Similarly, the key to success in relationships/marriages/life is to understand and interpret not only ourselves, but also the people around us (or at least, try to) and act accordingly.
And then, you might be the world’s best leader, sexiest, smartest, strongest, most talented, and so forth person - If you perceive yourself otherwise [self-esteem]; you will act according to it…and probably by your own actions also find confirmation in any feedback!
I see such problems so regularly, showing up in private practice (and amongst friends, family – even in my own life). We really need to become more aware of possible perception problems.
So, a key factor which contributes to so many failed careers, as well as relationships and/or marriages, or self-esteem, is; confusing perception with reality.
Sometimes perception is the problem (and at other times, perception is the solution).
Perceptions are self-referential. They shape lives. Scarily so. They are linked to our belief systems. They tell more about ourselves, than what is happening “out there”.
“You should never travel a dirt road in the rain”, with the result I will never travel any dirt road; rather refers to my own perceptions, than the roads actually being dangerous per se.
A rainy cold day considered dreary, might be a beautiful long awaited day for others.
“My child smokes!” might be life or death for some parents. For others, it might be the least of their concerns. What is your perception, of the least, to most dangerous, thing your child might do, or might happen to him/her?
For holiday-goers at the coast, rainy days might be devastating. It becomes a disastrous holiday. And “we will never go there again”.
But for the coast-dwellers, it might be wonderful if they were long awaiting some rain.
For some wives, it is devastating when their husbands go on a boys-weekend away. They might feel rejected and unloved (with ensuing fights as the husband often does not understand this one bit – perceptual differences).
For others, it might offer them opportunity to do those things they never have time for otherwise, and they might relish the privilege of both partners trusting each other for the freedom to develop and grow their individuality (within limits of course…I am sure as heck not going to give my husband the freedom to flounce around in Vegas without supervision LoL- or without me!)
A well-done steak to some is a sin (obviously, I myself prefer rare steak). But others will not be seen dead, eating a rare steak (But then eating “dead” meat? Hmm…. Perceptions…)
I get stuck with road blocks on the way to work/appointments and think all kinds of dirty thoughts because now I am going to be late – Or, I can view this as positive because someone out there is actually trying to improve the roads and my road-safety as well.
Once again it boils down to perception.
Because, actually, there is no one reality.
What we feel and think and how we act, boils down to perception.
And: Reality itself, actually, is SHARED perception.
Especially where it concerns more than one person. Unfortunately/Fortunately (?) we live on a rather [over]populated planet, so we will always be surrounded by people whether we like it or not and if we do not actively work towards becoming aware of how our own perceptions shape our shared realities, then I am rather worried not only for us [humans], but also for the planet itself.
For couples, a shared reality is vital to have a successful relationship. You know, your perceptions might and may differ – obviously – but SHARE it. At the very least, you can agree to disagree and find level ground for a “reality” to live in (communication forms a vital part).
At this stage you may very well ask, what does perception is reality, or, there is no one reality; mean? What on earth is this person rambling on about? Some more psycho-babble - or something we can use in our lives?
Perception is the way you look at things, the way you experience life and everything around you. Perception is your interpretation on things around you, based also on your previous experiences, the way you were brought up, the things you hence, believe ’and the self-created boundaries in which you function, question, or live in your life. Perception is then also, what drives you to behave how you do.
The good news is, if perception plays such a large role in shaping our realities, it does mean, we can also change the realities we live in – with success!
The bad news is…you will have to wait for the following blog, to get some answers!*
References and further reading
*Mainly because unscheduled SA load shedding suddenly stepped in again and I have to rewrite half of the blog….Let’s rather not discuss my own perceptions on this…