Perception is reality

So, people seem to say “perception is reality” at work in a way that means “well, if he doesn’t think your work is good enough, his perception is reality, so we should change it”.

This irks me. I also had a client say this the other day, because she’s trying to people please her way into getting a promotion at work while simultaneously selling her soul (my thought / judgment lol).

I was trying to get her to be authentic and show up for herself, rather than trying to please him, and she reverted to the ‘perception is reality’ – “I can’t be myself, because nobody likes me.”

While intellectually I do understand that his perception is his reality – just like my perception is my reality, and that we all get to choose that – I don’t think she saw it that way. She saw “I want him to promote me, he needs to like me in order to do that, therefore I need to change because his perception is reality.”

How would you handle this as a coach? I think that ultimately she does think she feels better when she gets outside validation, so she’s very results oriented in that way.