We all perceive very differently from one and other. Two persons reading the same book might read two different stories. Better yet, you reading the same book twice at different periods in your life, might read two different stories. It is important to understand this process. Why? Because in doing so you might understand yourself better as well.
I had this crazy revelation when I got to understand this more clearly. You see, you might have a certain idea of yourself, of your identity. There is not one person out there who sees you this way. Not your family, your friends, or even your close spouse who you have shared all your secrets with. Everyone has their own perception of you, and with that, they might have some expectations as well. Those expectations are like bars for your dreams. We are not in this world to live up to other people’s expectations.
This was a bit shocking for me at first. How could others not know who I really am? Maybe I do not know who I am? Could it be that others are right about me and I have no clue? Yet, everyone has a different view of me. Is this a bad thing? At first I thought it was. I felt alone in the idea that no one really knew me, or at least I thought so. Then I started thinking about what it actually means. Is it important for others to perceive you the way you perceive yourself?
‘ Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own’
– Paulo Coelho
Everyone has their own perception of life. We are all complex and unique in how we are formed and conditioned by life experiences and our genes have a great deal of influence as well. Does this mean that the perception you have is static? Not at all. We are capable of shifting our perception as well as changing it completely.
I heard Bob Proctor talk on a podcast once and he said many great things, however, for this article it I will only talk about some of his ideas of perception. I highly recommend you to look him up and see what else he has to say! However, in this podcast he gave a magnificent example on how to deal with problems. Let us say you have a problem, no matter how big or small.
Write it down on paper, try to be as detailed as possible, and put it on the table. Then think of certain persons you admire, this may be some celebrity, a friend, or family. The person can be dead or alive, maybe even imaginary. Now you have taken a position at the table. This is you and your perception. Try to move to another position at the table and try to think like the person of your choosing. In doing this, try to look at life the way they do and think about what solution they would think of for the problem on the table. Take their role and act as if you are that person. Try to take their perspective.
What is so amazing about this assignment is that it challenges you to shift your perception. Better yet, it allows you to place the problem outside of you, where it originally was. You see, you accept the problem as belonging to you, but it actually is something external. By doing this assignment you allow yourself to take a new perspective and look through the external at the problem, providing an easier way to get to the solution to ‘your’ problem.
‘You change your perception, you change your life’
– Bob Proctor
Perception is all about what you focus on consciously or unconsciously. What you focus on is what you decide to give energy. This can determine how you feel and eventually how you live. So let us say someone wants their life to change. That means they have to change. One way of doing so effectively is by changing their perception.
To get back on subject, it is not a bad thing that no one has the same perception of you as you have of yourself. This is actually a good thing, because it takes the pressure of to impress others with your awesome personality. It tells you that you have no control of how they will perceive you and maybe the world. So why would you bother at even trying? It also tells you that you are able to change their perception for the better, in a way they can have a more positive outlook on life.
So why would you compare yourself with others? They might not have the same goals as you. They might not have the same dreams as you. They are living their life through their perspective and if it is going in a good direction, then good for them. If it is going in a bad direction, you can help them out. But it should not determine how you perceive your own life. The only person you should compare yourself with is you.
Let me know what you think of this post in the comments below or send me an e-mail! I encourage you to share your experience and/or thoughts!