Perspective is a point of view, a way of looking at or interpreting a set of events. We all have perspectives about our world and the circumstances we find ourselves in. And it is your perspective that determines your experience in life, not your circumstances. So, while we cannot always change our circumstances, we can choose our perspective at any time. This is a powerful tool to have in life.
Gaining awareness of what makes us feel stuck
It is a little bit like wearing glasses. Your glasses are silver and have yellow lenses. Every day you put your glasses and see the world with a yellow tint. Overtime you forget that your glasses are tinted yellow and you start to believe that the world, through your eyes, has a yellow glaze to it. The trees are not quite green, more autumn in colour, the sky is not quite blue but more greenish.
Two years later, you go back to your optometrist and get a new pair of glasses. He asks you if you still want a yellow tint and it is now that you realize you had forgotten that they had a yellow tint. You decide it is time for something different and so you decide to have any tint. And then you realize green is so green, blue so blue and the world looks vibrant and alive. You changed your glasses and you have a new perspective.
The glasses analogy offers us a clearer understanding of how easy it is to see something in a way – your perspective. By changing the way we see something, reframing our perspective, everything can look different.
Knowing what our perspective is, allows us to have a greater awareness of how we make decisions and how our perspective determines the way we see things. What we see is based on what we believe.
I know, we have no control on circumstances and some of them may be challenging and hit us hard and many circumstances are outside our control. We can however choose to shift our perspective at any time without waiting for it to be shifted for us. We call this process of shifting perspective ‘’re-framing’’. It is not about changing your mind. Instead, it is about creating a shift in consciousness to help see things in a whole new way. This shift requires that you be willing to understand that there is more than one way to look at a given situation. It is about opening thought and showing a fuller range of possibilities.
I have identified 14 perspectives on which I usually work with my clients. You will find below the top five, but it just took me a while to select just five of them!
See if any of these disempowering perspectives is familiar with you:
The big winner of this Top 5. Making assumptions about what people are feeling why they are acting as they are and how they feel about you.
Example: A co-worker didn’t invite you to a meeting that you thought you should’ve been invited to, and you believe that he is intentionally trying to exclude you from the conversation or that he doesn’t value your input.
2. I Should:
You keep a list of rules about the way the world “should” operate and become angry or disappointed if others don’t follow your rules.
Example: “After hearing something explained to me once, I should understand it completely.” “Other people should never interrupt me when I’m talking.“
3. Fallacy of change:
Believing that you can’t be happy unless you can change those around you to behave the way you want them to be.
Example: ” If my manager would be more open to communicate, everything would be different.“
4. Control Fallacy:
thinking that you are responsible for everyone and everything around you or, alternatively thinking that are a victim of fate and have no control over anything.
Example: ” I was asked by a colleague to deliver this workshop on next Tuesday and I can’t say no otherwise we will lose this client“.
Thinking that everything people do or say is a reaction to you.
Example: ” She didn’t say hello today; I think she doesn’t like me. “
In bonus, because I love sharing…
Believing that what you feel is the truth. For example, if you feel stupid, it means that you are stupid, If you feel guilty then you must have done something wrong.
Example: “I feel overwhelmed and hopeless; therefore, my problems must be impossible to solve.” “I feel anxious; therefore, something bad is going to happen.”
Does any of them speak to you? Feel free to comment.
Marie Dancer is a Women Career & Leadership coach who helps professional women to pursue their career with greater clarity, meaning and authenticity. She also work s for organisations which want to develop a trust building culture, trust being the bridge between business needs for results and human needs for connection.