Perception can be difficult to define. Somewhat controversial too. There are many forms of perception, but the basics include our senses. (taste, touch, smell, sound, sight..) Some say that there are two ways of looking at life: half empty or half full. What does that mean? Looking at the glass half empty insinuates a more negative outlook on things whereas, people who think the glass is half full have a more optimistic outlook. One viewpoint isn’t necessarily better than the other, but it is key to changing the way we think.
How do we perceive reality?
Typically, people see or hear something that claims to be accurate and believe it. If a celebrity is wearing high fashion, people assume they need to do the same thing to be on that same level. It isn’t true. We, including myself, shouldn’t believe everything we see or hear, especially in media. The way you perceive life is the reality you make it out to be. But, if I perceive life as fun and joyful, it is more than likely I am going to try to live a happy and joyful life.
Let me give you an example….
“If a tree falls in a forest, and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”
The people who claim that the sound would be present are said to believe reality and perception are separate. Whereas, yes…you guessed it, the people who claim it would not make a sound think perception and reality are the same things.
How to differentiate Perception and Reality?
The main difference between perception and reality is what you perceive isn’t always reality. For example, I can perceive someone to be rude, but they are extremely nice upon meeting them. Reality is also a state of being, whereas it has more to do with how we view things. It is often confused with the term perspective, which is your point of view.
How does your Perception Impact You?
Many things come into play when it comes to the impact perception can have on a person. Your environment plays a large role in the way you see things. A clear-cut example of this would live in the United States versus living in a different country.
Going back to the idea of the glass being half empty, here are some ways to refresh your perception:
Ways to help with Negative Perception
- Try something new! It can help to give a fresh outlook on situations.
- Live in the now. It cannot be easy to dwell on past events, but living in the past won’t help you progress.
- Try affirmations. Whether it’s in the morning, throughout the day, or at night, say nice things to yourself. Say pleasant things about yourself, even if you don’t believe it at first. Eventually, your limiting beliefs will slowly begin to fade until you realize you ARE those things.
- Ask yourself questions. It helps to understand better your thoughts, feelings, and perception in any given situation. (i.e., “Does this remind me of anything?”, “Are these my emotions or my mind?”, “What are the facts of the situation?” )
Despite reality and perception being broad concepts, they are not the same thing. Everyone views the world through their lens. There are going to be times when we don’t see things as is. That’s life; it happens. But we must try to move past certain viewpoints to make sure our perception of reality is truly what it is.