“You will always define events in a manner which will validate your agreement with reality.” ~ Steve Maraboli
The story you tell (to yourself and others) is the way in which you explain – and justify – your perspective. Your perspective is your point of view – the way you see or interpret the events of your life based on your principles, values, attitudes and beliefs. Each person’s perspective is unique. Most people think their perspective is based on the circumstances of their lives: “Bad things keep happening to me so obviously life is bad”. But in fact… get ready for the secret… the opposite is true. Your experience in life is determined by your perspective, not your circumstances. Let’s repeat that:
Your experience in life is determined by your perspective, NOT your circumstances.
The miracle in that statement is that you can choose to change your perspective at any time, and therefore change the way in which you experience life.
Your perspective is like wearing glasses over your eyes. Let’s say that you put on a pair of sunglasses because in a particular moment, they seemed useful. But what if you never took them off again? Eventually you forget you are wearing them and just believe that the world is a dark place. Your friend talks about how bright and colorful the world is and you think she is crazy because obviously everything is dark and gray. You have forgotten that you chose to distort your vision of the world by wearing sunglasses. Your perception is your reality. Because you view the world as a dark place, it is. The ego decides that your “view” of the world is accurate and therefore the only possible view. You become locked into your perspective.
It may seem like a silly analogy, but it’s a clear example of how easy it is to get locked into a particular perspective. If you have a negative view of life, if you maintain a self-limiting view of the world, it’s not because these are universal truths, it’s because you have chosen that perspective. If you believe you can’t… you won’t. If you believe you can… you will. Both are equally true because life is not about circumstances, it’s about perspective.
You know this is true because circumstances change your perspective all the time. The problem with relying on circumstances or events to shift your perspective is that most circumstances are beyond your control leaving you with a perspective that you didn’t consciously choose – and consequently a life that you didn’t consciously choose. However, you can choose to shift your perspective at any time without waiting on an event to shift it. This process is called “re-framing” – creating a shift in consciousness that helps you see things in a whole new way. Re-framing allows you to remove dis-empowering perspectives that make you feel stuck in a negative situation with no way out. If you can discern the perspective and re-frame it, then you open up opportunities to find new solutions and move on. There are lots of techniques to make this process easier.
One way is by asking yourself “why?” When you find yourself limited by your perspective, challenge it. Ask yourself why you believe what you believe and keep asking why. Eventually you come to realize that your self-limiting perspective is not based on fundamental truths (principles), but instead on faulty logic (values, attitudes and beliefs usually inherited from others). Deciding to take a new perspective opens up a limitless number of new options and opportunities. Then you can pick the ones that best fit your goals.
Coaching can help you change your perspectice. Visit my page for more information.