In my last blog I addressed overcoming and learning from our mistakes. In the blog I briefly discussed our tendency to beat ourselves up over making mistakes and refocusing our minds on growth rather than criticism. This week I thought it would be good to discuss ways in which we can change our perspective about things. Learning to change our perspectives will allow us take a different look at the reasons behind why mistakes, or even life, just happen.
Changing your perspective is not necessarily changing your response to what happens, but allowing yourself to look at all aspects of the situation. This in turn allows you to make a better decision and hopefully alleviate stress and anxiety that has come with the situation you are facing. So how can one change their perspective?
- Take time to look at the challenge you have been faced with. In order to come up with an effective solution, you must be able to truly understand the challenge you are facing. Look at all the details you have, and think about some you may have not noticed.
- Look at the situation from outside of yourself. Look at the situation from everyone else’s viewpoint. What would they make of the situation? What did you not see before? Do you notice any changes when you take a step back? Are you thinking of any other reasons or responses to the situation? Feel free to see how your perspective changes in relation to yourself, each person, and the challenge as a whole.
- Completely remove yourself from the situation and take another look. This time think about the situation being a friend or family member’s challenge. How is it different when it is someone else’s challenge? What are the changes in your response(s)? Notice any changes in your stress or anxiety when the situation isn’t attached to you?
- Imagine being the other individual(s). Most of the time, we need a new perspective for challenges we face involving other people. Even if you feel that no one else is impacted, chances are there is someone who also feels something as a result of the situation. Now it is time to look at the situation in their eyes. This can be one of the hardest parts, especially if there are any feelings of ill-will towards them. However, trying to put yourself in the shoes of them so you can get an idea of the other side. Not only are you able to gain a new outlook on the event(s) happening, but you can also learn more compassion for those involved. (It’s a win, win)
- Now it’s time to take some action. After looking at the situations from all angles possible, what seems like the best next step to take? How can you improve the situation or do things differently? Unfortunately you can’t change other people, but you sure can change your own actions and reactions.
Learning to take a step back and look at a situation from everyone’s perspective can take time. Even after following these steps you may still come to the same conclusion that you did prior. But after taking your time, you can know that you didn’t make a rash decision without thinking it through. A lot of the stress and anxiety that comes from challenges will begin to slip away as you stop focusing on what was done to you or what you did wrong, and instead focus on what is the next best step.
So next time you are faced with a challenge and want to make sure you make the best decision, remember these 5 steps and look at changing your perspective.
If you are trying to look at things from a different perspective, it may help to talk with someone. Having a partner to share these thoughts and challenges with can help you see things clearer from others’ eyes. Give us a call at Life Skills Resource Group Orlando at 407-355-7378 to schedule a free phone consultation with one of our Orlando Individual Counselors. Or if your child or adolescent is struggling with these issues, our Orlando Child Counselors, Orlando Adolescent Therapists, and Orlando Teen Counselors would gladly help them figure out these thoughts and behaviors.