Perception is reality

Perception is reality. I hear this a lot and I’ve started to understand just how true it is. Sure what people think about you matters, but this is so much more than that.

For example, sometimes help can we unwanted. If the helper thinks what they are dojng is good, but the helpee doesnt, then thats a problem. like what if your baby sibling tried to help you on an art project. To them, scribbles look like museum worthy art but to you, it looks like someone spilled food all over your watercolor. Sometimes, intention and perception vary greatly.

Another more known example can be found in the sixth Harry Potter story, when Harry acts like he slipped lucky potion into Ron’s pumpkin juice. Ron believes it and as a result, performs to perfection. Perception becomes reality.

But even beyond interactions with other people, perception is a powerful thing. A couple summers ago, at a museum, I saw this exhibit that asked you to place your hand in a box and scratch the cast or. Apparently, this technique is used often in medicine to almost trick the patient into feeling the “relief.”

Another medical term relies on the power of perception. The whole idea of a placebo is to prescribe an inert pill or perform a “procedure” that really does nothing and not tell the patient. As a result, the patient, believing themselves to be cured often experience an improvement in psychological response to the ailment or even a physical betterment.

Mere perception has the power to save lives. Perception is often reality. And that’s a powerful thing.


One thought on “Perception is reality

  1. Tara,
    Great post. Thank you for these thoughts… made me think about the mind-body connection. We know that the mind can influence the body. Your example of the placebo effect above is a perfect illustration of the mind-body connection. Your post made me think also about the work of Carol Dweck. As you know, she found that the way in which young students perceived “intelligence” had a profound impact on their perseverance, performance, and even on their subsequent truth telling about their performance. I think that, if perception is reality, then we need to spend more time helping our young people develop not only that awareness, but also the ability to have empathy/ awarness of the perceptions of others. So often, when we perceive something differently than those around us, we are tempted to assume they (or we) are “wrong.” Yet, if perception is reality, then maybe what we need to focus on more is understanding the perspective of those around us.

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