Perception can be defined as “the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses.”
All perception involves signals that go through the nervous system, which in turn result from physical or chemical stimulation of the sensory system. This can be anything from sight, smell, taste, touch, hearing.
So how does individual interpretation of a certain circumstances/situation affect the outcome? Well this comes down to mindset. The mindsets we choose play a dramatic role in shaping our psychological and physiological effects on attention, arousal, motivation and affect.
Here is an example, take 2 people who want to touch their toes, this requires static stretching. At the beginning of the process, both could only just reach past their knees. When stretching, (from personal experience) a certain degree of pain is required to elicit the physiological response of increased flexibility.
Say if one person was telling themselves that “this hurts”, “what is the point” then it is unlikely they will be touching their toes anytime soon! This is because the pain is perceived that they are suffering or undergoing a mild form of torture, greatly affecting the mindset of the situation.
Now, if the second person had the mindset before stretching that the pain is beneficial, a necessary evil if you will, then perception of trying to touch their toes is not so bad and they will reach their goal way before person one does!
Below is a 20 minute TED talk of how the power of mindset can greatly influence the perceived outcome any situation, especially with regards to health and fitness!