5 Minute mindSHIFT: Perspective
Today's 5 Minute MindSHIFT is one of the most powerful tools you can use to get out of your own way, and that is perspective. Perspective is an often misused word. People tend to conflate perspective with perception. Perspective is simply a place from which you are making observations, not the resulting observations themselves.
Perspective is simply a place from which you're making those observations. It's a point of view… sans any meaning you may derive from that new point of view. The meaning part we'll cover in future 5 Minute MindSHIFTS. If you're constantly observing something from the same place, you're keeping yourself trapped in a prison of a false single view of reality.
As humans, we tend to get tunnel vision. We get so focused on things that we can see very little else. This becomes our world, our reality, and then we make a vain attempt to try to manufacture some perspective.
What happens, though, it actually has the opposite effect. It intensifies the effect of our blinders. As Nobel Prize winner, Daniel Kahneman, the noted psychologist and decision making and judgment expert writes, “Nothing is as important to us as when we're thinking about it”. This means that the more you focus upon something, the bigger it becomes to you in the moment, the more intense the blinders become.
The answer is to stop focusing on it and gain real multiple perspectives, physical, mental, emotional, distance and aspect from that thing that we're focused on. Things will begin to look differently to you when you experience it from different places, different perspectives, and more importantly, they'll begin to feel differently because you're experiencing them differently.
As it turns out, many of my clients are coaches themselves, and I actually love that because when I help them, they are in turn able to help so many more people. The leverage that has, the ripple effect, is truly humbling.
I was working with one coach who was in the wellness industry, and like many of us have from time to time, he found himself stuck. He was doubting himself and confused. I don't know about you, but I've personally never been in that place, right? That place of confusion and stuckness.
Well, since he and I had had some of the same training and I was pretty sure that he would be prepared and potentially resistant if I were to take a typical approach, I made the decision to take another route. During our session, we just sat there overlooking the ocean, drinking some water and relaxed. He's one of these take no prisoners, striver, driver people. And I suspected that what he really needed to do was to power down and get some perspective.
As he relaxed, some of the things that he was allowing to keep him confused, starting to pop up. Through a form of active listening and a bit of NLP change work towards the end of our session, he was really beginning to make sense to himself. I was then able to help him associate his increased clarity with a shift in perspective alone. The only assignment I gave him was to continue the perspective exercise at least once again.
Well, I didn't hear from him for a few weeks, so I checked back in and he said, "Hey, Dan, man, it's been amazing. I left your place and went straight to the beach." He's referring to the beach right outside my window. "And I laid out for a couple of hours. It felt so good that I did it again and again the next few days, and now it's a part of my routine. And now things have become so crystal clear for me and my next steps." I heard from him awhile back and now he's off on another adventure. Something completely different than the one that had him tied up in knots.
We keep ourselves in self-created prisons. To escape those self-created prisons is to simply shift your perspective, your point of view, the place from which you're making those observations, not the observations themselves. Look, hear, feel, smell, taste, experience things from multiple other places.
Perspective gives us space to be… physical space, mental space, emotional space, physiological space.
It gives us an increase in operational area, more information becomes available to us and it provides more options and more opportunities.
The first step is to gain perspective, actually multiple new perspectives. Go for a walk different than you've ever done before. Take a break and go somewhere different than you normally do. Get out of town. Immerse yourself in nature. Get away from your distractions of cell phones and email and the noise and notifications and reminders and distractions. And simply relax and empty your mind. Breathe. Let go of those false productivity messages that are whispering in your ear, and begin seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting of feeling your world from those different perspectives.
Become a student of your world, not a knower of it. Turn off your brain and empty yourself completely. That's a new data, new information can appear on your radar. And then when you re-engage in your life, you will not be picking up from where you left off. You will be in an entirely new place and a new perspective.