A New Perception Can Alter Your Reality

October 25, 2010 by
Filed under: Helpful Insights, Positive Attitude 

What are you doing right now? What are you thinking about at this moment? How do you perceive the challenges you’re facing today? If you knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that you could change something for the better, would you go ahead and do it? The outcome of something is greatly influenced by the perception a person has towards it. Even though I may be beginning to sound like a Pollyanna at this moment, there is definitely some truth in the foolishness that some people take to be part of being a severe optimist. Perception is controllable and alterable.

According to the Oxford Dictionary, the word “perception” comes from the Latin words perceptio, percipio, and means “receiving, collecting, action of taking possession, apprehension with the mind or senses.”

In philosophy, and psychology, perception is the process of attaining awareness or understanding of sensory information. Perception is perhaps one of the oldest fields in psychology. The oldest quantitative law in psychology is the Weber-Fechner law, which quantifies the relationship between the intensity of physical stimuli and their perceptual effects. The study of perception gave rise to the Gestalt school of psychology, with its emphasis on holistic approach.

What one perceives is a result of a person’s interactions between past experiences, including one’s culture, and the interpretation of the perceived.

I’ve seen a large number of people miss out on some amazing (and I truly mean AMAZING) opportunities because of their perception toward something or someone. I see this all the time at social events. Whenever a person doesn’t want to approach someone else, or return a hello towards another person when that person says hello to them, they are inadvertently losing out on an opportunity. The opportunity to know the other person better, the opportunity to learn that the other person is related to someone who happens to be very close friends with a person they’ve been attempting to connect with for the past two or three years it turns out. The opportunity to find out that the person is an executive or a person of influence in an industry you’re attempting to make your name known. The opportunity to make a good impression with someone who can positively (or negatively) effect your reputation due to the way a person interacts or does not interact with them. An opportunity missed due to a person’s perception. This may not always be the case, but it happens much more often than you might think.   

Another destiny altering perception that is all too common is to think of a challenging situation one may be dealing with as a completely negative thing all the time. Sometimes a challenge one faces is really an opportunity to shine, or to move on away from somewhere one doesn’t want to be, or to grow as a person. There are many possibilities that can exist within challenging scenarios, but I’m not going to go into all of those hereJ.

Have You Ever Been Guilty of…

Not giving a task the attention it deserved because you thought it was more important to get it done rather than doing it right?

Not keeping an appointment with a person because, even though you said you “may” or “may not” be able to keep it (and you really could’ve made the appointment), you decided that making the appointment was not as important as watching your favorite sports team on TV take on their arch-rival?

Not treating someone at an event as important as someone else you were in conversation with because you didn’t believe that person was worth your time?

Basically throwing your hands up in the air and accepting a bad situation, even though you suspect you may be able to do something about it so that the outcome may not be as bad?

I’ve been guilty of all of the above scenarios in the past more often than I care to admit.

The Past Cannot Be Changed

One person I use to mentor a long time ago always dwelled for long periods of time on negative events that have past. He dwelled so much in fact that he was hampering his ability to move up in his career and build on some important relationships. When an opportunity to lead a new venture or project came along, he would keep “bringing up” the failures of the past that he was involved with. He didn’t know it or understand that he was making himself appear like a “dweller” instead of a pro-active “doer”. His perception was that he needed to remember the past and learn from it. But at the same time, his perception of how much he should focus on the past, in comparison to how much focus he should have on the present and the future, was affecting his success. A success that, according to him, was out of his reach most of the time.  This was his perception of what was and needed to be.

Another person I mentored was much happier in her career (she told me) because she learned early on that you can’t change the past and so why dwell on something you can’t change. She chose to focus on what she could change. Remembering the past but not dwelling on it. Because of this, she didn’t waste personal energy on the past and was able to put more thought into making things she had control over work. Her perception was a proactive and resilient one.  Resilient because even when she is surprised by something that is, how shall we say, less than what she was expected or wanted, she quickly moves forward in attempting to remedy the situation. Or at the very least, move onto the next initiative.  This was her perception of what was and needed to be.

The Ability to Alter the Future is Within Your Power

A negative perception is often based upon a problem or a set of circumstances in one’s life in which a person feels stuck, without options and paralyzed. Unless one is a psychological masochist, this is an awful feeling that a person would rather not feel.  Creating, and maintaining a positive perception begins with the personal choice to have one.

We can’t always choose what happens to us in life, but we can definitely choose how we react to what happens.

What are your thoughts?

Here are some good articles on the above:

4 Self-Perceptions Can Improve Your Career!  by Deb Wheatman

Are You Guilty of Judging Others?

Does Your Perceptions Meet Your Expectations?

How to Crack the Self-Awareness Paradigm by John Baldoni

Lower Your Workplace Stress by Changing Your Perceptions by Harriet Meyerson

The Role of Perception and Attitude in Stress Management by John Townsend

Your Perception IS Your Reality  by Tony D. Clark

Zig Ziglar – Attitude Makes All The Difference (video)


4 Intelligent Opinions, Leave Yours on A New Perception Can Alter Your Reality

  1. Jens P. berget on Tue, 26th Oct 2010 1:55 am
  2. I used to be a lot more reserved when it comes to people. I said hello when someone else said hello (they had to say it first), and I smiled only when they smiled. And I talked when they talked, and so on.

    After reading some of the books by Tony Robbins I got a different view and tried a different approach. I’m still kind of reservered when it comes to people, but I can be the one starting a conversation, and I’m always the first one to be smiling.

    And the most interesting part is that I always say yes to an opportunity (it’s almost like the movie Yes Man starring Jim Carrey). That’s not something I did a few years ago. Because I say yes, I have received opportunities like speaking to 150 people at a conference about marketing, and doing freelance work for some very interesting companies.

    When it comes to tasks, I used to do everything at once, and the results varied a lot. Now, I try to focus on a few tasks a day, usually two. I finish them, and then, only then, will I do something else.

    This works great for me 🙂
    Jens P. berget recently posted..Fear of FlyingMy Profile

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  3. Gil Pizano on Tue, 26th Oct 2010 9:53 pm
  4. Wow Jens! That is a really amazing transformation! Thanks for sharing it!

    Believe it or not, I myself am extremely reserved by nature. It took me a while, after reading books by greats such as Tony Robbins, Og Mandino, Kenneth Blanchard and John Maxell (to name a few), to change. That, along with choosing to view the things that happen in life with more optimism, is what helped me to grow and to begin to experience many of the opportunities that I had been missing out on. Opportunities to know more interesting people, opportunities to help others who I didn’t know I could help, opportunities to make more of a positive difference in this world than what I made in the past.

    I like you blog by the way! Great stuff! I’m looking forward to reading more of your posts!


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  5. Natalie on Tue, 26th Oct 2010 12:54 pm
  6. Hey Gil

    I really enjoyed reading this post this morning. I’ve been thinking a lot about this in the last week.

    I generally have a very optimistic and positive mindset, however as an entrepreneur we’re often plagued by fear and self doubt because of what we do and the risks we take each day to push ourselves further.

    I have definitely missed out on opportunities to speak with great people at events or make those introductions. Often it’s because I haven’t talked myself into a powerful mindset that day and am feeling less gung ho,

    The way to change that is to know what you want to achieve out of every thing you do and then head towards that – take the step to introduce yourself, to ask for the business, to close the sale to think big and act on it.

    I had a fortune cookie last night and it said `You are what you think you are every second of the day’ – so true. Think yourself a failure and you will be, think yourself a success in every possible aspect and you will be.

    Natalie recently posted..Rebel Emperor Chris Guillebeau Tells Us How to Achieve World Domination And Live The Life You WantMy Profile

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  7. Gil Pizano on Tue, 26th Oct 2010 8:43 pm
  8. Thanks Natalie! You are so right!

    Even the most optimistic and positive mindset will never completely cancel out the natural fears, anxieties and self-doubts that everyone occasionally experiences. The funny thing is that it is those very same discomforts that make the successful results that come about when a person takes a risk much more enjoyable.

    I really like how you put it when you said, “The way to change that is to know what you want to achieve out of everything you do and then head towards that”…so…so…true.


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