The Difference Between Perception and Reality

While it might seem easy to assume that your perception is reality, the truth is that it takes practice to discern the differences between perception and reality. Just because a person perceives something in a certain way doesn’t mean there are concrete facts to back up that perception.

Reality = Fact-Based Approach

I am a scientist and have taught myself to focus on these concrete elements: data, evidence, and facts. Then, a bit of conjecture can be added into the mix to fill in the gaps. This approach makes it clearer to see reality instead of letting perception get in the way of truth.

When looking at facts, these details could be proven by many people with different perspectives. The facts are black-and-white. They are inarguable and could be brought before a court of law. The data is objective. Reality is always based on solid, irrefutable evidence.

Perception = Subjective Perspective

On the other hand, a person’s perception of a situation is always subjective. The observation of the situation is always filtered through a person’s prior memories and experiences.

So, anytime a person is looking at their subjective perception, it means they have a judgment or opinion based on their view of life.

Perception and Reality Don’t Equate

When you understand that perception is subjective and reality is based on fact, you can see how they don’t equate.

I am offering this awareness because people often make critical decisions based on their perception instead of looking at the data and facts of reality. As a result, these decisions can lead a person astray and even have a negative impact on other people on their team.

Sometimes, people assume that perception is reality because they have heard the same things over and over again. This repetition reinforces the belief in our collective consciousness, leading people to assume that perception is reality.

Which Is More Powerful: Perception or Reality?

Even though reality can be proven through facts and evidence, the truth is that perception can often be more powerful. Perception can be tied to emotion, making a person believe these concepts are true.

If we mistake these perceptions as reality, then it means that we are missing possibilities because the options are limited by a subjective perspective.

Take a hard look at your own awareness: are there any “blind spots” where you are confusing perception with reality? How are these perceptions limiting your choices?

When these perceptions are left unquestioned, then it limits available options. At Effective Action Consulting, we offer business coaching to help individuals and teams break out of limited thinking and achieve their goals. For more information, reach out to book a complimentary consultation.