Perception is in control

Perception is the meaning we make of different information based on how we look at it. Other people perceive reality in different ways based on their interpretations. Perception is the basis for emotional intelligence and is very powerful.  When we were going through our series on emotional intelligence, we were driven by events.  Perception has a lot to do with interpreting events, but there is more to perception. We also use it to analyze and judge people.

Perception is not reality, but it can become a person’s reality because perception influences how we look at reality.  I have my reality, and you have yours. Have you ever thought of yourself as being very positive, and someone said to you – why are you so negative?  Hold on and tamp down that negative self-talk. My first reaction was, are you kidding me – and goes downhill from there. Remember our emotional intelligence class? This was my interpretation of an event. Your reality and their reality are not the same.  Don’t ignore it because there may be some good clues on how you can be better, but don’t let it steal your joy.

You have more control over your life than you think. When we looked at emotional intelligence, we learned that we could change our responses to events by changing how we interpret the event. We can also control how we feel and the joy in our life. Consider this chain of actions, I am old, so I am weaker, don’t remember things, or am no longer the cool dude I was. While some may be true, it does not have to be your perception. The chain continues: if I am all those things, I must be less appealing and probably not long for this world. This is like a self-fulfilling prophecy which is simply the outcome of a situation being influenced by our thinking, either positively or negatively.  Well, consider the last part of this definition, positively or negatively.  What if I concentrated on positive self-talk and positive perceptions?

I am going to change my chain of actions without ignoring reality.  My new chain is I am older and wiser. I have experienced eighty years of learning and have many stories to tell. With all this wisdom, I start each day with a positive thought and will not let anyone rain on my parade. I still have experiences waiting to be discovered and lessons to learn.

Most people have good intentions and, often, good advice, but they do not control your emotions.  If a single comment from someone upsets your day, imagine what your negative self-talk can do.