Chain of Perception
By: Jessica Manuel
A broken past does not create a broken, incapable person. A broken past creates broken perceptions.
Let me explain…
When I was younger, I allowed other people’s opinions to impact who I thought I was or what I was capable of doing. Unknowingly, the words people said dictated how I would feel, act or react.
I’m not the only person that does this (yes, I still do this sometimes). It’s human nature. It is important to acknowledge, and even more important to surround yourself with trustworthy, positive and encouraging people.
My childhood was full of brokenness; a broken family, a broken heart and in turn a broken perception. It was evident to my peers growing up that I was a hurting child, and I knew it too. The more I saw others smiling when I wasn’t feeling happy, the less I thought I was capable of being like them. Every word someone said that wasn’t encouraging would limit my ability to speak to them again.
My self-confidence and insecurities were so bad that I thought every whisper was about me, every laugh was directed at me.
The sad thing is that people take advantage of that. Peers at school can be cruel, some are incapable of understanding what a word of discouragement can do to someone, or maybe they are incapable of caring enough to change.
You cannot change these people. All you can do is work at changing your perception.
It is important to pay attention to perception. If this is not dealt with (or goes unnoticed) at a young age, it can lead to other problems such as addiction, co-dependency, a need for affirmation, etc; all of which are temporary ‘fixes’ used to ignore feelings or to avoid pain or disappointment.
Truth is, I tried to ignore these feelings, I tried to escape from comparing myself to others — you can’t. There is no permanent protection, you will eventually have to deal with it.
Here are some ways that can help break the chain of an unhealthy perception.
The voices of doubt will naturally affect how you feel and how you live. Your inner stereo that shouts “you got this” or “I can do this” is all that you need to listen to. If you don’t hear it, focus on ways to turn up the volume (see hyperlink above). Confidence is a result of progression.
You don’t need others to point out your progression if you’re focussing on the process of your progression. The way you see yourself is the way you will believe others perceive you.
You understanding this concept is just as important as breaking the same chain off others.
If the same people who teased me or didn’t encourage me felt the same weight I did, they wouldn’t of treated me that way. I never want someone to feel that pain, so I don’t do it to others. I am in complete control of how I encourage and build other people.
I am in control of how those people perceive me, and the way they feel when I turn and walk away. Thus, I am in control of how I perceive myself.
Be courageous enough to create your own identity, do not allow society to do it for you. You are not a disney character, you are a human being. You can live in a fairytale world and deceive yourself into believing that life always has happy endings, or you can pick up the pen and write your own story. A story that will have mountains and valleys, that will take years of constant attention. A story that if you write it, you will be comfortable reading it and eventually sharing it with others.
A broken past will create broken perceptions. A broken future is when you allow the perceptions to dictate your destiny.