In the last blog we talked about how stagnation brought on by fearing the appropriateness or consequence of any choice/decision, isn’t really an option if we want to live life to the max. However, what we do have as an option is our ability to constantly reflect upon and review the choices we’ve made with respect to the perceptual lens through which we view ourselves, others and the world.
Our culturally driven perceptions
One of the most liberating realizations is the understanding that the choices we make about how we view ourselves and life in general are, in part, culturally driven and therefore not entirely of our own making. Our perceptual lens, some may suggest, is underpinned by deep-seated and pre-determined beliefs, values and norms. Norms that are so embedded in our psyche that we fool ourselves into thinking that we make these perceptual choices free of influence.
Reviewing, reflecting on and evaluating our point of view
We begin to shift and change our perceptual view through constant reflection and evaluation. Reflecting on whether the lens we currently hold while viewing our relationship with ourselves and others serves us in living a profound and enliven life.
Are your views supporting you in living the fullest expression of your life?
A question to ask yourself on an ongoing basis is this: Are any and all the views I hold right now about myself, others and the world supporting me in living my life to the max, with respect to expressing my greatest potential, living a life replete with love, laughter, joy and passion.
None of us should take lightly the notion that the view(s) we hold, with respect to how life is, should or ought to be, dramatically affects what our life feels, looks, sounds, smells and even tastes like.
No two people perceive a situation in the same way. None of us passively digest external stimuli from our senses – each of us values the bits of information received from external stimuli to a greater or lesser degree.
What you expect to see is what you get
What your senses tell you is real is influenced by what you expect to see, feel, touch, hear and smell. Your thoughts, feelings and behaviours are influenced by and influence your perceptions. In other words, what you pay attention to, think and feel you’re seeing is what you will see.
What you perceive as reality is often a cyclical, automatic and reinforcing thinking, feeling and behavioural pattern of response to external stimuli. You process stimuli by way of well-trodden pathways – if you see yourself as a victim, you will perceive an event in this light, and seek to validate your perception. Figure 1 is a simplified overview of your active, complex and dynamic perceptual process.
Your response is triggered by the meaning you make of any situation
Your response to a situation depends on how you interpret what that situation means to you.
You can chose to respond to whatever is going on in your life by reacting within a mostly automated stimuli-response mechanism, or you can sit back, take a breath, and look at what’s going on from a broader perspective. In doing this you allow yourself to see and create more options for the story of your life.
Change your view and you change your world! The choice is yours.
I would love to hear how reviewing, reflecting, evaluating and changing your point of view has changed your world? Please share you stories with us.
In the next blog we will be talking about how your perceptions about your ability to reach the goals you have set for yourself affect their attainment.