Our perspective is what shapes our world. I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying: if there is an accident or a crime, 7 people can see the same thing happen and there will be 7 different versions of the story. Each witness sees things from their own perspective. This is also true when it comes to our daily lives. Our perspective, where we are in our lives, and the emotions that we are currently harboring, will shape what we see around us.
One person can watch two people talking and see an argument, while someone else can watch the same conversation and see two people excited about something.
Why Does This Happen?
The way that we feel about ourselves affects how we see the world.
Have you ever been with a friend and they had a conversation with another person? They walk away and your friend says, “that person was so rude to me, they were talking down to me”. From your perspective, you just thought that the other person was trying to explain things to your friend, but because your friend has been feeling more self-conscious lately, she thinks that everyone is talking down to her.
That’s what I’m talking about. Your friend’s inner world is coming out and influencing how she sees the world around her. The way she feels about herself overshadows what is really happening. It changes how she sees everything and everyone.
We all have these little things that influence us. We just have to work hard to find them so that we can release them and move forward, seeing the world as it really is.
What has happened in our past can influence how we see the world; sometimes without our even knowing it.
Some people have had a lot of bad things happen to them in their lives and it causes them to view the world as a very negative place. Some people didn’t have much growing up, so they see the world as a place that doesn’t have enough for everyone. They think that they have to scrape and grab to get what they want.
What is happening in our own little world affects how we see the world as a whole.
If you just had a fight with your spouse then you may walk out into the rest of your day with the mindset that everyone is against you, or angry at you. You may look at those around you and think, “no one listens to me, no one does anything for me”. If your boss just brought you in and yelled at you for something, then you might leave that meeting thinking that your stupid and you can’t do anything right. You take that energy with you when you go throughout the rest of your day and it influences how you see the world around you.
How do we change our perspective?
1) We start by figuring out why we have the views that we do.
Look at what goes on around you each day. Look at those that you spend the most time with. Take time to talk to people who know you best. Think about your childhood: Where did you grow up? What were your parents views on things? How were you treated when you tried to share things with the adults around you?
Keep asking questions until you figure out why you have the perspectives that you have.
2) Begin to open your mind to see things in a different way.
Part of changing your perspective is being willing to listen to others, and to see things from their point of view, instead of always insisting on your own way. We have to be open to the idea that we don’t know everything, that we may have to learn and look a little silly for a little while. Again, this takes looking inside ourselves to see what it is that makes us feel like we always have to be right, why we always have to be the smartest person in the room.
3) Change up your daily routine.
We get stuck in the routine of our day to day. We go through our lives each day, often doing the same things in the same order. We drive to work the same way, we eat at the same places, we go the same route through the grocery store, we talk to the same people in the same way, every…single….day.
In doing this, we get stuck in a rut and we never take the time to look outside of our own little world.
To help you change your perspective, I invite you to mix it up.
Begin to look at things from a different perspective and see how it affects your over all well-being. Start with the small things. When you shower, do things out of order. Brush your teeth with your non-dominate hand. Try driving a different way to and from work. Even if it just means taking a different way out of your parking lot. Try a new restaurant. When you are eating a meal, put your phone down and look around you. See the colors in your food, look at the pictures on the wall, notice how the tables are arranged, look out the window (if there is one) and watch cars passing by. Order something different than you normally do.
4) Take this all one step further and literally change your perspective.
Lay upside down and look at things that way. How does it change? Tilt your head sideways and see what pops out.
5) Change your location
Go to a park, or even a different room in your house to work on things. Sometimes a change in location is enough to change our perspective on things. This is why taking vacations is so important. Even if you take a stay-cation and do something fun, it’s still a physical location change from the norm.
The lack of responsibility is not the only reason that our moods get brighter and our outlooks become more positive when we’re about to go on vacation, or while we’re on vacation. The fact that our daily routine is interrupted is part of what causes this to happen as well.
6) Reframe your thoughts about whatever you’re trying to change your perspective on.
Instead of listing your grievances about a situation, list the things that you’re thankful for about the situation. This helps to reframe things in your mind and shift your perspective.
(This idea came from Melanie Beckler – it was in one of her YouTube videos, I can’t remember exactly which one.)
7) Trying playing devil’s advocate.
If you are having a hard time finding a solution to something, change your perspective. Step back and think of it like an outsider would. Argue the position from the other side to gain clarity. Sometimes when we get stuck in one loop in our heads the solution alludes us.
Perhaps you had a conversation with your boss that you initially think is bad, but when you step back and reframe the situation, you see that they were just giving you constructive criticism. If you then take this and use it to improve how you’re doing your job, it could lead to a promotion or a raise.
As we start doing these perspective changes with the small things in life, it transfers over to the bigger things.
If we change how we view our own world, then the world around us starts to change as well. It’s not always easy, and it does take time, but it can be done. Shifting our perspective can change our lives in ways that we never imagine.
This applies to every area of our lives. We can improve our relationships, our jobs, the way we do things, and most importantly, ourselves.
Read our related post, “Does How We Think Really Matter?”.