Perception; Whatchu Thinking?

Lakesha Mathis

Rubin Vases. 1915. Rubin Edgar.

What exactly is it? Perception is a way of regarding, understanding or interpreting something; a mental expression. Perception determines how we see the world.  So whatchu thinking? Does everything seem bad all of the time, on the verge of disaster, or is everything coming up roses? Either way, the change is within reach. The change is in you. But first, let’s be clear, you cannot change facts; however, you can change how those facts affect you.

Now if you already see roses, then read for your pleasure, but if not this is for you.

No matter the circumstances the ability to change how things affect your life is within you. You cannot change anyone else’s negative attitude, but your perception of them deeply impacts your interaction with them and their behaviors toward you. You can meet negativity with negativity or you can choose to meet negativity with openness, a willingness to see beyond the frown on the surface. Your choice will determine how the interaction ends for you. No matter the other person’s response to your positive disposition and behaviors the interaction for will be well because you owned your ability to see the best.

Mooney Faces Image. Craig Mooney.

This doesn’t change the other person’s negative disposition but it changes how it affects you. And of course you could choose to meet negativity with negativity; however, the end result will likely be displeasing to both parties, potentially ending in disaster. Own your space. Own your outcomes. Encourage your mental expression of the interaction by seeing the person and not the attitude. See the person. We all fall short of greatness.

Let go of the, “Oh she/he took me there!” attitude and see the person. See the person not the attitude, own your outcome.

Perception can be limiting if it is a fearful one; one that perceives danger even when there is none. Perception owns ability by being the thing that creates space for openness or shuts us off. Perception is the life blood of success or failure. Perceiving oneself as successful, filled with ability and creativity opens space for those things to manifest. While perceiving oneself as hopeless, unworthy and unintelligent closes the opportunities for success. This perception results in self imprisonment.

Unless and until you own your perception you cannot own your outcomes. Choose openness, happiness, worthiness, love; choose to see the world as a mostly welcoming and friendly place and your world will see you as the same. Love will meet you more often than hate and happiness will meet you every step of the way.


One response to “Perception; Whatchu Thinking?

  1. This is basically true (though easier said than done, of course). If someone has bad experiences in a particular situation or with a particular group of people, that influences how they approach such situations or people next time round – which communicates to the other people through body language and tone, so they respond to a lack of warmth with a lack of warmth. Conversely, good expectations are often self-realising. The tragic thing is that although the initial problem is often hate or prejudice, often it’s nervousness about “saying the wrong thing” that comes across as cold-shouldering someone different.

    A while back in the UK we had a TV programme, a two-parter about race and identity. In one, a white guy was made up to look Black and a Black guy was made to look white. The other involved a white girl and an ethnic Bangladeshi girl. It stuck in my mind how the experience affected her. She was doing some kind of door-to-door polling and had had some bad experiences. Made up to look white, she went out to do the same job and had a great time. OK, racism exists. But now, having enjoyed the job in disguise, she went back to doing it as herself…and got a much better reception and enjoyed herself.


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