Perception: or, Prefiero Decir Dejar

Eye

Perception dictates reality. To change reality, we must first change our perception of our reality. Before jumping off into the deep end of actions and ideas, however, we must understand how our perception works.

What is perception? Quickly put, it is the input and output of our environment – taking in and becoming aware of our environment through the five senses (hearing, seeing, smelling, touching, and tasting); compiling that information, and then responding to that environment. It is more than our ears, eyes, noses, skin, and mouths; perception is also our thoughts, feelings, emotions, and the small nuances that can nudge our brain this way or that on a subject. [1], [2]

Enter in the word dejar, which has been on my mind a lot lately. It is a Spanish word, and doesn’t have one set meaning: it can mean to leave, to set down, to let or allow, to let someone or something be, or to stop or let up. [3] Recently, I’ve moved jobs and companies, and heard the English equivalent so often it brought a bad taste to it: quitting. I don’t think of myself as a quitter; I know my story is just unfolding a chapter at a time, and it was time for the previous chapter to end. My eyes are straight ahead, adelante. I’m excited about work again! Yet to everyone at my old company, I quit when I left. I stopped contributing to their mission statement – and the two sides of the coin simply depend on perception of the situation.

Language is full of nuances. As a mode of communication, what we think, what we say, and what we hear all affect us – yet it all depends on perception.

I’ve written before about perspective, and how trying a different perspective can help solve conflicts or challenges, provide new meaning to an old problem, or even negotiating – but perception is deeper. It’s not something you can try like a new pair of jeans; it’s the act of realizing there are holes in your jeans to the point where it’s not socially acceptable to keep them, and realizing you should replace them, based on the social norms and the need to keep your bottom half covered. Thoughts like “I’m cold” or “That’s a different type of breeze” mix with “Everyone will stare at me funny” or “I’ll get made fun of” to form that input / output relationship.

Our perception will always be there, looking out for us, and helping us with our decisions. Once we acknowledge it’s there, we can join forces and work to change how we might want to change our realities through the power of language, thought, and pure brainpower.

[1]: Study.com, What Is Perception in Psychology

[2]: Psychology Today, Perception and Perceptual Illusions 

[3]: WordReference.com, online language dictionaries