Your Perception Is Just One of Many

After a completely exhausting day yesterday I was relaxing last night and happened to look out the window and noticed the moon.  It seemed barely lit and somewhere between full and half, unremarkable and easy to overlook.  That’s when I thought, wow, me and the moon are very mellow tonight.


Something else caught my eye and I shifted positions and that is when I noticed that the moon that I originally saw was a reflection of the true moon.  The actual moon hanging in the sky last night was bright and illuminating.  Had I not shifted my perspective I would have missed this reality.


We miss a lot of realities because we are unwilling or unable to shift our perception; sometimes we are just unaware that we are stuck.


Just because you see a certain situation in a certain manner does not make it true – it is just your perception from your own, unique perspective.  Refusing to consider alternate possibilities can be a dangerous; it can lead to miscommunication, misconceptions and missed opportunities.


I had started seeing someone and everything was going very nicely being in the initial stages of getting to know each other …and then there was a day.


I got a call one night and we had the normal chit-chat of exchanging how was your days then he made the remark of “I was going to stop by and surprise you but you were busy.”  This confused me as I was in all day and a surprise visit would have been nice.  Turns out he saw a car in my driveway that wasn’t mine and was alluding to me having “company”.


Now, had he just made a statement of there being an unknown car at my house that would have been one thing, but the continual alluding and insinuations made it pretty clear exactly what he has perceived to be the case.  So after listening to this for a bit and it finally clicking what he was trying to say I responded in a calm and pleasant manner:


“That’s my son’s car you moron.”


My son is out of town and I’m keeping his car here.  The moron and I are not seeing each other any more.


Had he approached this in a different manner things might have worked out differently; but he was dead set on his perception and didn’t allow the reality to be introduced which ended up with him making a fool of himself.


I find the worse case of assuming the worse-stuck in your own perceptions happen during the interview phase.  You think the interview went well then you don’t hear anything.  Then you begin to panic.  It goes something like this:


“Should I contact them, are they still interested, would it be pushy, what do I say, if they really like me they would call, maybe it didn’t go as well as I thought, they hated me, I know I blew it, I didn’t get the job.”


Whoa!  Stop the crazy train and get off!


There could be a lot of factors involved that you are not aware of in play here.  It could be anything from the person they need to talk to for the next step or final authorization is not available to there was a crises at the company that they needed to deal with immediately.


Rarely is filling a new position the top priority that pushes all other daily work events and crises in the shadows.  They have full days, a schedule to meet, clients to please, a job to perform – you are not the center of their universe.  Relax.


Yes, check in.  Send a follow up thank you letter immediately following the interview.  If you do not hear anything send a follow up about a week later.  Keep it light, let them know you are still interested and ask if there is any additional information they need from you.


There is a fine line between following up and stalking to be careful; but continue to check in.  You may not be their first priority but it will still keep you front in mind while they are trying to juggle their everyday work life with filling this position.


When you do hear back from them for goodness sakes do not tell them that you were thinking the worst!  This gives the impression of insecurity and desperation.  Just continue as thought it is no big deal that so much time has passed, has it really – you hadn’t even noticed.  Relax!


Your perceptions are going to be skewed by your own insecurities and vulnerabilities; it is normal and it is okay.  Just keep them to yourself so you don’t scare the prospective employer.  When you have the opportunity to hear a different perspective remember to shut your mouth and open your ears.  Truly listen to what you are told and listen from the perspective of the other person – it will give you much greater clarity and perhaps change your perception to one that is more in line with reality.



Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Career Coach-Strategist

Certified Professional Resume Writer

Career Polish, Inc.

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