The World According to You
"We do not see the world as it is, we see it as we are.” ~ Anais Nin
I want to share a secret with you: You create your own world.
I think that bears repeating: YOU create your own world! In fact, you’ve already created it (the one you live in now). Moreover, because it is your own creation you have the power to recreate it any way you like, whenever you like. What a really exciting idea!
To illustrate this on a very small scale, one of my husband’s coworkers sent him the below picture yesterday. Take a look. What is this a picture of? Try asking 5 people what this is.
Here is what happened in or house when the picture arrived on his phone.
My husband immediately said, “What the heck? Why would he send me a picture of a light pole? Too funny!”
I immediately said, “Wow. We must be getting ready to have a big storm. I wonder if we are in for a tornado.”
Which one of us is correct? Is it a picture of a light pole or an oncoming storm? If you believe it is a storm and not a light pole, how does that change your response? Do you go turn on the news to see if you need to take cover?
The irrefutable truth here is that my husband received this picture on his phone; the rest of it is all how we choose to interpret it. That choice creates our world. In my husband’s world, he was having a laugh at a joke his coworker sent him. In mine, I was bracing for a storm
So what determines why one person sees a light pole and the other sees a storm coming? Here is how the process works:
Stuff happens in our day.
We take that in and our brain decides which pieces of that are important and which can be ignored – this is based on what has been useful and important to us in the past.
Of the stuff deemed important, the brain then looks back at your past experiences again, tries to find something similar, and based on that attaches meaning to this new “something”.
The interesting part? It is entirely unique to each of us which pieces get deemed as important or unimportant, and how the important pieces are interpreted! We have a picture of what is “real” or “true” already formed in each of us, and every new thing we take in is evaluated for its “fit” in that existing picture.
The really cool thing about that is that we have absolute control over this.
We can take this understanding of how perception works to begin to realize that our assessment of why someone does something or behaves in a certain way is not necessarily truth. Rather, it is our interpretation of others' actions based on our own view of the world formed throughout our life's experiences.
We can choose to believe our interpretation is correct, or we can look for possible alternative perceptions. When we open ourselves up to the possibility of different perceptions we are able to be more curious than conclusive in our relations with others.
So, the secret really is this:
Change your perception; change your world!
As a bonus, understanding that everything is only our “perceived truth” based on how we filter and interpret it makes it a lot easier to practice detached involvement in difficult situations. Read more about detached involvement inan earlier post.
Trish Cody is a speaker and coach whose work is focused on raising awareness of how our default tendencies and beliefs predict our capacity for success, and how those defaults can be adjusted to create more positive results. As a Certified Professional Coach and Energy Leadership Master Practitioner, Trish works with clients to uncover their core values and beliefs, and learn a process of leading energy to attract positivity and success naturally.
All rights reserved; Trish Cody Coaching LLC; 2015