How To Avoid The Snares Of Perception

About a week ago, Janet Callaway, a friend blogger who I follow wrote a post about 13 reasons to see clearly.  I left a comment about her post saying that her topic reminded me about an article that I had written a while back about perception versus reality.  If you were asked the question, what is the most important thing to you, perception or reality?  What would your answer be?

Without even a single hesitation, most people would say that reality is more important to them, but is this really so?  Let’s say that you are walking in the street and you are passing by a homeless person, very dirty looking and begging for money.  What would you be thinking? You might try to pass by that person trying not to look at him, or might feel sorry for him.

However, this scene happened to be a prank to see your reaction.  In reality, this guy is a wealthy person disguised as a homeless individual.  However, what was more important when you didn’t know that, your perception or reality?

You see, the reason why people are so confused between the two is that most of the time our perception IS our REALITY.  That’s why perception has such an impact on us. Whether we like it or not, and whether we want to admit it or not.

We are all humans and this means that we are all going to be led to believe what we perceive a lot of times, even if it’s not the reality.  However, we can develop more maturity and learn how to see the reality beyond what we see and hear.  Doing this helps us to grow mentally and spiritually, and if we grow mentally and spiritually our life as a whole and our very being will grow as well.

You are Influenced by Your Perception

We are all influenced by our perception, but what is more is that our perception influences us to act or react a certain way.  Because of our perception we make decisions and take actions that could be detrimental to us in the end if what we perceive is not real.  What do I mean by that? Let me tell you a true life story that happened to me a long time ago when I was still living in Paris.

One day, on a Sunday afternoon, a friend of mine paid me a very unusual visit (she never visited me).  For one time in her life, she had taken enough space between her and her boyfriend to come visit me on her own.  She talked to me for hours, on my sofa that afternoon, to finally telling me that she and her boyfriend were separating,  and that she need a place to stay.

My perception of her, back then, was that she was a good sweet blonde, and I allowed her to stay in my Paris studio for three months free of rent.

My mother, on the other hand, who always had an extremely highly developed intuition, came to visit one day and HER perception of my friend was actually completely different than mine.  Meaning she didn’t like her.  She just had an unshakable “non-positive” feeling about her.

My mother turned out to be so right.  That “fake” friend of mine turned out to be a pure liar who had used me and lied to me the whole time.  My perception of her was completely wrong.  The problem is that my perception was my reality about her back then.

What did I do Wrong?

So, why didn’t I see that earlier what my mother saw in one day?  Why was I so blind to the reality of her true personality and unusual visit to start with?  Well, for one thing, I was only 22 years old and my experience with life was, therefore, limited.  But also, I was a bit lonely, living 350 miles away from my family, alone in my Parisian studio.  I was what I call “subconsciously blinded” and I couldn’t see the real reason why someone who never visited would all of sudden do so the very day she had a big favor to ask.  Consciously, I knew better, but subconsciously what I perceived became stronger than the reality.

Our subconscious mind is always trying to protect us from getting “hurt” emotionally.  The problem is that it’s going to happen whether or not it’s for our best ultimate good.  The subconscious mind as you probably know by now doesn’t make judgment and doesn’t reason in any way.  It just act based on its programming.  My subconscious emotional pain, back then,  was that I was alone, and my subconscious mind covered for it.  I became completely blind to the obvious truth (reality) that this person was just looking for an escape goat, namely me. She wasn’t the friend that I perceived her to be.

Her four hour sweet talk was all fake and premeditated, but because I reacted based on my subconscious pain instead of seeing the REAL dangers of getting hurt, I ended up getting more hurt later. This was coupled with the fact that I always have had an overactive benevolent personality.

So, What Do we Learn from this?

When you are faced with a situation, take time to STOP for a moment and analyze carefully what you are observing.  What you are observing with your bare eyes and ears is what you are perceiving, but it’s not necessarily the reality.  Then, remember that what you perceive could be totally misleading.  Once you have taken a conscious note of that fact you can consciously decide to look beyond what you are perceiving and find out if your perception is the reality or not.

Remember that the instinct reflex of your subconscious mind is to protect you NOW, but it’s just a subconscious reflex, it’s not a “calculated” one. This means that further consequences of such “protection” could turn out to be not so good, just like it was the case in my own story.  This is why it’s very important to mold your subconscious mind in such a way that it will serve you better and help you improve your life as a whole.


What are your thoughts? Have you been misled by your own perception before? Tell us down below.


18 thoughts on “How To Avoid The Snares Of Perception”

  1. I am so sorry about that experience with your friend. Some people do take us for granted. I always have poor perceptions. I feel something and I end up having something else, if you know what I mean. Maybe it was the way I was raise up, to be always think good about other people. And that has bought me a lot of deception for sure.

    Sometimes it can be the other way round too. I feel a person might not be right and I just go with that flow unless I realize that how good the person actually is. It is a matter of attitude also I feel. We just need to give people time I guess. We need to give them a chance to show the true them and see how it goes. People change over time and that might be a little tricky for many of us! We need to give our judgments some time and proof to strengthen them.

    1. Hi Hajra,

      Yes, I know what you mean. I have had a poor perception for years, but it has improved in the past 5 years I would say. Lot to do with the fact that I meditate, do EFT and self hypnosis. All of that brought my perception up. Way up!

      That friend story, today, would never happen, but I’m talking a long time ago and it sure did. Yes, I totally know what you mean by being deceived by your own judgment. It’s not always, easy. People hide a lot of things when you don’t know them. Overtime, however, it’s always revealed.

  2. Hi Sylviane,

    I think most of us use our perceptions as our reality base. The first step is realizing that they aren’t. The second step is catching yourself when doing it. And the third step is working on changing this bad habit….and replacing it with a positive one.

    I just read a great story on ‘Chicken Soup For The Soul’. The writer was on the train.
    A man sitting near him was letting his 3 children run up and down the aisles making lots of noise without doing a thing about it. The writer said to him ‘Would you mind controlling your children?’ The man answered. ‘Yes, I should. I’m sorry. We just left the hospital. My wife died an hour ago. I think the children are acting out because of it.’

    Talk about a perception being changed in a split second?Thanks for the reminder that we shouldn’t rely on our perceptions to as our reality baseline. 🙂 Fran

    1. Hi Fran,

      First off I want to thank you to visit and support my blog. Very much appreciate that:)

      I love that train story. I was told some perception stories similar to this one a long time ago by a wise man who was teaching about not taking things personally and not to judge swiftly. This story totally is demonstrating this. It shows that unless we know the whole story, unfortunately, our perception is going to be wrong.

    2. What a wonderful article. Perception or reality. I agree with someone that wrote that many people think that their perception is a reality. Wow… Perception is how we perceive(how we process our thoughts, will determine our perception. I, too am learning what true reality is. If I can learn what it is, then I can know who I AM

      Born To Inspire

      1. Hi Gladys,

        Thanks you for passing by. I am glad you liked the post. Hope you will come back again 🙂

        Have a great day!

  3. Interesting post Sylviane!

    I totally agree with you about perception and reality and feel sorry for all that you had to undergo because of your ‘fake’ friend. I guess you were way too young then, and it was only your mothers experienced eyes that could really see things, what they call intuition, which she must have had the moment she saw her.

    It has so often happened with me as well, though during my younger days, when I was in a similar situation and taken for granted by a friend, who was using my course books on some pretext for over 2 months. She never really cared to return it in time, and I had to purchase another one from the market as she said she had lost it. My mom had advised me not to lend it to her due to the nearing exams, but as she had requested that her relative was needing her attention and she wanted a break from school, and wasn’t able to cover the course, so she wanted mine. However, we got to know later that she was lying, and was just lazy to not make the notes herself.

    Anyways, that was a lesson learnt, and now my intuition is so strong and sharp about people and things that I can nearly make out things the moment I see them coming! Guess one learns from experience 🙂

    Thanks for sharing 🙂
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    1. Hi Harleena,

      Gosh, I don’t even know how to call those people, such as the one you mention in your story. I’ve been taken advantage of so many times in the past that not even funny. But like you, I smell trouble in people just as well as a bad odor from a rotten fruit,now 🙂

      I really had to learn how to say, NO. Which was a very hard word to say for me in the past. But like you I learned over the years.

      Thank you so very much for coming by here, Harleena. I will come see you again soon. I love your blog 🙂

  4. Sylviane, What an impressive story! I totally agree with you that there is a difference between perception and reality. In closing, you suggested to take some time when faced with something, take some time to analyze it. So true. I am more of an intuitive person, but that still doesn’t mean that I’m always correct about things because emotion and subconscious thoughts come into play. I have learned a little trick along my journey of life and that is: When faced with a situation, I say “give me a moment” That always works for me. A moment to analyze a situation, or respond to something before making a decision.
    For the most part, the other person respects that phrase because I put the ball in MY court to make a decision. It took me a long time to realize that.
    I know how you felt in the situation with your friend, but you were young. The fact that you STILL remember it is important because it changed you. Now you have more wisdom!
    Thanks again for this great post
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    1. I Donna,

      How glad to meet someone on my blog that I have not met before. Nice to meet you 🙂

      I really like your “take a moment thing”. If we all took a moment before we say or do anything, very few mistake would ever be said or done! I really believe that!

      Yes, you bet, I remember that story of mine, it took me so time to actually stop the resentment that I had towards her when everything was finally revealed. But now I know better of course, and I have no use for resentment or any of that negativity. I do my best, anyway 🙂

  5. Wow, that does make so much sense.

    I was going to say reality as well Sylviane and upon seeing the homeless man I would have instantly thought that poor guy. I would have scenarios going in my mind as to why he’s living on the street. So knowing it could be fake just to get a reaction is yet another reality, or our perception of that is.

    I’m sorry that happened to you Sylviane with your friend taking advantage of you but what I have come to learn is that when we are emotionally connected to people we don’t have that strong sense of right and wrong as much as we do when we aren’t. That’s why my friends would always come to me to check out someone they wanted to know more about.

    Like your mother I can sense if someone is good or bad. My intuition is really dead on but I’m not emotionally attached to that person where if it’s someone you really like or want to be friends with you don’t use your brain in those instances. Or so I’ve learned.

    But I like how you pointed this out so thanks for that. You’ve just helped me change my mind on this topic and I loved Janet’s post. Heck, I love all her posts.

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    1. Hi Adrienne,

      Thank you for reading my last personal development post. I sure love writing them:

      That subject of perception of what might or might not be real always fascinated me. I sure wasn’t when I was younger, but now I am very conscious of what if… when I am faced with a situation. False perception is everywhere and it’s good to be aware of that.

      I’m so glad you like it 🙂 Thanks, Adrienne 🙂

  6. HI Sylviane
    This was a great post. Lately, I have been thinking a lot about perception and perspective. When it comes to matters of my own life, I have really realized that my reality is whatever I choose it to be in the sense that I have complete control over how to view situations in my life. We tend to label things and then respond accordingly but there is always that choice.
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    1. Hi Kelli,

      Yes, there are two kind of reality, there is the reality that is and there is the reality that we make out to be.

      I have a very talented uncle who did very little with his talents because he was put down a lot as a child by his own ignorant father. In such case the reality was that he was a smart talented person, but HIS reality was that he wasn’t.

      So, yes, YOUR reality can make or break you.

  7. Sylviane, aloha. Delighted that my post prompted you to write this excellent one.

    While that is sad about your friend, I am sure the lesson stayed with you. And, with the terrific vision that is hindsight, you can see exactly why you believed what you did.

    Actually, I would have said perception because I do know that we make our own reality. As you and I have commented, Sylviane, change your attitude, change your world. All of our worlds are as we perceive them to be.

    Two people looking at the same situation do not see it the same–as evidenced by you and your mom viewing your friend.

    Loved the way you addressed this topic. Thanks so much for including me. Until next time, aloha. Janet

    1. Hi Janet,

      Always nice to see you here. I was wondering if you were going to see that post, as I didn’t want to tell you 🙂 so you’d thought that I wanted to drag you to my blog 🙂

      It is true that two people looking at the same thing or person would not see the same qualities. Even we ourselves may not have the same perception on the same person or thing as we used to anymore. That happen in relationships all the time and in marriage it’s called divorce.

      I guess we could write tons of posts on the subject.

      Thanks for coming by and have a great day 🙂

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