A New Perception Can Alter Your Reality

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

Perception 1 A New Perception Can Alter Your RealityWhat 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.

Can Do 1 A New Perception Can Alter Your RealityAnother 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)

Comments

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. Natalie on Tue, 26th Oct 2010 12:54 pm
  4. 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
    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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  5. Gil Pizano on Tue, 26th Oct 2010 8:43 pm
  6. 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.

    Gil

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  7. Gil Pizano on Tue, 26th Oct 2010 9:53 pm
  8. 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!

    Cheers!

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