Perception Is Not Reality

Alesha Peterson
7 min readMar 24, 2019


*This is influenced by a mix of articles that I saw across the internet. This article was on my LinkedIn but it was restricted for a while. I thought this was something I lost forever. I’m happy to publish this. It was so long ago I forgot who’s quote is who. Forgive a human lol.

How many opportunities will we lose because of our deep-seated paradigms? How many ideas will we brush aside because they’re unexpected? Will we be able to discover the grandest possibilities in existence without the influence of other points of view?

Are we willing to empty our cups in order to fill them anew? How much will we not see due to not truly opening our eyes? There must be countless hidden “gas stations” among our limiting fixations which do little or nothing to benefit the essential innovation the speed of change pushes on us today.

We need to see further. Beyond the limits we’ve set. This is a start: perception is not reality.

It amazes me how many people think I’m still in high school. It’s ridiculous. They say I don’t “look” like I should be out of high school. I respond by saying why do you think that? What is a 21 year old supposed to look like? To this day, they can never answer that question. Other times I just ignore it.

Categorical labeling is a process that humans rely on to comprehend the impossible complexity of the environments we grapple to perceive. Like so many human faculties, it’s adaptive and miraculous, but it also contributes to some of the deepest problems that face our species.

Do any of these labels sound familiar?

According to Your, here’s are some very common stereotypes:

  • Men are strong and do all the work.
  • Men are the moneymakers.
  • Men are the “backbone.”
  • Men are smarter than women.
  • Women can’t do as good of a job as a man.
  • Girls are not good at sports.
  • Guys are messy and unclean.
  • Men who spend too much time on the computer or read are geeks.

Stereotypes also exist about cultures an countries as a whole. Stereotype examples of this sort include the premises that:

  • All whites are obese, lazy, and dim-witted. Homer Simpson of the TV series The Simpsons is the personification of this stereotype.
  • Mexican stereotypes suggest that all Mexicans are lazy and came into America illegally.
  • All Arabs and Muslims are terrorists. Anyone who wears a hijb
  • All people who live in England have bad teeth.
  • Italian or French people are the best lovers.
  • All Blacks outside of the United States are poor.
  • All Jews are greedy.
  • All Asians are good at math. All Asians like to eat rice and drive slow.
  • All Irish people are drunks and eat potatoes.
  • All Americans are generally considered to be friendly, generous, and tolerant, but also arrogant, impatient, and domineering.

It’s never good to say all and put everyone in the same category. One size doesn’t fit all. But labeling still happens all the time.

Groups of Individuals

A different type of stereotype also involves grouping of individuals. Skaters, Goths, Gangsters, Jocks and Preps are a few examples. Most of this stereotyping is taking place in schools. For example:

  • Goths wear all black. Their clothes, black makeup, and “dark ways” are depressed and hated by society.
  • Punks wear Mohawks, spikes, chains, are a menace to society and are always getting in trouble.
  • All politicians are philanders and think only of personal gain and benefit.
  • Girls are only concerned about physical appearance.
  • All blonds are “dumb” and unintelligent, in reference to the dumb blond theory.
  • All librarians are women who are old, wear glasses, tie a high bun, and have a perpetual frown on their face.
  • All teenagers are rebels.
  • All children don’t enjoy healthy food.
  • Only anorexic women can become models.
  • The elderly have health issues and behave like children.

Read more at:

Researchers began to study the cognitive effects of labeling in the 1930s, when linguist Benjamin Whorf proposed the linguistic relativity hypothesis. According to his hypothesis, the words we use to describe what we see aren’t just idle placeholders — they actually determine what we see.

Stereotyping is not only hurtful, it is also wrong. Even if the stereotype is correct in some cases, constantly putting someone down based on your preconceived perceptions is wrong.

Stronger than the labels of the outside world, your internal dialogue powerfully programs and shapes your self-concept and self-beliefs about yourself. If you believe you are worthy and strong, you will live up to that truth. Why re-invent the wheel?

In one of these videos (I forget which one, I’m not going to lie to you). It mentions that if you think you are good looking, subconsciously you are going to think that you are good looking. On top of this belief, if other people around you tell you that you are good looking on top of that belief, it will reinforce that belief, and then it will be your reality.

Your internal dialogue powerfully programs and shapes your self-concept and self-beliefs about yourself.

The following exercises posted on Dr Phil’s website is perfect. If you need to ditch the negative self dialogues and labels within you, go here. These questions will help to zero in your habits and patterns and hopefully set you free of some of your negative internal talk.

Believe it or not, labels are incredibly powerful influences in your life. You may not be consciously aware of even a fraction of the names assigned to you, whether they come from the outside world through other people or from within.

Growing up, I had my fair share of labels and stereotypes. I did not listen to them or let it define me. Sometimes, when people say they can’t do something, they think you can’t do it or achieve that status. We tend to compare our reality to other people’s social masks.

Regardless of whether your hubby calls you a “hot mom,” or your boss says you’re an “alpha geek,” Dr. Phil says you must acknowledge the existence of labels, challenge the “fit, (especially if you find that the label dont fit you) and confront the impact they have on your concept of self.

Ask yourself the following questions in order to start identifying and evaluating your labels. Write your answers down so that you can review them later.

1. How do you label yourself? Are you a career woman, a mom, an accountant, a politician? Are you a failure or a winner? Are you a “fat girl” or a “pretty girl?” Write down all the labels you attach to yourself, going back as far as you can remember.

2. Where did these labels come from? Did they come from you? Your parents? A teacher? A friend? Look at each label you wrote down in the above question, and identify where each one came from.

3. Are you living to your labels? How are your labels working for you? What are your payoffs?

4. If you don’t like your labels, what can you do within your control to change them? Does it mean changing your environment? Does it mean surrounding yourself with people that want the best for you instead of the worst for you? Does it mean hiring a life coach?

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Hello There! I’m Alesha! I’ve been involved in different businesses in several different capacities from being ceo, coo, co-founder, and more. I’ve learned so much from creating businesses, and I look forward to all the learning experiences I will have from starting new ventures. 2019 I’m excited to announce that I’m going to add more businesses to my portfolio. STAY TUNED! I’m going to introduce them sometime next year!

With one business I was involved with, we made it possible to install a little device with customized hardware and a SaaS solution implemented to the router, the business owner was able see live data about social media info collected.

With another company, we had professional internet marketing company that focus on digital marketing campaigns, services and jobs such as SEO, PPC, Online Reputation Management, and social media marketing.

With EYT, I oversaw day-to-day operations and keeping the CEO apprised of significant events;Yes I actually talk with my business partner on a daily basis. I created operations strategy and policies; Communicated strategy and policy to employees and interns; Fostering employee alignment with corporate goals; and overseeing human resource management. I also delegated tasks to my team.

With Bones’ Custom Guitar. We created custom guitars for musicians with imported wood. No one Bones’ guitar is the same.

The Wish Benefit Concert is a concert founded by Ayana Carter, Mel Sexton and Alesha Peterson. It’s privately held at Riley Hospital For Children.



Alesha Peterson

Howdy! Entrepreneurship, fitness, music, acting, real estate, tequila & investing is sexy. Idea for an article? Input wanted!