Perception Vs Reality: 7 Things To Keep In Mind

Perception Vs Reality

However, if the perception deviates too far from reality when it shifts from mild illusion to delusion, it can be a liability (e.g., set unattainable goals, lack of preparation for a difficult task). In fact, a substantial disconnect between perception and reality can lead people to a complete inability to function (severe mental illness is an example).

At a societal level, when different individuals or constituencies develop perceptions that are so far apart, one immense problem is that no common ground can be found. This disconnect is exemplified in our current political climate where people of different political stripes have such diametrically opposed perceptions that it becomes impossible to orchestrate consensus or govern.

The result is paralysis (Congress) or hostility (hate crimes). Going to extremes, a massive divide between perceptions in a country would likely lead to a slow, but steady, disintegration of the institutions that hold a society together (dystopian themes in literature and film or, well, our world today).

The challenge we face with our own thinking, as well as the thinking of others, is how to ensure that perceptions remain close to reality. This alignment is essential for us to live in the real world, find consensus with others, and maintain the individual, governmental, and societal structures that are necessary for life as we know it to exist.

Also read Embracing The Challenges of Change In Life

Here are a few tips to keep in mind about perception and reality:

  1. Don’t assume that your perceptions are reality (just your reality)
  2. Be respectful of others’ perceptions (they may be right)
  3. Don’t hold your perceptions too tightly; they may be wrong (admitting it takes courage)
  4. Recognize the distortions within you that may warp your perceptions (seeing them will better ground your perceptions in reality rather than the other way around)
  5. Challenge your perceptions (do they hold up under the microscope of reality?)
  6. Seek out validation from experts and credible others (don’t just ask your friends because they likely have the same perceptions as you)
  7. Be open to modifying your perceptions if the preponderance of evidence demands it (rigidity of mind is far worse than being wrong)
Reality is created by the mind
Perception Vs Reality: 7 Things To Keep In Mind

The next time someone tosses that tired trope—“but perception is reality”—in defense of the indefensible, you stand up and tell them that it might be their perception, but it is not reality.

Please share this article with anyone who you may think will find it valuable and helpful.

Written by: Jim Taylor, Ph.D
Originally appeared on: Psychology Today 
Republished with permission 
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Perception Vs Reality: 7 Things To Keep In Mind
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Dr. Jim Taylor

Jim Taylor, Ph.D., Psychology is an internationally recognized authority on the psychology of performance, parenting, technology, and popular culture. Dr. Taylor has also worked extensively in the corporate world providing individual and group training to executives and businesses throughout North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. He is a frequent speaker at Young Presidents’ Organization events internationally and a featured speaker for Natixis Global Associates, the 14th largest asset management company in the world. He has published more than 1000 articles in scholarly and popular publications and is the author of 18 books. Dr. Taylor blogs on sports, personal development, psychology, parenting, education, technology, and popular culture on his website. His posts are aggregated by dozens of websites worldwide and have been read by more than ten million people. To learn more, please visit www.drjimtaylor.comView Author posts