We are told that our thoughts create our reality…now I don’t know about you, but that’s a scary concept when you think about all the thoughts you have in a day, and how many of them aren’t of the most pleasant, uplifting type possible. So it’s become something that I’ve kind of shoved aside, choosing not to think about the ramifications of that kind of power.
Then I came across The Serenity Principle, which is about Neo-Cognitive Psychology and how it’s our perceptions and beliefs that create our reality. One sentence really stood out, “For a situation or event to be stressful we must perceive it to be stressful.” (bold is mine) Now, I knew this on one level, but for some reason that night really it really sunk in and was a major ‘light-bulb’ moment for me.
For instance, if you get a job on Wall Street and your perception is that it’s going to be wild, amazing, and energizing, then that’s how it will be for you. And Joe, who buys into the belief that it’s the most stressful job there is, well, guess who is sick all the time, worn down, frazzled, and miserable? Yep, Joe. Because his perception is different from yours. Two people, two completely different realities!
My new/old job as a store clerk: many look at such a thing as boring and tedious; my perception of it is fun, chatting with regular customers, meeting new ones, and checking out eclectic merchandise while helping others along their spiritual path. I LOVE my job! My perception of it has me anticipating going in every day!
It applies to little things, too. Is your perception that dinner with the family is always a disaster? Guess what? It will be. That you can’t cook and your meals always turn out awful? Yep, they bite. Big time. That you look horrible in your outfit? You’re going to feel like a walking sore thumb all day, no matter how many compliments you may get.
Changing your thoughts sounds like an almost impossible task, as thoughts just appear in our heads. But changing our perceptions, ah…THAT we can do! I had a situation yesterday that I always perceive to be one that is going to end badly, and I made a conscious effort to change that belief before I entered the scene. I focused on keeping things light, not taking the bait or taking any negativity to heart, and looking at the situation with love, rather than dread. I switched my perception of the entire evening, and surprise, surprise, it worked! I was able to let things just bounce off me, laugh at the absurdity of it all and how I’d always believed it had to be an awful time, and I went to bed later quite happy and at peace.
Now to change the perception that I’m a lousy cook. Burnt brownies, anyone? 😉
©Pip Miller – February 2014