Is Perception Always Reality?

Here’s a blast from the past prompted by a post on recruitingblogs.com by Rayanne Thorne called Perception is Reality. It immediately triggered recall of this post I wrote a couple of years ago on the Myspace page I started in 2006 that was my first foray into social recruiting. It’s as relevant today as it was then.
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Is Perception Always Reality?

I once had a boss who said “Perception is Reality” with such frequency one would think it to be her mantra for meditation. She long ago moved on to her “next life” (another term that grates on me), but apparently she repeated the phrase so often it still permeated the halls for years after she left.

Perception is Reality… It is pop culture’s catch all phrase for “I believe it so it has to be,” and license for one to create his or her own pathological situation and avoid investigation into empirical realities. It can seriously taint the mind. It can ruin personal and professional relationships. Unhealthy perception is a warm cozy partner to schizophrenia.

Perception: The process of organizing, interpreting, and selectively extracting sensory information.

Your error is to seek to reduce the world to your size, whereas the greater your understanding of things, the better your understanding of yourself. ~ Monet

Perception is often fraught with transference of feelings about someone or something from one’s past and melded with current events to create a misconception. Perception can be fantasy. The reality of a situation can have nothing to do with what one is experiencing unconsciously. The interpretation of events is reliant on one’s analytic frame.

Our memory is stretched and warped like a rubber band to conform to our perception of reality. This affects witnesses, allows for magicians to make a living, causes UFOs and white lights at the end of tunnels (unless you believe they exist!). There is a certain arrogance to assume that one’s own perceptions are similar to all perceptions, and that a singular perception has any bearing on something as infinitely complex as reality.

Transference is the experiencing of feelings, drives, attitudes, fantasies, and defenses toward a person in the present which do not befit that person, but are repetition of reactions originating in regard to significant persons of early childhood, unconsciously displaced onto figures in the present. ~ Greenson, 1971/1990

The adult mind selects and rejects data, whether consciously or habitually, according to the mind-set and/or the environmental setting. It’s easy to understand Perceptual Relativism and Wertheimer’s Gestalt psychology with the analogy of “changing the radio station until you hear a song you like”.

In regard to personal and professional relationships, it’s important to critically challenge one’s own perceptions and perhaps do a little fact checking before allowing them to become reality. You just might find your perceptions were fantasy after all.

This is a repost from October 28, 2007 from the Myspace page I started in 2006. I started to experiment with it as a recruitment tool when I was tasked with reducing cost per hire. It resulted in a 40% reduction in the first year.  Unfortunately, when I left the company and turned the password over it was never kept up.

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