Talk about mixed messages! Try these:
- “Think things through”
- “Listen to your heart”
- “Be the change you want in others”
There’s a constant trendy valuing process that takes placed among thoughts, behaviours, and feelings. In reality, they all interact each other and a fallacy on any set thought, behavior or feeling can lead to a cascade of problems.
However, some therapists advocate for a 4th condition to be added to the Big 3: perception. Why doesn’t perception have to fall under “thoughts”? Simply put, we have perceptions of our thoughts. We think we’re right or wrong, on target or off.
If we had no perception of our own thinking, we probably wouldn’t be having this discussion. There would likely be no internet, and all of human sentience would drop away. Our perception of things changes everything.
We treat a perception of a thing as if it were factual, reality, when it’s not. We routinely feed ourselves misinformation and then act on it, experience feelings from consequences of those misguided behaviors that are predicated by a distorted perception of a real event or fact.
This is a huge aspect of modern culture all over the earth. Media presents information that is at best supposition cherry picked and cobbled together. It’s presented as fact or “almost verified” and we then make decisions based on half-cocked pseudo-journalism. However, when this kind of misperception is taking place in our private lives, we need to stop and get some real perspective.
There are a few great ways to give ourselves a reality check. One is to check what our feelings are against a source that’s trusted for the facts. Some friends have a talent for saying what they see without embellishment. They are still however susceptible to perception errors. Fact checking with an objective source is great for many things. That isn’t so helpful for things like flunking a math test.
Let’s use that as an example. Person A flunks a math exam. They’ve flunked before, so they think they are just not “math material,” and give up. Person B flunks too. They have also flunked before. They look at their behaviour and decide to get help with a tutor before the next exam. Next time they earn a C. that’s much better than a failing grade.
It encourages Person B to keep studying with a tutor. In time, they’ll have better math grades consistently. Person A stays stuck. Why? Person A looked at the results of their interactions with math as irrevocably bad. Person B saw that interaction as mutable, changeable.
Perception can make all the difference in many areas of our lives.
One of the most common errors is in how we perceive an event.