The Importance of Perspective (reworked)

I originally published this post On January 19, 2022. I publish it here as The Importance of perspective (reworked) to clarify a number of points.

How we perceive our reality affects how we see ourselves and the world around us. It would be nice if we all saw the world the same way, but we don’t. Have you ever said something was one colour and someone disagreed and believed it to be another? Our brain and sensory system take our unique experiences and interpret them to create our reality. It is one of the main causes of personal conflicts and struggles.

The importance of perspective

Our perception can impact our overall well-being and state of mind. Our thoughts and feelings are valid, but sometimes our perception can be skewed, affecting how we feel and think. Eventually, we start to believe that our perception is the only reality that exists; however, this is not true. We tend to forget that our perception of reality is subjective (not objective).

1+1=2 that’s a fact, but are you looking at something pink or red? That will be determined by your experience and how your brain interprets it. Our perception of reality is what we want or choose it to be.

And our perception can also be swayed or skewed by factors such as our emotions.

This can affect one’s ability to think clearly and make logical thoughts and decisions. This is where an alternate perspective can help get your interpretation in check. Seeing something from another perspective can help shed light on things that may not have been so obvious.

I believe that our feelings and experiences are genuine as that is what our brain is telling us. No one can tell you otherwise. However, our perception may be skewed and not entirely accurate. For instance, a co-worker approaches you the day before your due to give a presentation. They say, “I don’t feel good about this presentation we’ve done”.

You instantly feel offended, angry, and upset. You think, “how dare they blame me and tell me that it’s my fault”.

On the importance of perspective

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Let’s pause right there.

Your feelings are valid based on how your brain interpreted your experience, but how accurate was your perception? First, did the co-worker blame you or said anything was your fault? Did they accuse you of poor work?

Let’s take a quick look at it from another perspective.

Maybe your co-worker was unhappy or disappointed about their work? Perhaps they thought they were helpful by giving their honest opinion about the presentation as a whole and wanted you both to be as successful as possible?

After considering these options from another perspective, you feel that you may have overreacted.

Getting an outside perspective requires recounting your experience as the other person listens. This attitude can help give you a chance to work through it more logically without fear of being judged or dismissed.

Someone who also acknowledges and understands that your feelings are valid and authentic. It can give you a sense of relief, where just getting things “off your chest” can help alleviate stress and provide a sense of calmness.

I know from my personal experience the first time I had someone as an active listener. They helped expose aspects that I just didn’t consider or see.

My emotions were getting in the way of clarity.

Talking things out and seeking an outside perspective and support has helped me tremendously. I know it has effectively helped many others.

Thank you for reading

— Jen Lee

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