The Value of Perception
Opening your Eyes
The reality that you live in is all in your own head. You control yourself, everything you do, and every way you react.
An Introduction to Perception
Perception is the way that someone sees things, how they essentially interpret the world. Every individual perceives things in a different manner. Having the ability, to understand and empathize with someone else’s perception allows you to gain an understanding of what they think, and why they think it.
It helps you understand the people around you, and the thought processes to how different people think which in turn results in the ability to establish deeper connections. Understand someone’s perception provides you with the opportunity to see the world through a different lens and come to realizations that you probably never would have through your own interpretation of the world.
Taking the time to understand varying perceptions will not only open new doors in your own eyes, it will also change the way that you respond to different scenarios.
Perception & Emotions
As humans, we tend to always seek to blame others, and external events for the way that we feel; either positive or negative.
“My brother got me a gift I’m so happy, or the lady in front of me didn’t hold the door for me that’s so rude.”
But what many people don’t realize is that you have complete control over your emotions, and every reaction you have occurs because you chose to feel that emotion.
Think about it this way — no one can make you angry, or happy, or sad. Only YOU have the power to allow yourself to feel an emotion which results from the way that you choose to interpret a situation.
Let’s go back to the lady that didn’t hold the door for you.
To me, I see that as something rude that a person would do, and I could allow myself to be annoyed about it. But, let’s approach this in a different way, let’s look through the lens of the lady who didn’t hold the door.
What are 5 good reasons that she might have for not holding the door?
- She didn’t see you there.
- She was in a rush, and had to get somewhere and therefore was speeding into the building.
- The door slipped from her hand.
- She was so distracted that she forgot to hold the door.
- She didn’t think you were actually coming through this door.
Each one of those reasons justifies the lady not actually holding the door for you, and have nothing to do with you as an individual.
“You are not the center of the universe — you are the center of YOUR universe.”
This is what is important to recognize, everyone thinks that the people in their lives knows what’s going on in your head, but only you know that. You saw a door not held, and associated that with a negative emotion against the woman, but her perception of what happened could be completely different.
Taking the time to understand why someone did something, and see the world through their lens it can completely change the way you react to events.
You really only know about a very small portion of someone’s life. Even if you’ve known them for a long time, you don’t know everything that goes on in their head.
Take a minute and try this.
Choose someone who is important in your life (I chose my parents), and close your eyes and try to imagine living life like them. What do they think about? What do they do? Why do they do it?
For me, going through this exercise for multiple people made me realize things that I never did before, and significantly increased the gratitude that I have for people in my life, and I hope it does the same for you.
How many people do you think spend time dwelling over what others think about them? I know I have, and I’m pretty sure every other person who is human has done this at one time or another throughout their life.
When it comes down to it, the way that you think people see you, is simply your perception of their perception of you.
Just like the only way you see yourself is through a mirror, and not actually through your own eyes, the way you think other people see you is through an emotional mirror which can get distorted at times.
Throughout life, people come and go, but the entire time you have to live with yourself, and the things that you do. Your perception of yourself is the most important thing. It should be something that you are proud of, and if it isn’t, work towards being that person that you can be proud of.
So next time someone doesn’t hold a door for you, or bad-mouths you, don’t let your anger impulsivity take over, take a step back and think from their perspective what are 5 reasons that this person could have said/did what they did. And that will be the start of you getting back in control of your emotions.
You control the way that you feel.
- No one can make you feel a certain way, only you can make incite emotions and reactions within yourself. You have control over that.
- You never know what’s going on in someone else’s head, whenever you can take a minute to look at the world in the lens of someone else.
- The way you think people see you is only a construct of your perception on the way that you think other people perceive you.
- At the end of the day, the most important thing that matters is that you can be proud of the way that you see yourself.
Personally, I used to be a person who cared a lot about the way people think and had difficulty controlling the way that I felt until I started truly valuing the power of perception, and prioritizing my own perception of myself.
Right now, I can happily say that I am much more proud of the person that I am right now, in comparison to who I have been in the past and that is all thanks to the amazing people that are in my life.