Perception, ARTICLE ON from Warriors' Journeys

  • Perception, ARTICLE ON

Many people think that their bosses criticize them more than other workers. It is always a good excuse to be angry, inattentive and half-listening at work, because "in any case they don't appreciate me".

For many years I was one of those people. In my case my reactions were doubled by altruism as shortcoming, because it is quite usual for an altruist to feel guilty about everything in the world, either for good reason or for no reason at all. So I was always in a great mess with every challenge at work, as I hadn't seen any possible way to win.

Sometimes I got some insights that probably the situation was not really the way I saw it. My bosses didn't look like altruists, but I still had a job and rather good wages. So it didn't seem that they did not appreciate anything in my work! But when somebody told that I had done something wrong, I forgot all this logic and fell into this mess.

I tried to recapitulate what was going on, but without success. So I decided to stalk my perception in the simplest way. I took a worksheet and began to write everything that was said about my project and my work at our planning meetings, just as it was spoken. It took several months of journaling for me to find out that reality and my perception of it were far from each other.

Re-reading my notes I found:

In my perception, criticism was for "all-time" and it was serious. My records indicated that in fact two or three times there was some criticism, and it mostly concerned some technical things. When I read it some time afterwards, and quietly, it seemed more to be advice, than criticism. The funny thing was that it seemed as if I was simply unable to remember the days when everything was alright!

Some criticism concerned the work of other departments and so wasn't my responsibility. But the way I remembered it, it WAS my responsibility and my guilt! What an altruist! <g>.

As a bonus, I was also able to transform my project, because with all my notes together it became clearer what should be done.

So I learned that life and our perception of life are not the same thing. The bad news was that we tend to remember our poor perception. The good news is that it is only our perception and we can change it.