Your Perception Dictates Your Reality

Your Perception Dictates Your Reality
September 19, 2017

Have you ever had one of those situations where you and somebody else experienced the same thing, maybe a concert or dinner, but walked away with not only completely different opinions about how they were, but with a conflicting set of “facts”? How can two people’s perception of things be so different? And, what if you’re the one who is taking in things and processing them in a skewed manner?

Our emotional state is often a result of how we perceive situations happening around us. Have you ever asked yourself these questions and reached these conclusions after you faced a negative situation?

Why did she do that to me? I don’t deserve that.

Why does this keep happening to me? It’s not fair.

Why is it so hard to be understood? Nobody understands me.

Why are all the good men taken? I’m going to die alone.

Often, we ask ourselves these questions to ease our way into victim mode. We assess the situation with emotional blinders and see ourselves as stuck in one place or helpless because of who we perceive ourselves to be in the moment. Maybe you think you’re too nice, too young or too old or the wrong gender.

Odds are whatever you perceive the problem to be, it’s one that you can’t change. Isn’t that convenient? Convincing yourself you’ve got a problem you can’t fix is the sure way to continue the cycle.

We constantly experience situations we can perceive as negative or unpleasant. It happens every day.  The good news? We have a choice in shifting how we perceive each one of those experiences by learning to ask smarter questions. Questions that will expand awareness and take down emotional blinders.

The decision is 100% yours.

One option is to continue operating from an unconscious level, go with the flow and simply allow your perception to take shape through the blinders that come out of feelings of defeat (It’s not worth it), sadness (I’m not good enough) or resentment (It’s not fair).

A counter-option is to consciously decide to take a more curious approach by asking different questions.

The first step is to move from judgment to curiosity. Get curious and instead of asking why something is happening, ask a different set of questions. For example:

What is the lesson here?

What can I modify to have a different result?

How can I benefit from this situation?

How is this stretching me or making me grow?

When you become curious, the new questions become about you – which you are able to control – instead of centered in a situation or in other people, which you can’t control.

I recall a horrible boss. I loved my job, but my boss was abusive and a liar (at least according to my perception at that time). The day I finally got the courage to approach management with my resignation letter I was fired before I could say a word…and that sucked. It felt unfair and I saw myself as an innocent victim of the situation. I asked a lot of the wrong questions. The answers to my questions only reinforced my victim mentality at the time. I was stuck and miserable.

My mentor at the time helped me get curious. He taught me the value to self-centric questions and even though I was not convinced, I gave it a try, I had nothing to lose. In less than a week, I found a new surge of confidence, I creatively re-arranged my resume and soon found the job that opened the doors to a thriving profession, at double the pay.

This wouldn’t have been possible without the experience with that “horrible” boss.

If you are ready for change, I invite you to use your perceived challenges or negative situations as an opportunity for growth. It’s empowering. Practice the following steps in the order I’ve presented them:

7 Steps to Challenge Your Perception

  1. Ask yourself, “What just happened?” Neither judge nor create a story around it. Stick to the facts.
  2. Allow feelings to come up. What emotions are bubbling up? Acknowledge them but do not blame the other person or the situation.
  3. Ask yourself if this situation is constructive? Does it serve you in any way?
  4. Ask yourself again: “Does the way I am choosing to perceive this experience serve my purpose and do me any good?”
  5. Now the hardest part. Ponder what may possibly be correct about this situation, even though it is causing you pain.
  6. What’s the lesson here? Figure this out without judgment or embellishment.
  7. Once you’ve challenged your perception and identified the lesson, you can choose to transform the circumstance through the lens of positivity. Identify a new way to view the situation that supports and empowers you.

It might be hard at first but as you practice these steps, you’ll see that it is possible to shift from victim mode and despair into a mindset where a new reality can develop. This is a proven process that I practice consistently and consciously with my high-performing clients to create a life that supports their goals, everyday.

When you start getting control of how you react to life’s challenges you become more confident and optimistic.

 

 

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Posted in Healthy Tricks, Mindset by Mari Pizarro | Tags: ,