A few weeks ago I wrote a blog called Wisdom Warrior: My Journey Toward Authenticy wherein I talked about perception, about reframing your mindset. “Perspective is a powerful thing isn’t it? When you can reframe an experience, you can often change what happens as a result”.
Have you ever wondered about how you perceive yourself vs. how others perceive you? How you view yourself as being a certain way, but, someone else can see you as the total opposite?
I’ve heard it said that perception is reality, but is it? Perception may be your reality but is it FACTUAL reality?
Reality is an absolute. But perception is different from reality, in that everyone has their own perception of the world or situations. Everyone thinks their perception is reality. But in fact, your perception is your perception. BUT, perception really is everything!
“Everything you see or hear or experience in any way at all is specific to you. You create a universe by perceiving it, so everything in the universe you perceive is specific to you.” – Douglas Adams
Ok, that was confusing right? But true, I think. I have no formal experience in philosophy or psychology, I’ve just been making some observations as of late because of how someone chose to view me, which I feel is quite different than I am or how I view myself.
This person accused me of being “selfish”. Me selfish? Am I selfish? I don’t feel that I am … I help whenever possible. It hurt to hear this, when I feel that I really do try my best to be everything to everyone. Ok, to be honest – I may do it begrudgingly from time to time but I still do it when push comes to shove. I usually try to have everyone’s back.
So, I started thinking of the things that I’ve done to “HELP”, to justify this person’s words to me – it hurt to think that someone thought of me like this …
- I’ve helped by lending ++++ money, to the point that I am literarily out thousands of $ with no hope of getting some of it back.
- I’ve carried the financial burden when my then fiancé was unemployed for a long stretch.
- I’ve helped my children and family out in sticky situations by co-signing on lease agreements OR lending them my credit card to purchase things (they pay be back, but the point is, I help them cause they don’t have their own cards).
- I’ve helped my brother through some health issues.
- I’ve let people stay with us while they were having family issues.
- I’ve watched peoples dogs when they needed me to.
- If my friends need anything I help, when possible.
- I help out colleagues at work with their files, or when management asks to assist on a project etc.
- I adopted a rescue dog from the shelter.
- I adopted a sponsor child in Kenya.
I don’t see myself as selfish – but this individual does … so, who’s right and who’s wrong? Which is factual? I think based on the facts, I’m not generally a selfish person – but then why does this person? Is this person’s view of the world tarnished? Are they projecting that on me?
The lens through which we view the world, alters our REALITY. It is ourselves who supply the perceptions and build our beliefs with them. We often don’t realize how our perceptions cloud reality, because they seem like one and the same.
So, I did a bit of digging on perception = projection and found that there was some validity to what I was assuming – you’re not so much perceiving the external world as you are projecting what you carry inside out onto the world around you. The world is a reflection of your inner thoughts, feelings, values, beliefs. In other words, the outer world is a reflection of what’s going on inside (Five Basic Assumptions: Perception Is Projection posted on July 17, 2012). B-I-N-G-O!!
“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.”
Maybe this individual is simply projecting the perception of his inner world onto me. But, it also helped me to realize that we are only seeing the world through our own individual perceptions because that’s all we’re ever really able to do – when there’s a constant reminder that all I’m doing is perceiving the world my way, not the real way, just my way, then I can have empathy for others – there’s a gap between perception and reality (paraphrased from Mind the Gap Between Perception and Reality | Sean Tiffee | TEDxLSCTomball).
Has anyone else had any experience with others perception of you?