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That's Just Your Perception

My husband and I used to work together. We met when I started working at the law firm where he works and we started dating about a year later. As I grew increasingly unhappy there, I would spend my nights sobbing into my wineglass and complaining to him about how awful everything was. And he frequently responded with, "That's your perception." When I heard that, it took all of my self-control not to completely lose my shit.


But, here's the thing, he was right.


Yes, I said it! Stay with me for a minute...


Remember the scene in Father of the Bride where Annie wants to call off the wedding? It's not because Bryan cheated on her. Or she found out he was a serial killer. Or even that they had differing values. It's because he bought her a blender.


Bryan thinks he got her a thoughtful gift because she likes to make banana shakes in the morning. But Annie's perception is that he wants her to be a 1950s housewife. Yes, this is a funny scene in a romantic comedy but it also illustrates exactly what I mean.

All of us operate from our perceptions of other people and the world around us.

So when my husband tells me that something I'm upset about is just my perception, he's absolutely right. (It doesn't mean it's a productive or helpful thing to say when your partner is miserable and in tears, but that's a discussion for a different day!) He's right because when I break it down to its most basic level our conversations were:


Me complaining about work.

Him responding by saying that's my perception.

Me thinking that he doesn't see what I see at work, that I should feel the way that I do or that things would always be harder for me because I'm a woman.

Me not taking any action because of those thoughts.


On daily repeat.


But if my perception of what he said was different, I could have gotten unstuck and into the life I wanted much sooner.

We worked at the same place and had essentially the same job description. But we had a very different work experience because of how we thought about our bosses and the firm.


I believe that part of the difference in our experiences were due to misogyny and sexism. So I want to be clear that I'm absolutely not saying I needed to be okay with my job or that my feelings about it aren't valid.


However, I am saying that my thoughts about my workplace weren't the universal truth. But because I was convinced at that time that it was, the fact that my husband didn't agree meant I thought I had to stay stuck.


What I did back then was try to convince him that what I was feeling was the only acceptable way to feel. I used everything from gender disparity statistics to random comments made to me years before to prove my point to him. It never worked though because it really was just my perception.


I see that same behavior in my clients. They want everyone to agree with them before they make a change. Or they convince themselves that something external in their job will change because they are the *only* ones who don't like working there. So they stay stuck.


To get unstuck you need to accept that it is just your perception AND it's ok to act on that perception. So back when I was trying to convince my husband that I was right about the job and he was wrong, what I should have been doing is accepting both perspectives. I could leave that job because I was so unhappy AND my husband could still think it was a great place to work. I would have left sooner, our date nights would have been more fun and I could have focused my energy on my next steps instead of arguing with my husband.


I teach my clients to get unstuck by growing their inner self-confidence. This means they don't need any external validation or agreement from others to make a decision that's right for them. They stop feeling like their options are limited because of others or their own thoughts about how things should be. They stop feeling stuck because they have control over their life and their next steps.


You can do that too. Access my new free training Get Unstuck in 3 Steps!


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I’m a life coach helping women get unstuck so they can live the life they want and I have one on one coaching spots available.

What is a life coach? ✨Someone who holds a judgment-free space for you to share your thoughts and feelings. ✨Someone who provides you with a neutral, objective perspective. ✨Someone who believes you can get the results you want and will support you every step of the way. ✨Someone who challenges you to level-up and be the best version yourself. ✨Someone who may say things you won't want to hear, but always says them with love. ✨An investment in yourself that you deserve.