ourselves, others, and the world
determine how we see and react to the world
And they flow in us, around us, through us, and out from us,
just like the water and the fish
Would this count as a perception? (particular beliefs and assumptions about the world)
And this would be a different set of beliefs and assumptions about the world?
What about this? A different way of seeing the world?
Without our perceptions – our beliefs about the world –
we wouldn’t know how to interpret the world around us
or understand anything that is happening to us.
Hey, and what about this? How many perceptions do you have? Definitely not just one. I’ll bet we couldn’t count the number of perceptions and beliefs you alone hold.
I'm a good basketball player
I don't understand girls at all and my mom drives me crazy!
I learn really fast and I know I can make a million dollars before I'm forty
This world is a pretty ugly place and I think I'm going to be a terrible father
So, what use is all this perception stuff to you?
If you’re swimming in it and you’re not aware of it, and it’s affecting every moment of your life –
Oh, did I not mention that? Sorry
Yes, our beliefs and perceptions affect every moment of our lives in various ways – good and bad
If you want to start to take control of your life,
you have to recognize, understand, and
take control of your perceptions and beliefs
Let’s look at a possible ‘what if’ scenario in life:
Jane is six-years-old and her family doesn’t pay much attention to her. She has five brothers and sisters and she’s the youngest. She doesn’t think she’s very important and doesn’t think she can accomplish much – her older siblings are always taking over things that she’s doing, because she’s not up to the job. They can do it better and quicker.
One day she went into her classroom and found her artwork in the garbage. She walked quietly to her desk, put her head down, and cried silently. That was her best artwork ever, but it obviously was so bad that it belonged in the garbage.
So, we’ll leave Jane crying at her desk and turn to Sally, who is her classmate and is also just coming into class. She sees Jane’s and her own artwork in the garbage and is really upset. However, Sally comes from a different kind of home. She is the only child, her mom is always encouraging and complementing Sally about everything she does.
Sally does not go to her desk to cry. She goes straight to the teacher to ask why her artwork is in the garbage. That was her best work ever and it didn’t belong in the garbage. Teacher tells her it must have fallen off her desk, because it certainly didn’t belong in the garbage. She retrieves it and puts it back on her desk. Sally goes to her desk happy about her artwork.
Jane missed the whole conversation because she still had her head down crying at her desk.
Same situation. Two different people. Two different beliefs about themselves. Two different ways to perceive their world. Two different reactions to the same situation.
The sad part of all this is that most beliefs we hold about ourselves are not true. But they determine how we act. It’s no one’s fault. It’s just the way life and human beings function. We are fed software about ourselves and we function through that program the whole of our lives.
Unless we want to wake up and take control of our lives.
Create your own path:
The good news lies in the fact that you can take control of your beliefs and perceptions. But first you have to be aware of them.
And that’s your next experiment if you want to take it on.
You have to practice observing yourself, your actions, thoughts, and feelings. When something happens, you will react in a particular way – maybe good, maybe not so good. At this point that doesn’t matter. What matters is that you become aware of yourself reacting. That’s step one.
Step two lies in following your reaction to find what thought or emotion you felt before you reacted to the situation. That thought or emotion is the key to finding your beliefs and perceptions.
This is not a simple experiment. It takes time and a lot of self awareness. It also helps if you have a good friend you can share the experiment with. Often it’s easier to see the other person’s beliefs than it is to see your own. Two working together is a good idea.
It’s all about observing yourself!!!!!