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What’s the difference between perception and perspective?

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While it’s tempting to think of perception and perspective as the same thing, they’re actually not!

But is it important to know the difference between perception and perspective?

Yes, it can actually help you improve your life!

But let’s take a closer look at all of this:

What is perception?

Perception is the cumulation of the filters we place on everything in the world.

It’s how we view our surroundings and all of the people in them.

But that’s not all, perception is also everything you perceive from your five senses: touch, smell, taste, sight, and hearing.

Perception is based on your personal experiences, your emotional state, and the influences of others.

It’s also affected by your expectations and how you interpret what you perceive.

Perception is not about one single thing, it’s a number of different inputs that give us insight into an idea.

Simply put, perception is what you interpret.

For example, when you wake up on a Monday morning and your alarm goes off at 6am, your perception might be that this is a terrible day.

However, for someone else, it might be a good day because they can sleep in.

Or, you know, the famous story of the glass: is it half-full or half-empty?

That is a hallmark example of perception!

What is perspective?

So we just learned that perception is the way in which we think or feel about something. It’s how you subjectively experience and interpret your environment.

Perspective, on the other hand, is a broader view of an object or situation as seen from a particular angle.

Perspective can encompass many different things and is not just limited to what you see in front of us.

I’m sure you’ve heard the term “keep things in perspective” – it means looking at the bigger picture, not just what is perceivable at the moment.

Perspective means stepping back and looking at how something stands in relation to everything else.

It can also be looking at an event or situation from various perspectives such as political, social, economic, cultural, psychological, and so on.

For example, if you were to take into account someone’s socioeconomic status when making a decision, that would be considered taking their perspective into account.

But, let’s not get confused here. To keep it simple: perspective is your point of view.

You can imagine perspective to be the lens through which you see the world.

Let’s repeat it again: What is the difference?

This might sound a little confusing at first, but you’ll get the hang of it soon.

In order to define the difference between perception and perspective, let’s start with perception.

Perception is what we make of something based on our experiences, senses, and observations.

It’s how we take in information about the world around us and process those details into an understanding of reality.

Perspective, on the other hand, is how we see or view something from a particular point of view or standpoint.

Perspective is also known as one’s outlook or opinion about something or someone.

There are two major differences between perception and perspective:

  • “Perception” relies heavily on outside input in order to form an opinion whereas “perspective” relies heavily on internal input like thoughts and feelings
  • Perception can be easily changed whereas perspective cannot be changed without great difficulty (depending on the situation).

Why does knowing the difference matter?

Knowing the difference between these two things will allow you to better understand your environment and your own thoughts about it in order to have a more full and accurate understanding of reality (your life).

But that’s not all, it can also give you the necessary motivation to keep going.

Imagine yourself in an extremely difficult situation. Your perception will be that you need to give up, it’s too hard.

However, when you realize that you can put things into perspective, you will realize that this situation is not so bad.

You’ll gain the necessary motivation to keep going and make it through the tough times.

So, it’s time to put things into perspective!

However, knowing the difference will also help you change your own mindset and outlook on life!

It will help you challenge old patterns and beliefs that might no longer be serving you.

When it comes to your personal journey, which toxic habits have you unknowingly picked up?

Is it the need to be positive all the time? Is it a sense of superiority over those who lack spiritual awareness?

Even well-meaning gurus and experts can get it wrong.

The result is that you end up achieving the opposite of what you’re searching for. You do more to harm yourself than to heal.

You may even hurt those around you.

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In this eye-opening video, the shaman Rudá Iandé explains how so many of us fall into the toxic spirituality trap. He himself went through a similar experience at the start of his journey.

As he mentions in the video, spirituality should be about empowering yourself. Not suppressing emotions, not judging others, but forming a pure connection with who you are at your core.

If this is what you’d like to achieve, click here to watch the free video.

Even if you’re well into your spiritual journey, it’s never too late to unlearn the myths you’ve bought for truth!

But now to understand this in the context of perception and perspective:

What comes first, perception or perspective?

Perception is what we make of the world based on our experience.

And perspective is how we look at the world after reflecting on our perception.

So, the perception of your reality controls your perspective.

A person’s perceptions are their own and may or may not be accurate, but that doesn’t matter because it influences their perspective.

A person’s perspective shows them how to view the world more accurately and so gives them a better understanding of what is happening around them.

This means they can make decisions based on this information that will help to improve their lives, rather than decisions made from inaccurate perception.

How can you change someone’s perspective?

Your perception of something is what you believe about it.

Your perspective is how you view reality.

What people see as “real” may not be real at all in a different context.

It might sound complicated, but it’s easy to put into practice!

The important thing to note is that we just came to the conclusion that perceptions control your perspective.

So, if you want to change someone’s perspective, it is done the easiest by first understanding why their perception led them to their perspective in the first place!

Now, we’ll get into specific examples because that is the best way to illustrate this process!

Let’s say someone has a certain perspective on political views, for example.

If you want to change their perspective, you need to understand why they see the world this way.

Most probably, there were events in their life that made them perceive that this perspective was the right one.

You can’t tell them “Your perspective is wrong”, because according to their own experiences and perceptions, that is the conclusion they have arrived at, so how can that be wrong?

Now, stick with me here because this will sound complicated: the only way to change their perspective is by understanding the perception that led them to that perspective.

Once you understand that, you can talk to them about their perceptions and put them into perspective (no pun intended).

You see, in order for someone to change their perspective, you need to get to the bottom of why they feel this way in the first place.

Once you get to that bottom, you can start to form a new perception, and hopefully a new perspective.

That’s all there is to it!

How can you use this to your own advantage?

This knowledge can be powerful and you can use it for yourself!

When you feel yourself getting triggered or upset about something, question your perspective on the issue.

Through what lens are you seeing this situation?

Asking yourself questions like this is a prime way of improving and becoming a better person.

Once you understand your perspective, dive a little deeper and inquire which perceptions in the past have led you to this perspective.

Now, after you have asked these questions, it’s time to see if you can perceive things differently.

When you do that, you can use your new perceptions in order to form a new perspective on the issue!

For example, maybe you have the perception that successful people don’t make mistakes.

Now, if you make a mistake, you might feel like a failure, because of your perception.

What you can do now is change your perception, for example to “successful people learn from their mistakes”.

All of a sudden, you can change your perspective and see yourself and your life in a different light!

Self-perception has a lot to do with self-awareness.

The more aware you are of yourself, the more you can challenge your own perspectives and perceptions.

You see, so many people go through life, never questioning their perspectives when that is truly how you can fundamentally change your life!

Is the glass half full?

How is it for you, what is your perception?

Maybe this article has helped you a little bit and motivates you to look at your life in a different way.

Change your perceptions and your perspective will inevitably change, as well!

Written by Anna Scheucher

Freelance writer specializing in holistic health, wellness, and psychology. Check out my blog to find out more https://www.fullyholistic.com/!

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