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Struggling To Separate Self-Perception from Reality: Is It Self-Perception or Reality?

Updated: Jan 21

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Is It Self-Perception or Reality?

The scripture states in I Pet 5:8, "Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." The devil is the king of deceivers and has a gift for infiltrating the mind with negativity. It's our job to protect our mental health.

What is Self-Perception?

In an article in the North American Journal of Psychology entitled "Self-Definition in Psychotherapy," Robak defines self-perception as "...the process of observing and interpreting one's own behaviors, thoughts, and feelings, and using those observations and interpretations to define oneself."

Our self-perception directly relates to our mood and the decisions we make in our life. Understanding how self-perceptions influence behavioral outcomes affects our mental health.

What's Reality?

Reality has many different meanings and interruptions. Merriam-Webster defines reality as "the quality or state of being real." It would be what we consider to be factual. Similar to how CNN uses Fact Check during elected officials' debates. You must be able to sift out what's concrete.

It's easy to fall prey to negativity and alter how you see yourself. Journaling can provide you the privacy to explore your thoughts and events. Read the example below.

How Do You Distinguish Between Self-Perception or Reality?

Clearly state the situation (below is an example):

You enrolled in an accelerated nursing program despite financial and personal issues at home. You're passing your courses, but one assessment causes you to receive a low grade, and that's not passing. You have been warned by your guidance counselor that if you don't pass another course, you won't be in good standing. You would have to wait an extended period to reapply to nursing school. You withdraw from the school to forgo not being in good standing. You feel that you're a disappointment to others and a failure.

Creating a list of what's self-perception and reality/fact (starting with reality):

Reality (Dissect what happened):

  • Enrolled in an accelerated nursing program

  • Didn't pass an assessment- causing you not to pass a course

  • Still in good standing, but if you don't pass another class, you won't

  • Financial and personal issues at home

  • Withdraw from nursing school


  • You are a disappointment

  • You are a failure

Use the Emotion Wheel to help break down your self-perception list related to emotions. Afterward, list ways to combat negative emotions, and one great way is writing self-affirmations.

Self-perception and reality can impact our overall mental health. How you see yourself is extremely important in believing in yourself. If you have a distorted view of yourself, it can hinder your ability to thrive, grow, and soar. Today, ask yourself if you need a self-perceptive. If so, apply the above exercise to a problem you are wrestling with.

Are you seeking the perfect journal to beige your thoughts and complete the self-perception and reality exercise? Filled with 75 sheets of lined perforated paper, this beautiful white matte hardcover is designed with sunflowers written with a powerful reminder that "Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident." Ps 27:3

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