Our perceptions are the building blocks of how we make up our reality.
Our individuality undergoes much moulding and shaping through our lives, especially in our formative years, but we need to remember that we are never ‘set in stone’ and we are never ‘the finished article’. We just grow and develop – perhaps gravitating towards our true identity – Who knows!? This is almost a philosophical question, and I am not a philosopher!
However – one of the keys to our growth and development is to understand this:-
As people we are not our behaviours, our abilities or our beliefs. However, all these things ARE shaped by our perceptions. As a consequence, I believe if we want to change or learn how to change and transform, then it all starts with our perceptions.
So how do we change our perceptions?
We are bombarded with sensual data every waking moment. If we had to consciously process that amount of data there would be no time or brain capacity left to do anything else. Consequently we are equipped with perceptual filters that screen the data – noticing what we deem as useful, and discarding the rest. The filters run a process of deleting, distorting and generalising the data for us – based upon certain criteria.
The key to changing our perceptions is to understand how we direct and set most of the filtering criteria, and what part our beliefs, ideas and thoughts play in all this. Essentially – it involves our gaining an understanding of our relationship with our thoughts, our thinking – for it is our thoughts that generate our feelings, and also what we believe is real about our experiences and our view of the world and how it works.
With the Inside-Out nature of reality, we start to understand that our experience and our feelings are all generated by our thinking. We already know for instance that if we change our thinking by just filtering and accepting ‘positives’ that our feelings and experience will be different. Yet the key thing to remember with our thinking is that it just keeps on coming in a never-ending stream. It is like the weather or waves breaking on a beach. And that tends to make Positive Thinking, and the interminable sorting and filtering that goes with it, a never-ending treadmill of analysis – which is a very hard act to keep up! The vitally important thing to remember is to recognise our thinking for what it really is – a set of illusions that we are convinced is REAL! If you are not entirely sure, just consider what happens when you change your mind about something. All the credence you used to feel about that thing suddenly goes, for now you think differently about it.
Beliefs are thoughts that have evolved through references that have not been challenged, and that have seemed to prove the thoughts as being the TRUTH. Beliefs can be roughly broken down into generally accepted “world” beliefs, and closely held “personal” beliefs. In each case, beliefs tend to remain in place until challenged – and will usually stay in the water until blown out of it by undeniable proof.
If you think of instances such as when people thought the Earth was flat; that people could never travel fast in a vehicle and remain safe; that germs cause disease; and more recently athletes breaking the 4 minute mile barrier. Like many others, these beliefs were all once firmly in place until experience changed our perceptions.
The same happens with our personal beliefs. If we believe we cannot do X, then everything we do – in terms of thought and action – will be directed towards maintaining that belief. We are actually capable of many things we never allow ourselves to attempt – and we are certainly capable of far more than we think we are.
So how do we change our beliefs, especially about ourselves and our capabilities?
By accepting challenges; opening our minds up; examining the language we use to ourselves; understanding how beliefs evolve – these are all great places to start. From from this we start to grow our Inside-Out understanding, and once that has started, then our relationship with our thinking takes on a perceptual shift.
The truth is – once we reach the belief that anything is possible and it is just a matter of how, then we’ve opened up our minds fully. And from this point on nothing will limit us.
This is where the journey of changing our perceptions brings us to… the creation of a new, more exciting, vibrant and fulfilling reality. Essentially where our world and our life can be anything we choose and direct!