The Need to Perceive

What is holding you back from success? How many challenges have you overcome or hurdles have you passed but still feel like you’re no closer to the goal you desire than you were when you started? Are you even making progress anymore? And what’s worse: how many people keep telling you that you are, when you feel like you’re not?

Your perception may be what’s holding you back all this time. Walking down the same, long path can seem like you’re going nowhere, but when others look at you from outside, they see you moving forward with every step. It’s refreshing to hear, and motivating to know that your accomplishments are being appreciated, even if you don’t feel that way yourself. So how can you get on that good side and see your own progress? How can you change your perception?

You can’t. Not really. But understanding how perspective works can adjust how you view yourself from now on, and how you view the opinions of others.

Principles of Perception

There are three primary principles you can remember that can help re-guide your mind into how you view yourself. 

The first is: There is no “Out There”. When dealing with something new, you often think of yourself against the world that made it, that “out there” is where it all originated. In reality, what you deal with is something of your own making. The world as you understand it is just that; it’s your understanding.. Our biases help us make sense of things outside our common grasp, which makes our perception of them change from how they really are. What you’re seeing and dealing with isn’t its natural state, it’s all how you have come to see it. There is no true truth “out there” waiting to be found, it’s just what you’ve decided is the truth.

The second: You are “Active”. Has someone ever made you angry? No. You made yourself angry with them. They may have done or said something to offend you but that anger wasn’t given to you, it didn’t spread through the air and infect you. Emotional reactions come from us based on what we believe is happening. It’s the reason a word can make one person feel hurt and make another laugh. Their perception gives them different meaning and elicits a different reaction. It’s important not to assign blame to others. All those reactions are things you are doing, actively, to yourself.

The third principle: There is only a “Now”. We can’t predict the future and the past has already happened. When you worry about the future, that worry is present with you at the moment of your worry, but you can’t feel things from the future. You can only feel what you feel now based on your own perception of thoughts and memories. You are, presently, happy with a memory from the past. You were happy back then, and are happy now. The world you interact with is within you, right now, being created actively.

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