Today’s subject has been particularly relevant to me recently. I have been involved in a couple of situations with people who are in conflict. Not comfortable. I have found myself getting dragged down by the conflict, but also ‘stuck’ in a way of thinking which is limiting.
For example, if my perspective on someone, lets say Miss T, is that she is a bully or that Mr F is lazy, I will be looking out for behaviour that justifies my perspective. It is not ‘fact’ that Miss T is a bully. It is not ‘fact’ that Mr F is lazy. The reality is that I have interpreted their words or behaviour in that way. I become unable to see the times that Miss T is gentle with others or Mr F works hard. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. And my behaviour is then linked to that perspective too.
It is challenging to look at perspectives and ask if they work for us. Some perspectives work well for me. The perspective that most people are friendly, or trustworthy enables me to make new relationships easier. The perspective that travel is exciting helps me to cope when things go wrong abroad!
But there are perspectives that make life harder for me and stop me seeing hope and potential. It can be profitable to try different perspectives. A perspective that “I don’t like change”, for example.
This week I allowed myself to view a situation from a different perspective. I chose to look at it from a ‘sparkly sunshine’ perspective. [for those of you turned off by Californian hippy chick speak bear with me!]
This switched my thinking around and I became able to look at the situation and the people concerned from a positive viewpoint rather than negative, thought about unity rather than division.
If looking at something from a sparkly sunshine perspective does not work for you, how about the perspective of a child? What would the child think about this person, or this situation? Or a wise woman? Or a Formula One sportscar? Or a flower? Anything which forces your mind away from its well-trodden ruts into new creative thinking. Warning – it might not be comfortable!
ACTION CHALLENGE: Pick an area in your life in which you feel stuck. Get a new page in your notebook or PDA and list the characteristics of your current perspective. Do you like this perspective? Do you want to change? Then pick another perspective. I invite you to try standing up and physically moving to another point in the room, then looking at the situation from this new perspective. Ask yourself – what is possible? If you find yourself going back to the stuck perspective gently bring yourself back to the new again. Then repeat with another perspective and another physical move.
What is possible?
If you would like help looking at an area of your life which is stuck, drop me a line.
And use the comments box below to share your experiences.