“That’s just your perception”

One dictionary definition of perception is:

The way in which something is regarded, understood, or interpreted.

And reality:

The state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them.

There’s a sense, often, that perception and reality are two different things.

They’re not.

Your perception is your reality.

If there are more than 7 billion of us on the planet, and each of us has our own unique and individual perception, that means there are more than 7 billion realities.

And if there are realities for all of us, if our perception — the way we see or interpret something — is our reality, and if we acknowledge fully that our own individual perception is mouldable, malleable, changeable, then it follows, surely, that our reality can also be moulded,

That we can change our reality just by changing the way we look at it.

There’s a quote widely attributed to Henry Ford.

If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.

Perception can be changed. And that means reality can be changed.

It takes a bit of work, a bit of persistence, a bit of lasso-ing those thoughts and reining them in, but it’s possible.


[As I write this, on Friday, March 15th, my reality for the past 10 days has been one of sluggishness, inertia, brain fog, self-loathing, victimhood and hopelessness. These 10 days have been the lowest point of a three-month episode of depression, which started to take hold in or around November / December 2018. It’s about the 20th major depressive episode in my lifetime, but by far the worst I’ve experienced since I started writing, podcasting and speaking about depression and its  effects. I’ve been paying attention to what’s going on. In the past, I numbed it however I could: with films, sleep or books (all of which are okay ways to numb the pain of depression, once you can find a way to function for a while each day outside of that bubble); or with alcohol or pornography (which, in a similar way perhaps to drugs or irresponsible sex, are effective short-term balms but in the end make things much worse). Finding a way to accept these two things, (1) that my perception is real, and (2) that I can change my perception, feels vitally important right now.]