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  • Laura Pladson, M.Ed.

Your perspective creates your reality.

Our perspective is made up of everything we've experienced, seen, heard, read, and been exposed to throughout our entire lives. This means our family, peers, teachers, traumas, religion, culture, news, and social media have all played a large role in forming our perspective. You could say we've been programmed to think, believe, speak and act by all that has come before this moment.


Our perspective is the lens we see everything through. Imagine it as a film that covers your eyes and thinking mind, resulting in what you see to be affected by that lens. Because of this film, there are real things that we don't see at all...period...because in our belief system they don't exist or perhaps we know they exist, but we are not looking for them (search selective attention basketball video). Denial is another reason we can't 'see' something. This is a very real defense mechanism...no matter how educated and aware a person we are, there are things we cannot 'see' because it's too painful and our mind simply isn't able to comprehend and cope with it.


We see what already fits into our belief system because that is what our minds are looking for and notice. This serves to reinforce our own perspective and discredit another's perspective.


What's key here is to realize our perspective, or anyone else's, is not "right" or "wrong," "true" or "false." It just is what it is, based upon our lens, which is based upon everything in a person's life up until that point in time. This is why there are so many different perspectives. We think our perspective is right or true because it makes so much sense to us. But another person, with a whole other set of experiences, doesn't see sense in your perspective because they have a different "truth" and what they consider to be "right."


Different perspectives make us uncomfortable because they don't fit neatly into the schema of our mind. Since we tend to avoid discomfort whenever possible, we reject perspectives that are different from our own. The problem is, without discomfort, we cannot change and move forward. If my perspective is set (closed and contracted), I cannot expand. If I think I have all the answers, I cannot learn and grow.


What if, instead of feeling threatened when we hear something different from our current beliefs, we paused and remained open? What if we allowed ourselves to accept that just because I think something is 'true,' doesn't mean it is true. How could I possibly have all the answers? In a world with billions of people, what makes me think I know the 'right' way, the 'truth?' What if it's less about truth and more about what works for each person in that moment?


So here we are, in this moment, with particular perspectives that lead to our thoughts and beliefs and therefore our words and actions. All those things make up our life. It would serve us well to look closely at our perspectives and beliefs to see if they serve us, or if we are simply continuing patterns we've been habituated to think and believe.


Of course, this is just my perspective. ;)


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