Angel MarieThere is a lot of talk about perceptions versus reality. In our everyday lives we experience moment to moment perceptions that create our personal reality, yet how much impact can they really have? Studies have shown that those who perceive the world, themselves, and their relationships in a positive light, create a positive life. However, there is more to it than just thinking positively. When we actively use perception to impact our lives, that is when the real magic happens. Shifting perceptions to take control of our thoughts and feelings can actually change our reality.

Perception and Self-Esteem

Self-esteem and confidence play a major role in quality of life. Having a positive perception of yourself can open doors, while a negative perception of self can cause one to shy away from opportunities. Much of our negative perceptions of self stem from comparisons. We compare our level of intelligence, beauty, or popularity based on judgments from or about others.

In her book,  Angel Marie shares the story of a friend who built a negative perception of himself compared to those around him. Just because he was not invited to the biggest parties he began to isolate himself. When we shift our perception from comparison to gratitude we can see the joy in the friends and adventures we do have. We have all felt the sting of being left out, yet when we really look at the bigger picture, is it better to have all the friends in the world, or true friends who are there for us always? Being there and thanking the friends you do have also creates trust, honor, and love in relationships.

Perception and Growth

Comparisons can work both ways. While comparing ourselves to others can cause us to feel short of the mark, those made by others upon us can be even more detrimental. We all have talents, and we also all have room for growth. When those things we could use work on are pointed out by others it can cause our perception to shift.

Consider a child with a learning disability who is told they will never amount to anything. After years of hearing this from teachers, family, or classmates, it is unlikely this child will turn that perception into a reality. We can hurt or help others with our perceptions. The next time you or someone you know voices a negative perception about a person or situation, question it. Instead of simply agreeing that something is “no fun”, or someone is “just stupid”, shift your perception and find the room for growth.

Shift Perception For a Moment

Take a moment to shift your perception about your work or school day. Before you go to bed tonight, write down all of the tasks you have to take on tomorrow. Instead of seeing this as a list of chores, consider the blessing it is to have a purpose.

Pick one person you are certain to meet the next day and make it a point to thank them for being there for you. Try this for a month and notice the shift in your reality.

 In her latest book, Shine On!, Angel Marie shares the secrets to greater self esteem and personal power using interactive tips and personal stories.