Well, it has been a LONG time since I wrote a post, sorry about that, but here I am, I'm back and I'm gonna get straight to it because I am so excited to share this with you.
There has been a lot going on over the past few years with Covid-19 and I know many of us are very different people now compared to the ones we were at the beginning of 2020 (myself included). There are numerous reasons why this is and there is no need to go into those because they are all going to be so personal to each of us, but that's just it isn't it? Covid or not, we all have our own personal things going on and these are very likely to be based on our perceptions. Our perceptions are almost as unique to us as our fingerprints, they change us, they form our behaviours, our relationships, our beliefs and our truths. This is super empowering and can help us become more compassionate, understanding and empathetic as well as live happier, more fulfilling and exciting lives.
According to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, as stated in his book "Flow", our brain is bombarded with 2 million pieces of data every second. It would be impossible for us to process all of that so a subconscious filtering takes place and a human brain is capable of effectively processing about 134 bits of data a second instead. That is one heck of a filter! The way our brain distinguishes between what is a priority and what is not is based on previous filtering episodes from day dot. This creates neurological pathways that our brain relies on and trusts - this becomes our truth. This therefore means that my 134 bits of data that I'm processing are very likely to be different to yours. Our truths are completely different, but equally real so who are we to say that one's perception, or truth, is more valid than another?
To emphasize what I mean, try the awareness test below. It was a video that went viral years ago, and for good reason too, chances are you've seen it before. Once you have done it, you will never see it the same as you did the first time. Our perception totally changes. Go on, click below and try it.
Did it surprise you?
What we see is totally dependent on where our thoughts, concentration and beliefs lie which is fair enough, but we have to understand that not everyone's truth, or what they see, or their perceptions are going to be the same. Isn't this so empowering? This knowledge has the potential to help us avoid numerous arguments and fall outs, we are just viewing the same scene with different lenses, both of which are equally valid. It also allows us to be open to listening to another perspective, because isn't it pretty fascinating to discover what someone elses truth is?
It's a whole sensory exploration, it's not just visual data our brain filters, it is all our senses - auditory, kinesthetic, taste and smells too, and we are unknowingly experiencing a tiny proportion of what is potentially available. I find this utterly and exhilaratingly exciting.
So let's put this into, erm, perspective? then...
Imagine that every morning when you wake up and head into the bathroom, you look in the mirror and think "Ergh, look at the bags under those eyes'', "Yuk, more grey hairs", "You're looking so old", "Why have I got so many chins?", "My eyebrows are wonky", "Eww you're so fat", "Gross, you're so skinny", "Your ears are so big", "Why have I got hairs there?".....you get the idea... Every time we give acknowledgement to these thoughts, our brain focuses on them, makes a note that those things are a priority and therefore will make sure that becomes your perception of yourself every time you look at your reflection. You are missing out on millions of other bits of data and choosing to create a negative perception of yourself. This will continue on through your day. You have unconsciously created this perception of yourself so your clever brain will pick up on and prioritise things to reinforce this "truth".
So we have the capacity to change this then. We just have to begin by re-focussing on some of those other millions of bits of data that are available to us. It may take time, afterall you've had a lifetime to work on those pathways and perceptions that your brain has carved so far, but it's gotta be worth a try, right? Why not, next time you look at yourself in the mirror, looks straight into your eyes, nowhere else, just straight into your eyes, smile and state an affirmation that positively picks up on a quality you like about yourself or that you would like to have - "I am a good listener", "I am calm and stress free", "I am a conscientious member of my team"...etc Let's see how your perceptions change after giving that a go for a few days on the trot. Do let me know!
Having this knowledge and understanding that what we are experiencing is just a fraction of what is potentially actually going on is like having a super power. The more we delve into it and consciously push ourselves into thinking differently and actively open our senses up further, the brighter our worlds are going to become.