Have you ever bought a pair of running shoes and then suddenly, it seems like everyone is also wearing running shoes? Have you ever been pregnant and then suddenly, it seems like there are more pregnant people around you? Have you gotten a short hairstyle and then suddenly, it seems like that’s the hit hairstyle of the season?
We see what we want to see. We see what supports our existing beliefs and ignore those that don’t. It’s selective perception in action and it happens automatically.
Selective perception acts like a filter in our mind, which means that we don’t notice everything that is going on around us. If we do, we’ll get crazy from sensory overload. Our mind simply cannot process that much information.
Our perception is inherently biased by what we know, what we believe in, and what we have experienced.
What we see makes up our reality.
What we focus on expands. It seems that there are more of them — more people with running shoes, more people who are pregnant and more people who have short hairstyles.
These are not necessarily true, but our perception makes them true for us.
This is good news!
This means we can shape our reality by training our brain to see what serves us. While selective perception is automatic, we can take advantage of it by programming our brain to see more of what we need to see.
We can train our brain to see the positives in the negatives. We can train our brain to see the lessons in the failures. We can train our brain to see the fun in the labor.
How can we do this?
By asking questions.
Use questions to alter your perception.
Questions disrupt our usual thinking process. They jolt us out of our routine. They let us consider other angles. They reveal the unseen parts of the equation.
Using questions is an easy way to change our thought patterns.
Some useful questions are:
- What are the good things that happened to me today? This trains our brain to look for the good in every situation.
- Why am I so lucky? This trains our brain to look for the seeming coincidences that bring us closer to our goals.
- What can I learn from this? This trains our brain to look for the lessons no matter what outcomes we get.
- Why are things always working for me? This trains our brain to look for reasons to celebrate rather than causes to worry about.
Ask the questions that will train your brain to see what serves you, and see how your reality change.