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  • Writer's pictureTony Richards

Perception Is Reality To You

You have probably heard the phrase “perception is reality”. This is a true phrase.

The way you perceive things are the way they are real to you. But it may not be the actual reality.

Just because it seems that way to you and everything inside you seems to be confirming it, doesn’t make it the actual reality.

You may have been in a past work environment in which you were treated unfairly by your co-workers. Perhaps, the ostracized you and didn’t have much to do with you, and at the same time, they were gossiping about you and spreading lies concerning you. It was a real negative experience.

In your new work environment, you may have the perception that others may be talking behind your back, while that may not be the case at all. Your previous negative experience in feeding that data into your perception of the current environment and creating a reality that is not real. Rather than putting forth trust and taking the situation for the reality of what it is, our perception is being influenced by negative past work experience. The actually reality may be that no one in the group is gossiping about you or talking behind your back. However, by continuing to perceive and believe that situation is occurring, it’s possible you may behave your way right into a similar situation.

Seeing is believing and also, believing is seeing.

If you think that is what is happening, you can actually bring it about through your behavior. You may start behaving is a suspicious manner. You may become defensive and edgy. This behavior starts the others in your department to question what is going on with you, which starts the speculation and gossip all over again.

This happens all the time.

Our perceptions of events and environments in the present are being heavily influenced by our past life and work experiences, positive, neutral and negative. Our perceptions are also affected by our education, training, values and beliefs. These all play a part in how we see the world.

If our perception actually plays this much havoc with our ability to perceive the actual reality, what does reality really look like?

Here are some questions to ask yourself when trying to decide if the reality is truly real:

– Am I seeing the whole picture here or are there some things I am missing? – Are some of the things I am perceiving falling into areas of my blind spots? – Are the perceptions I am having the result of some positive, negative or neutral experience I have had in the past or is what I am perceiving the actually reality? – Am I giving the situation, person or persons in my current situation enough fair evaluation or am I being influenced by past situations I am categorizing as similar?

We have to be cautious about our perceptions because they are feeding us data about our situations forming our worldview. This worldview triggers our motivations, forms our attitudes and informs our behavior. These perceptions frame our lives for us and help instruct us of how to go forward.

The problem is, if we spend too much time paying attention to past events, we will continue to pass through where we have been rather than where we would actually like to be going.

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