This is my themed series of blog posts in which as part of my ongoing quest for greater self-awareness and my continued personal and professional development, I pick a word and write about it for a set amount of time. Leave a comment on here with a new word for me to explore in the future or you could suggest one on Twitter (@Iain_D_Stewart).

This week the word is PERCEPTION, and I’ll be writing for twenty minutes or so.

Back a few weeks ago I wrote about Reality, and I made a note to write about Perception in the future. Well guess what? The future is now. What was it I wanted to expand on? Perception as a way of unconsciously building your reality as you travel forwards through time? How personalities are shaped when we are young? I find it fascinating. Everyone has developed their own personal reality as they’ve grown up, and the way they perceive the world has created their core beliefs. This is something I went over in my CBT therapy – my core beliefs were skewed. Those belief systems that I had formed for survival when I was young were not serving me well as an adult. One example was that I was reluctant to do anything radically different from the group (the group being whichever social group I was in the presence of at the time), for fear of being removed form that group. I had no concept that I could be myself and be accepted by the group for who I was, rather than subtly trying to be what I thought they wanted me to be. I’m sure most of the time I got that wrong anyway.

How you perceive things affects the way you come to think about them, especially events that are out of your control. You could see the bad in everything, and become bitter. Or you could see the good in those random events by embracing a positive outlook (which I do agree, can be a bit of a tricky thing to do sometimes). Sometimes things just don’t go as expected, but are still well within acceptable parameters – and definitely far from being the end of the world. The key is mindset. How you process this information, and whether you see it as a good or bad thing is down to your mindset. It is possible to change your mindset with a bit of thought. It takes time, an open mind, and a bit of action.

As an example, maybe you’ve just split up with your girlfriend, and as far as you’re concerned, that’s it. No more girlfriends, ever. All the good ones are taken. You have a scarcity mindset. A friend that sees you are upset may say to you “Don’t worry mate, there are plenty more fish in the sea, cheer up” – and when you have a scarcity mindset and are upset this is much easier said than believed. But, in truth, there are a lot more potential girlfriends out there than you realise. You’re just thinking of people you know already, without considering the wider population. In terms of numbers, how many women are there in your age range in your town? Even if you narrow the search to ones that are on a similar attractiveness level as you, the number is still very high. If you see the bigger picture and stretch that distance out, the number exponentially rises.

Viewing the world through such a narrow lens means you only perceive a sliver of reality.

Take a step back, look at the bigger picture.

Click this link to learn more about the concept of Free-writing.

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