The Dangers of Perception and Why It Is Holding You Back

Perception is defined as a way of regarding, understanding, or interpreting something; a mental impression.  And it is the dangers of perception that I believe holds most people back.


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Why do I believe this?  For most people, their perception is based on assumption and hearsay.  It is not based in fact or research.  People become products of the impressions that are made on them by Facebook, Twitter, news feeds, conversations with friends, conversations with coworkers, etc.  The vast majority of people do not express opinions or views that they own.

What do I mean by “own.”  To own an opinion means you have taken the time to educate yourself  by reading, investigating and researching all of the elements of the topic.  You have taken the time to view the topic from multiple angles and from multiple viewpoints. When you own an opinion you are not regurgitating what you have been told or repeating what you have heard on news feeds.  Owning your opinion is a process of deep introspection and education that does not come easily, nor should it.  But when you own your view or opinion, it is not something that has come via a Facebook meme.

If you own your opinion then the following question is easily answered: what supporting research can you site that has helped you form your opinion?  Many people do not own their opinion, but act as if they do.  These are the people that educated individuals call fools: those that act unwisely.  And my experience is that many people are fools because they are not informed, yet speak as if they are.  I don’t write this to offend anyone, but to provoke each of us to stop living under the umbrella of assumption and hearsay and begin to educate ourselves and form our own views; views we can own.  It has taken me 43 years to truly understand this, although I studied Descartes 23 years ago.


I am not sure where I am going with this argument.  I guess the election has revealed the ignorance of the general population.  I will be the first to tell you I am not educated in the area of politics.  I get frustrated with people that speak as if they are “informed” when in fact they are repeating comments from the Fox or CNN newscast.  People become an amalgamation of things they have heard which creates their perception of reality.  They ‘copy and paste’ their opinion from the page of other people’s lives.

Instead of saying “I don’t know,” people puke up something a friend told them in order to have something to say.  Or maybe they regurgitate the last article they read on New York Times?  Regardless of the source, I think it is beneficial to learn to say “I don’t know” or “I’m just not educated on that topic.”  I say both often.

I don’t have a clear cut answer on this topic.  I wanted to open the conversation and see where it leads.  In the end, I think it is important for us to realize the importance of developing a clear understanding of who we are and what we truly “own.”

So I leave you with one question…Do you own your opinions or have you simply borrowed them from others?


27 thoughts on “The Dangers of Perception and Why It Is Holding You Back

  1. There are some opinions close to my heart that I truly own but I’ll be the first to say that there are many things I just don’t know. And I’m not afraid to say that. But if I really want to learn something I’ll dig deep (way beyond FB) to find answers.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am the same way. This post was brought about because I am over reading so many posts on politics in which the writer expresses an opinion that is shallow and not well thought out. So I started paying close attention to conversations with friends and I realize that few people “own” their opinion. Or should I say, it is almost impossible for someone to “own” so many opinions! lol You cannot be that educated in order to actually know what you are talking about on so many diverse topics. imho

      Liked by 2 people

  2. My opinions are often not popular simply because I don’t trust the rumour mill. Even the official news bears closer inspection. I would rather stand behind my opinions then wallow in the cesspool of the general ones.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I’m very analytical and can explain why I agree with something I read, which is different from rubber-stamping it as fact and truth. If an opinion has to be original for you to “own” it, then we’d all be hard-pressed to “own” one. You can adopt another’s opinion as your own, but you should be able to explain why. For instance, I agree with you about this particular political election cycle. In a local Congressional primary, one candidate’s most prominent statement was that he was not taking any money from special interest groups, PACs, or big corporations. He was the most visible candidate in a field of at least five, and you’d think no one else was running. He deluged the area with leaflets, mailings, robo-calls, and TV commercials. I’d never heard of him before and wondered how he was funding these activities. A news article explained that he’s a wealthy businessman. To me, he could afford to appear to be the virtuous candidate. That would have been enough for a number of people, but I was left wondering what he wanted to achieve as a member of Congress.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I own opinions and views as they pertain to first century history of Christian origins. I do so because I have read numerous books from a variety of scholars and have spent the last 25 years of my life studying this topic. Other than that, I don’t own many opinions which is why I don’t speak about politics. I work to keep my mouth shut and am reluctant to express opinions that are simply based on my experience. Imho, I listen to people talk and it becomes evident that they don’t know what they are talking about. I respect people that say, I don’t really know enough to have an educated opinion instead of talking in order to say something.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I appreciate it when people have the guts to say “I’ve changed my mind. Back then, I thought …(something)…because (blahblahblah) but now I think (something else) because (blahblahblah).” It’s okay to change your mind if you’ve learned something along the way. We have to continue to think and be prepared to change if logic dictates that.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree completely. I have continued my research on this one by calling and talking to a few friends that have strong opinions on several topics and I have asked them for any supporting information that they have used to help them develop their opinions. Most of them could not site one specific article, website, book, etc. I am realizing that few people actually own their opinions. They haven’t taken the time to inform themselves.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I know in my case, when I do research,it’s not always easy to quote my sources. I use many and varied sources and don’t really document or remember them specifically. I think also there is something to be said for discernment. Sometimes, something just doesn’t sound right. That said, I wish I had the time to research like Noam Chomsky!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • It’s definitely important to know your sources and there inherent bias’, as they all have them. That’s where having a lot of sources helps!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I own my opinions when I think I have learned facts about a topic enough to have my own opinion. If I don’t have enough knowledge I admit that I can’t say for sure what I think until I have found out what my opinion is.
    There’s another side of this opinion thoughts. I never expect others to have my opinion. I think everyone should search for their own opinion and let everyone have their opinion even if it is the opposite of their own opinions. I’m sorry if this sounds messy. I’m tired in my brain right now. But very interesting post! Thanks for bringing the topic up 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Pingback: Links To Motivation And Leadership Articles (5-20-2016) – My Daily Musing

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