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Perception is Projection

Perception is Projection

Do you ever assume that you know what another person is thinking?
Do you ever read an email or a text and think it means one thing and you react. Then when you talk to the person it means something so different?

Do you ever look at or hear something or someone and automatically judge?

When you assume that you know what’s in another person’s head or what is going on with an event you’re making a big mistake. Let me explain why.
Each person has their own values and beliefs about the world and judge accordingly..  These have been developed over their lifetime through their experiences and what they have been taught. A person sees the world each day through what they see, hear, feel, smell or taste and create an internal representation of what they THINK is going on.  That is their reality or perception.

Each moment over 2 million bits of information comes at us based on what we see, hear, smell, feel, taste. We have an internal filter system and create an internal representation in our mind. The information is filtered down and ends up being approximately 134 bits of information.  This internal representation, greatly impacts our emotional state which in turn is expressed through our body language. It then makes us behave a certain way.  So our behavior is determined on how we filter the information.

Consider your sense of “reality” is determined every single second by what you choose to process out of that huge number of bits of information. And this is why your 134 bits may be different than that of your partner, your spouse, your parents, your children, your co-workers, etc. Your own filter system comes from your own perspective.
 How we chose the 134 bits of information that forms this internal representation happens in a fraction of a second.  There is a process that makes us react and it’s what we pay attention to.  What we focus on determines how we filter and what we allow through and that makes up the 134 bits. Focusing on the RIGHT intention is key.
You can choose what to notice, what to see, hear, feel, etc. When you control that, you control your outcome. Many people may challenge me on this as I’m saying you have a choice. You can choose to see the good and focus on the solutions or you can focus on the bad and get stuck on a problem. You control what is in your head.
Happiness is something you make happen.Outside events occur in our life and how we interpret them impacts how our lives unfold. When we control our internal representation we are able to determine the quality of our life.

There is a theme in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) called “Perception is Projection”. In very basic terms what Perception is Projection means is that everything outside of you is simply a reflection of you. What you are focusing on is what you are creating.

The same concept applies to feelings, emotions and it applies to everything around you. Think about that old job that you had where you had that horrible boss that was making things impossible for you… Most likely your next job had a similar boss whose behaviour towards you was very similar to the horrible boss. . It is not the boss or the job; guess what? It is YOU! You may be saying “How can it be me when it’s them?”  We all have positive and negative thoughts. When you focus on the positive, what you perceive is good and the results you get are better with your job, health, relationship, etc.  Interestingly, when you are having negative events or focusing on things from a negative perspective things can go horrible for you. It’s like starting off your day when you stub your toe and say “ So this is how the day is going to be?” well it can or you can change your viewpoint and say “It’s going to be a great day”. 

You may be wondering, how do I stop projecting? Well, I’ve got some news for you: you will never stop projecting the world outside of you. You now may be thinking, so what’s the point? You need to start projecting what you want in all areas of your life.

The next time, you find yourself criticizing someone or something, or judging someone or a situation remember to look inside first and find out what is it inside of you that is causing you to choose to focus on this aspect of the situation.  What else is possible?

By: Corey McCusker, Mental Performance Coach

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