Perception is reality is something some people like to follow up with after saying something somewhat negative. I think they are wrong. And I think they’re kind of jerks too, but maybe they don’t realize it.
In the case of myself and my anxiety, I always perceive situations a certain way. But knowing I operate through an anxious lens, I don’t go running around saying, “Perception is reality!” to every person that makes me feel anxious.
But what an excuse that would be! Let’s play for a minute! Every time I got anxious about my boyfriend’s driving, I could just say, “Well you may actually be a good driver, but I perceive that you are not and we all know, perception is reality!” Or when a coworker asserts that she is a qualified and competent teacher, I could just say, “Well, on paper you may seem like a great teacher, but the whole staff perceives you to be the weakest link and perception is reality.” Ahh, that felt nice!
But beyond ranting, I really need to call B.S. on myself when it comes to applying this “perception is reality” motto. I don’t remember when I heard and understood that phrase for the first time, but I’m sure my first reaction was, “Oh! So I could really be doing a good job, but if people think I’m not going a good job (even if those people are idiots), I will, in reality, be doing a horrible job.” It’s kind of like convincing yourself that up is down and down is up. All very Mad-Hattery if you ask me.
Thus, it goes with anxiety. What a reinforcing law to have stuck in my moral code! Anxiety tells us to perceive reality upside down, to constantly worry what others are thinking, or (worse yet) use the good old “look at my list of reasons for why I am right” technique. Anxious Annies can be particularly good at convincing someone that their perception IS reality.
Which leads me down the rabbit hole to my next quote of the day: I think, therefore I am. Try that on for size and let me know how it fits!
Thanks for reading! And a double thank you with a curtsey for finding the cynical humor in my writing and laughing along with me!
Ann Kaplow, a fellow blogger that I subscribe to, never fails to inspire me with a spin off from her blogs. Every time I read her work, I get that, “oh! Oh! Oh! Pick me!” feeling because I have some many responses and ideas spinning out of control. Click her name and you’ll find the current post which inspired this one!