Thought-Provoking Thursday|Perception Determines Reality

Reality is a matter of perception. They say there are two sides to every story; that’s because although the facts remain the same the way they are experienced is a matter of perspective. Two people can be in the same situation and experience it differently. Two people can be presented with the same situation and respond to it differently. Just when I was about to give up on including a video for this post, I came across exactly what I was looking for!

The problem isn’t the problem, you’re attitude, your philosophy is the problem.

The old me would’ve had a hard time receiving these words. I probably wouldn’t have made it through the video. I would’ve said that he didn’t know my struggle, he didn’t know what I was going through, perception doesn’t change the facts. The reality is, I wasn’t prepared to accept responsibility for the perception I had. I saw everything from a negative perspective and so negative aspects were abundant and amplified. The me that sits here writing this post has learned to practice gratefulness. It’s so much harder to have a negative perspective when I’m continuously practicing gratefulness. Even when something seems negative on the surface, I’m looking for what I can be thankful for. What lesson I can learn, what opportunity for growth is there, what it’s training me for. That’s a much healthier outlook for me and one that empowers me to keep moving forward with a positive perspective.


Practicing.png

I love what Oprah shares about gratitude in this short video!


What reality are you creating for yourself? What perspective do you have about the current situations in your life? Is your perception one that creates a positive reality in your life? Do you have any thoughts, quotes or videos you’d like to share on this topic? I’d love to hear your thoughts and stories in the comments, feel free to share!

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39 thoughts on “Thought-Provoking Thursday|Perception Determines Reality

  1. Hi Niki,

    I’m so glad you found that video. It was powerful!
    He talked about what we focus on we invite into our reality. Also when we do that we give it power over us.
    That’s why being open-minded is so important. Because no matter how distorted someone perspective is if that’s what they believe then that’s their reality.
    And we must learn to let them be right where they are and not try to change it for them.
    Great post,
    Vernon

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was very powerful! That’s a very interesting perspective of the video. When I watched it, I saw the old negative me getting validation after validation of how bad life was. Then I saw the new me getting confirmation after confirmation of how great life is. I love what you point out because that’s acceptance. If everyone were to understand that my truth isn’t your truth and respect it…people need to learn this at a young age because that’s change the world mentality. I’m glad you enjoyed this, he has some excellent videos, I encourage you to check them out. He’s doing positive things! Thanks for taking the time to share that Vernon. Have a wonderful day 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I always love talking about perception, for me it’s the basis of understanding which is the basis for acceptance and kindness to everyone. Our own perceptions are so limited , that reaching out to understand anyone else is often hard and I think while people are generally understanding more, but here is still so much lack off acceptance in the world still. Which is a shame.
    I hope your’re well Niki! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s so funny, I’m just reading this now but mentioned in a previous comment that by understanding perception you can be accepting and respectful. This is something that should be taught at a young age. If people can go through life knowing this, it would change the world in a positive way. We reflect what we put out. So by you being accepting and kind, it encourages others to do so. It might not happen to the same degree or right away but it does have an impact. Even something as small as smiling. Generally if you smile, the other person will smile back. It can take a little longer with tolerance and acceptance but if someone hasn’t learned to be that way they have to learn how to. I agree that our own perception is limited and if we could learn to accept and respect the truth of those around us we’d contribute to a positive change. I’m doing very well, thanks Simon! Hope you’re doing well, dare I ask about the weather? 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I agree. Of course as parents a lot of the teaching goes on at home but not everyone goes home to the same parents so what’s taught in school is important. There definitely should be more emphasis on this aspect. Aristotle’s wise words ring so true- “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”

        Hahaha I figured… 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I like Aristotle… Good sentiments. The thing I find is that the school system is all about targets, not teaching. Children should be taught about acceptance, with that comes respect. Parents can do that and should but as you say, not everyone is the same.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Of course… let’s push kids to be mini workaholics… I’m no child education specialist but I think there should be more play, free time and movement in school. Kids aren’t meant to sit down for 8 hours a day, heck I’m not meant to sit down for 8 hours a day!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I haven’t watched the video but regarding your musings, I couldn’t agree more. Even though I’ve always accepted the role and importance of perceptions, for some reasons I couldn’t apply it to my own situation. Like you, I’ve found it hard to accept that I’m the most responsible for how I feel, not what happened to me. Still not sure how dud it change, it feels like a switch went off, not a conscious, gradual process I was aware of or influenced! Which kinda contradicts the “it’s your perception” part 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you’ve gained clarity or an awareness after the fact, maybe it’s not your perception that’s changed but your perspective. It’s apart of growing and evolving. When you can find the lesson instead of seeing the pain, that’s when your perspective has shifted. 🙂

      Like

  4. One time I was at a workshop with coworkers and the presenter talked about this very idea. At one point, a man started arguing with her. He said that was totally false, other people make us happy or sad, such as if our boss fired him or denied a him a raise, then she has power over his emotions, and so on.
    Funny, we all knew the guy to be the most negative, depressing person to be around. He did a great job proving her point!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Interesting how that played out. I wasn’t ready for this message a few years ago. It wouldn’t have made sense to me and I wouldn’t have been open to receiving it. I was depressed and very much a victim and I wouldn’t have been able to accept that huge responsibility. The notion of me being in charge of my happiness, that wasn’t something I could accept responsibility for. Now I realize by blaming everyone else, I also gave them the credit. They held the remote with control over my life because I gave it to them. When I took it back, I realized that my reaction and response is key. It’s not what happens but how I respond to it as the quote goes…There’s a lot of responsibility and self-accountability with this, not everyone is in a place that they can accept it as he very well proved.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great video! The power of perception is so important. I strive to see the positive in situations. It makes me a happier person, and those around me happier. Great reminder to do this, practice this, so it naturally becomes a part of life. Hope you’re doing well Niki! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is very important! I’ve improved my emotional and mental health dramatically by practicing gratitude and optimism. I confused being optimistic with being naïve or unrealistic. Then I learned- A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the OPPORTUNITY in every DIFFICULTY. -Winston Churchill

      I’m doing very well, thanks for inquiring 🙂 I hope your week is going great!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Love that quote! It’s true… that change in outlook will make you a much happier person 🙂 Not dwelling on the negative part of a situation. Kind of like the fire at our business… it was awful, a gigantic mess, an absolute hassle… BUT, it could’ve been a lot worse. So I’ve been happy to clean it up, be back in business in a day 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It will! If we can learn to focus on the lesson we’ll have a lot more to take away than the initial impact a situation has. You’re leaning into gratitude which is an excellent way to deal with the fire situation. Instead of worrying about what could have been, you’re thankful for what wasn’t and what is and that makes it a whole lot more difficult to go down the other road.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Great insights about perception, Niki. I was once very much like you, stuck in thinking, “perception doesn’t change the facts.” I also tend to be rather quick to notice negative aspects of any given situation. I have a very discerning eye and a very critical mind, which is part of my temperament. Part of this way of thinking is simply the way I am wired, similar to my predisposition toward anxiety, but now that I recognize this tendency within myself, I can make what I call a “preferential option for the positive.” I pay particular attention to *intentionally* bringing my awareness to the positive aspects of a situation, I attempt to reframe problems as “inconveniences,” and I practice my DBT to find alternative ways of thinking or approaching things that initially trigger negative reactions from me. Like you, practicing gratefulness has been very impactful in my life. It also helps me feel less isolated, more connected to others, and reminds me of how God is blessing me and watching over me, even when things seem to be going wrong. I have a bit of an issue with the video, though. The narrator seems to suggest that a positive perspective will result in good things happening to and for people, while those with a negative outlook will be “punished.” (The example of the woman who gets promoted vs. the woman who loses her job). I think that’s a bit over-simplified. I know plenty of positive people who suffer tremendous misfortunes, losses, and outright traumas, and I know plenty of negative people who seem to get everything they want. The difference is that the positive people, despite their struggles, remain hopeful, hold onto joy and gratitude, and are a blessing to others simply from the light they continue to radiate into the world, while the negative people are rather miserable, unhappy, and unpleasant to be around. Of course, sometimes this difference results in differential treatment from other people, but often it doesn’t, because, at the end of the day, the world is not a just place. Still, our perspective matters. If there is to be any hope for peace and justice in the world, it will be those who can see the positive who will bring it about.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing, I know it can be a difficult thing to learn how to reframe things. I guess I didn’t think of it as a “punishment” so much as an example of how two people can be in the same situation and have different outcomes by how they choose to respond to the situation. A few years ago, I would have been the person that was let go of in that situation. Whether that resulted in a termination or not, it did impact my life in a huge way. Of course being positive doesn’t mean things will always turn out great or how you want but I think it speaks more to what you were saying about the difference being they choose to lean into gratitude despite the challenges and struggles. I think the video was attempting to point out that a lot of times we create our reality. I saw that scenario and saw my victim self that would have been upset and felt wronged having been let go. Then I saw the person I am now and knowing that my outlook and actions make a positive impact in my life. At the end of the day, perspective can make a huge difference in how we go through our life, we can either be empowered or discouraged. I’m glad you’re making the conscious choice to be positive and empowered whenever you can ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It is amazing! I’m very proud because it took a lot of work. I’m actually about to self-publish a book detailing the process I used to overcome depression. I couldn’t be happier to share something I believe will help many people 💞

      Liked by 1 person

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