Perception or perspective? Depends how you look at it…


  So, I have had some time to reflect. Reflect on my decisions, reflect on my situations, reflect on my life. There is a lot that has come out of it for me, and one major thought process I found myself having was involving the title of this post. I am often finding myself trying to look at things from different perspectives and wondering if my already established perceptions have an effect on me even being able to do this.

  Perspective, basically, is the ability to see things from different angles. For example, outside of our minds, it is being low on the ground and looking up at your child, or standing and looking down to your child. It is how you angle your eyes toward or away from something to view it in a different way. Our minds are not that different. We look at things and make decisions based on our perceptions, provided we continue to look at things with the same perspective. Looking up at our child changes our perspective, helping to develop our perceptions of them. How many of us have heard to get on level with a child when talking with them in order to create a better sense of equality? It is about using perspective to shape perception.

  And, there, I said it. Perspective helps to shape perception.

  But, can we perceive without perspective? What about the inverse? I doubt it. These two occur without us thinking most of the time. Our perceptions are built from experiences throughout life without us even considering perspective. However, now that perspective has been identified as a “thing” we all need to change and see from different sides of, what is its role in perception? Also, what does perception do to help us find another perspective?

  I know that looking at things from different perspectives takes discipline. It takes the willingness to do that whole ‘filtering’ of our initial reactions (perceptions) and take a step back (perspective). I have been struggling to find different perspectives, and yet, I find when I do get to that point, the perceptions I often held initially, change.

  Perception, it is our ability to use our senses to take in something and react to it. I give that a likening to being a leader and now coming in contact with a decision that needs to be made. Perspective, is the tool that allows us to get as much information as possible out to our senses so we can make the best decision we can. I feel that is where the proverbial “rut” comes into play. If we don’t change our perspective (through education, debate, reading, collaboration…), our perceptions won’t change and we will continue to make decisions the same way we always have.

  Continue with me on this journey, and may we all affect each other’s perspectives, and in turn create stronger perceptions to when we need to get a new perspective.

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Posted in Leadership, Life
5 comments on “Perception or perspective? Depends how you look at it…
  1. Alli Polin says:

    Took me a minute to wrap my head around it but you’re absolutely right: Our perspectives shape our perceptions. A few years ago I learned that when I’m the most stuck, it’s my perspective that really needed to shift. Once I did that, it changed how I saw the entire problem of being stuck and I was able to get into inspired action.

    Thanks for getting me thinking and reminding us of this important and powerful link!

    • jordanc76 says:


      Thank you so much for your amazing comment! I have really looked up to you as I start my leadership journey, so for your feedback I am very grateful. I have learned so much from you and others (especially the #LeadWithGiants team) and really love seeing my goal of collaboration and learning getting off the ground!

  2. Dan Forbes says:

    Chris, Wonderful thought-provoking post. I am reminded of this… “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” – Wayne Dyer

  3. jht29 says:

    I read this … and, like Alli, took a moment to process your thinking. The more I thought about it however, the more I agree ~ perspective does shape perceptions! As a long-time reflector, partly through my youth work training and partly through my passion for learning, I regularly review … and sometimes change my perspectives on a range of things, Viewed in the light of your post, this makes clear how my perceptions are consequentially affected ~ the Wayne Dyer effect then really takes a hold!

    Thanks to you, Alli and Dan for helping me with this! #LeadWithGiants

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