I know it’s true, cuz I saw it… that’s why!

*Perception: 1 The mental grasp of objects, etc. through the senses 2 insight or intuition 3 the knowledge, etc. gotten by perceiving –

It’s been said that every situation has three perspectives, yours, mine, and the truth. But, I am going to suggest something radical, every situation has unlimited perspectives, we just may not see them all because our focused is locked down and laser focused by our experiences, what we know, what we think, how we feel, etc about the situation.

Life comes at us at a million bits of info a second and our brains filter out all but about 128 bits of info. The 128 bits that we choose are based on our filters. The filters are things like, the past and our memories, our expectations, our attitudes, our desires and wants, our beliefs and bia’s, our values, and our habits and patterns of behavior. These filters work to sort out all the information that’s surrounding and overwhelming us, and these filters work to break down experiences into bite size bit’s of understanding. The problem comes in when we have some dysfunctional filter that either skews or shifts our understanding of situations into something that freaks us out or has us reacting in ineffective ways.

The image above show’s how information comes to us through our five senses: vision, taste, hearing, smell, physical sensations. Then we filter, generalize, or distort this information based on our filters. This then leads to our sense of ourselves. Are we in danger? Does the information make us feel good or bad about ourselves, does the experience help our sense of self, or hurt it? If we feel good, then we feel safe, but if the information makes us feel bad or unsafe in some way, it will trigger a fear response. And, there is a continuum from safety to fear, differing degrees along a spectrum. This then effects our emotional state, ie: I am freaking out! Which then effects our physiology, we may feel our hearts race or our thoughts start to spin out of control. Which then all lead to our outward behaviors, reactions and responses.

The purpose of these insights and the diagram, is that we need to pay attention to the filters. If I have a perspective that “I can never trust anyone.” I am looking for everyone to screw me over – that is probably not completely true. The opposite may also cause problems, if I have a perspective that “everyone is trustworthy,” then I might not use my skills of assessment and then be in danger of being taken advantage of. So, the trick is being able to use our experiences and filters to help us make wise decisions, not just react to the world around us blindly. Looking at situations and experiences knowing that some things trigger us and we may need to get feedback from someone who we trust to gain more perspective. The more perspective we can get, the better we can decide what the situation means for us, and how to handle it most effectively.