Your perception creates your reality
Today I had a big personal breakthrough. I was able to see something I had long viewed in a certain way differently. I feel differently and I know that my experience has changed. It has changed because of how we perceive something changes in our world. When we understand perception in this way, we realise if we want to experience something different, the change must come from within. This truth comes alive when you truly understand how your perception creates your reality.
What Do We Mean by Perception?
Perception is the complex process by which organisms interpret and organize sensory information to understand their environment. It involves the acquisition, interpretation, selection, and organization of sensory information. This process is not just a passive receipt of these signals but an active construction of a coherent representation of the world. Perception is subjective and can vary greatly between individuals, influenced by their past experiences, expectations, and cultural backgrounds. It is the bridge between the world of physical stimuli and the realm of conscious experience.
How Do We Perceive the World Around Us?
The process of perceiving the world around us is a dynamic interplay between our sensory organs and our brain. It begins with sensory organs like eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and skin gathering data from the environment. This data, in the form of light, sound, chemical, and other physical stimuli, is then converted into neural signals. These signals are transmitted to different parts of the brain, where they are processed, interpreted, and integrated. Our perception is not merely a mirror of the external world but a reconstruction based on the sensory input and our brain’s interpretation. This process allows us to recognize objects, understand spatial relationships, and navigate our environment.
What is the Neuroscience Around Perception?
Neuroscience of perception investigates how the brain processes sensory information to create our perceptual experiences. This field explores the neural mechanisms and pathways involved in processing sensory data. For instance, in visual perception, light enters the eye, is focused on the retina, and is converted into neural signals. These signals travel through the optic nerve to the visual cortex in the brain, where they are processed to form images. Neuroscientists study how different brain regions coordinate to interpret these signals, leading to the recognition of shapes, colours, and movement. They also explore how memory, attention, and cognition influence perception, revealing that our experiences and knowledge significantly shape how we perceive the world.
How Does Perception Create Our World?
Perception creates our world by shaping our experience of reality. It is not just a passive reception of external stimuli but an active process of constructing our reality. Our brains filter, interpret, and give meaning to the sensory information, often filling in gaps or making inferences. This means that our perception is a personal interpretation of the world, uniquely tailored by our brains. For example, the way we perceive colours, sounds, and shapes can be influenced by our cultural background, emotional state, and past experiences. This subjective nature of perception means that each person’s experience of reality is unique, highlighting the profound role perception plays in creating our worlds.
Losing your mojo
Some time ago a friend of mine in mid-life, lost her job. She didn’t see it coming. One day she walked into her workplace and was told along with the rest of the workforce, that she no longer had a job. After a few weeks, she decided to set up a business on her own. After only 18 months she gave up and went to work for a local business. Her role didn’t reflect her expertise or indeed her valuable experience. A year into the job she came to me for some help.
Describing how she felt, she said she had “lost her mojo”. After some unravelling, we got back to the day she lost her job. On the day of the “bombshell”, she took herself off for a walk, numb and stunned. Her thoughts went along the lines of “Why me?” “What has gone wrong?” “How am I going to manage?” Knowing how her family relied on her salary she felt like a failure. Even up to the day we discussed the situation, she wondered why this catastrophic change in her life had happened.
She had attempted to pick herself up. Starting a new business and then later a new job. But she had lost something valuable inside and her trust and faith had been severely shattered. But what she didn’t realise was how her perception was creating her reality.
During the conversation, I suggested that some people after the initial shock may have thought “Yippee” I can now explore something else, I can use my unique talents I have to do something great with my life”. She looked at me as if I had gone mad, and I could see she thought I was probably out of touch with reality. That is the real problem. We think the reality we see and how we interpret it, must be right. But in any given situation, we can look again and interpret it differently.
I realised many years ago that the world I was seeing was a reflection of my perceptions. When I was a young single mother I felt unsupported and alone. I had lots of friends and family, but I always perceived them to have busy lives and asking them for help was a big deal for me, so I rarely did it.
Perception changes experience
Unwittingly, I was fulfilling my perception of: “I am pretty much on my own, and if I need anything, I had better do it myself, because others are too busy to help”. After many months of feeling frustrated, overwhelmed and alone; a back problem forced me to ask for help. At first, it was difficult and uncomfortable. I felt I was imposing my problems on others. But after a while, something magic happened. I began to see that people around me, cared about me, and wanted to help.
When I asked people for support they overdid the support they gave me. I saw that when people were helping me, they felt connected and were happier helping me than watching me struggle alone.
A light bulb moment
I finally realised with a great big light bulb moment, that my outworn perception had unwittingly kept others at a distance and not only was my perception wrong, but my need to be right kept my perception in place even when I desperately needed to see things in another way.
When my friend and I started talking about the choices we have and how we can see things differently, she realised losing the job was not a personal indictment on her. She eventually also saw she had been holding on to a faulty perception of the job loss and this faulty perception was affecting her life every day.
She decided to look at the situation differently and came to the conclusion it had nothing to do with her, it was simply a change in her life, albeit an unexpected one. I recently received an email from her. She told me that she was becoming quite an expert at switching her perceptions and most importantly, she had her mojo back!
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I help leaders develop self- mastery, helping them to become confident in their own inner guidance.
I collaborate with leadership experts, managers and HR professionals to help them get their own message and unique services and products to a wide audience.