Life Lessons

Perception: The Power of a Paradigm Shift

What do you perceive?

How well do you perceive things?

Have you got a keen sense of perception?

Our ability to perceive is based on the belief systems we’ve got. I’d like to say they’re all innate, but no it’s learned. And sometimes they become misperceptions, deviating from reality.

What we perceive as real and what is actually real is sometimes different.

Our perceptions have a huge role to play in how we behave. They largely determine our response to the world. Representing our views, the lens through which we see everything.

Much like a cause and effect relationship; perception affects reality.

It measures our level of awareness of self, others and our environment; how much we understand these three aspects. Self-awareness is the first step and the beginning to understanding everything else.

One thing to note is that perceptions can change. They are not set in stone. Albeit this change can be a somewhat painful process. It’s sometimes easier to stay the same, until it’s not.

They can be influenced by new presenting factors. While these may challenge our inherent paradigms about life, they impact our reality and experience of the world.

We receive information into our minds via the various senses, and the way we process and interpret them is oft based on preformed and predefined templates; paradigms…

These paradigms are as a result of diverse factors, ideologies and belief systems that have shaped us over time. Things received from the media; tv and social, peers, books, parents and so many else.

Perception is relative and individualized.

For change to occur on any level, a paradigm shift must be involved. This can be inhibited by past experiences, fear of change and other factors.

Have you wondered how paradigms relate to perceptions? While the latter represents the lens of our world view, the former are the filters that determine the colours of our reality.

Hence for any form of perception to change? There must be a paradigm shift.

The term paradigm shift was coined by physicist Thomas Kuhn in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962).

Defined as:

  • A radical change in thinking from an accepted point of view to a new belief.

Deemed necessary when an old thought pattern, or a particular belief system is no longer beneficial or serving a purpose in a present circumstance or disposition.

The goal is to be forward-thinking.

Although the phrase was initially applied only to scientific situations and research, it’s been adopted into social psychology.

Change is gradual and progressive, not just with the natural sciences but with life. To change any aspect of your life, you need to have a paradigm shift which then alters your perception, creating for you a new reality.

I’d briefly give an example of a real life experience regarding perception and a paradigm shift:

I used to indulge in a late night snack of peppered grilled meat. I perceived this as a comfort food, some form of stress relief.

However, along the line, I had a change in perspective. I mean I knew it was quite unhealthy, but I ate it anyway. Only when the realisation truly dawned on me that it was unhealthy, did my perception of it change. Afterwards, I saw it for what it really was; unhealthy, greasy and fatty red meat. This was the turning point for me to kick the habit.

The above is an example of how powerful a paradigm shift is and how it can change our perception, thus altering our reality. This is the basis for any true and lasting change.

In biblical terms, a paradigm shift occurs when light breaks forth in your soul. When a revelation comes, bringing you new insights and clarity. Our lens might be cloudy, and this may prevent us from seeing things clearly the way they are. It’s why one of my favourite prayer points is always for the “eyes of my understanding to be enlightened, that I may truly see and know the truth…”

I pray this prayer for us all. That we might truly receive not just knowledge, but that we go deeper into the realm of understanding. For only at this level is power obtained. They say knowledge is power, but I beg to differ. Understanding is where the power truly lies…

Love and Grace,

© Zizi 2020

2 thoughts on “Perception: The Power of a Paradigm Shift”

  1. Very true. Thank for sharing. The knowledge is very important for an individual to be able to grow effectively in the affairs of this life.
    Need to be able to view things and situations objectively for effective management of of issues of life.
    More grace and wisdom for growth and development in divine wisdom. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

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