Perception is a very small word but, its meaning is very deep. Your perception decides how you make decisions, how you view your relationship, and tackle problems in day-to-day life. Perception plays a major role in our life. It is something that influences us unconsciously. Perception works as a base for our beliefs, morals, ethics, and our experiences.
Now, we know perception influences us. But, what is perception?
Perception is how you see your environment and understand and make meaning out of your surrounding. Perception involves using all your senses- eyes, smell, taste, touch, and auditory. The term "Perception" is fancy but, very easy to understand.
Perception is a term that is frequently used in psychology. Thousand of researches have been conducted on how perception influences our thinking process, problem-solving, reasoning, and decision-making process. Various researchers reported different results. But, they all agree with one point. The point is perception determines our outlook in life. There is a certain process that takes place when we percept our environment. The process involves a stimulus and a response. There are different types of stimulus and responses.
Let's understand what is stimulus and response with the help of an example.
Let's suppose, there is an 'A' person who has come to give an interview or a job. The person 'A' is in dire need of a job. Person A has to pass the interview, there is no option of failing the interview as there is a family the person A has to look after and they are dependent on person A for all their needs. This pressure creates stress and anxiety in person A which influences his/her perception of the environment. The environment involves a cabin, an interviewer, and Person A. Person A views the situation. Person A finds the interviewer is annoyed, strict, irritated, and does not seem impressed and also blocking his energy. Person A gets more nervous, does not know what to do. Person A starts to babble anything and keeps fidgeting with the chair. Because of this response, Person A does not get the job and becomes sad.
Now, let's dissect the above example to understand the process of perception.
Perception involves using all your five senses to dissect the above example to understand the process of perception.
Perception involves using your senses to understand, interpret and make meaning out of the situation which later becomes a memory in the form of experience in our brain and this memory gets activated whenever a similar situation is faced by person A. Person A used the eyes sense when describing the interviewer annoyed as the interviewer looked annoyed from taking the interviews since morning. Second, auditory sense when Person A described that interviewer did not look impressed because the interviewer said "Your experience is very less." Lastly, again the eye sense when Person A described that interviewer look irritated. The interviewer was our stimulus in this situation and the response of person A of 'Babbling and fidgeting with the chair' is the response in the process.
Earlier, researchers used to think that only the stimulus in the environment and response to it is the only process. Later, it was reported that emotions also is an integral part of it. Emotions and our thinking together create a response to the stimulus. In the above situation, Person A was already feeling anxious, stressed, and had family pressure. In addition to that, not having a good reaction from the interviewer created more pressure and led to emotions like nervousness and jitter which came out in the form of babbling and fidgeting with the chair.
This situation was stored in the brain in the form of memory and later created a problem for Person A. Person A kept having bad interviews because every time person A went to give interviews the same memory keep coming up I the brain and created the same emotions which heshe felt during the first interview.
Hence, it is very important to break this vicious cycle, and to break this cycle we need to change the perception of person A.
Changing perception involves changing the thinking process, emotions which the person felt, and making the person see the situation from a different perspective. So, for person A- first, we need to boost confidence and create awareness of how the emotions felt and the situation perceived is not the same. The circumstances, the interviewer has changed and person A has become more experienced and has worked hard to be where heshe has reached.
Similarly, we as individuals come across different situations and respond to different situations in a different ways. Some responses are healthy responses and some are unhealthy. Every individual is unique and the way we humans percept the situation is different from one person to another. Even twins have different worldviews. So, never compare yourself with others and blame yourself for a mistake. We just need to identify our unhealthy perception and slightly change it so, it benefits us in long term.
In short, perception happens consciously and unconsciously. We just need to be aware of it when it becomes unhealthy. Change the perception in a good way and it will make your life wonderful and more beautiful.
Remember that, everything can be changed as long as you have the belief that you can do it!
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