Perception is reality or is reality a matter of perception?

Sitting in a coffee shop you see a stranger as desirable. Your friend does not. Which one of your perceptions are based upon reality?

Gustave Flaubert, born September of 1821 was an influential French novelist who was perhaps the leading exponent of literary realism in his country. He is known especially for his first published novel, Madame Bovary (1857).

He was once quoted as expressing, “There is not truth. There is only perception.”

Does reality really exist? Yes it does. It’s why we don’t drive our cars without brakes.

Having said that, so much of what some would describe as reality is perhaps in reality a perception.

Before we give you a few examples, here is why we bring the subject up.

The Australian CrossFit beauty Denae Brown shares this insight at her website. “It’s been said that some of the greatest obstacles in life are those that are perceived, which is why getting your head into the right place prior to, and during your training sessions is going to be essential for you towards achieving your training goals.”

With time and experience comes a different perception of what’s going on around you…..Chris Robinson

The religion that you feel passionate about. Is it a cult or the true religion blessed by the Creator? Your spouse that you deeply love. Do they truly possess the character and qualities that you staunchly feel they do or is it perception and they are not really who you think they are?

How about yourself?

When you look in the mirror do you see a certain reality?

Do you see yourself the same way that others see you?

After years of seeing yourself one way, which you think is based upon reality, after life altering experiences, some of them challenging, you are forced to come to terms with your past and once you analyze defined behavior only, you may find out that you were not remotely who you thought you were and are forced to change……or else.

A lot of people feel trapped by circumstance, by the expectations of others or the perception that they need a lot of money. They would like to have a different direction in their lives, but they’re held back by fear or desires that are incompatible with that freedom.…..Roz Savage

The positive aspect to all of this discussion is what Denae is helping us to see. article, photo article, photo

In terms of our body and health, the obstacles that we see as limitations to improvement are most likely perception only.

She continues, “Many may argue that athletic performance is nothing more the result of hard work and training, however what I found through my experience this year is that the sub-concious level of our mind has a significant influence over the outcome. As was the case for me, regardless of what training I was doing my sub-conscious was going to potentially negatively impact my result prior to the competition would start.”

Widely respected in the industry, what Denae says carries a lot of power.

Her bio at helps us to understand why. “Denae Brown is an Australian professional CrossFit athlete. She is considered the fittest woman outside of North America, and is part of CrossFit Melbourne. Brown is currently ranked as the twenty best female CrossFitters in the world, and has seen more success on the deadlift and more physical strength oriented workouts.”

The informative site praises her as well. “After being struck down by debilitating shoulder injuries in late 2011, Denae Brown assumed that qualifying for the CrossFit Games would be the most surprising thing to happen to her this year. It wasn’t.

At the 2012 Australian Regional, the 32-year-old athlete had gathered a legion of fans, who fell for her broad grin and cheered her 11th-hour comeback.”

That sounds like Denae. She exudes the power of mind over matter. Here is why that accomplishment was so amazing.

At her site she adds, “In 2012, Denae qualified for the World CrossFit Games however unbeknownst to her she was actually 5 weeks pregnant at the time. When the Games finally came around that year, many were left wondering what the WD against her name was for.

With the surprise passenger on-board and close to 13 weeks by the time the Games started, Denae made the decision to withdraw from the competition and take a year off to welcome her new baby daughter into the World.

Now in her comeback year, Denae has surprised us all yet again by qualifying in 1st Place at the 2014 CrossFit Games Australian Regional’s.”

Once again she demonstrates the power of the human mind over obstacles and how you can alter the limits of your perceptions to achieve desired outcomes.

I definitely don’t look my age. So I actively look for roles that will help people change their perception of me.….Elijah Wood

In the 1999 thriller entitled The Thirteenth Floor, a man awakens to discover a bloody shirt in his house and his boss murdered the night before.

Did he do it?

Why can’t he remember?

The Thirteenth Floor is a captivating sci-fi thriller that explores the ominous possibility of computer-simulated universes, where people only believe they are real. article, Columbia Pictures Photo article, Columbia Pictures press Photo

The mystery of the film has our hero download himself through a sophisticated corporate computer and travel back to another time period where he meets his alter ego who seems very real. In fact everything about that life, the people and its surroundings feels extremely real including feeling the pain of getting shot.

Then he goes for a long drive and finds out something that would be consistent with the Christopher Columbus time period where many felt that if you keep sailing far enough that you will eventually fall off the earth.

What he saw in that time period was disturbing but far more horrifying was what he eventually found out about his own time period supposedly based upon reality.

One of the lessons that we glean from Denae’s fascinating and enlightening CrossFit experience is that much of the limits that we place upon ourselves are primarily based upon perception and if we can overcome our fears, challenge ourselves and more importantly take steps to alter our perceptions….

Like Denae, we can live a far more satisfying and dynamic reality.

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Sources:, Wikipedia,, FCI Elite Competitor, photos thank you Wikimedia Commons.