Sometimes things happen that change what you see. You may have a view of a person or situation that works for you and then something happens that changes your viewpoint drastically. Say, you have a colleague that you see as dedicated, steadfast and non-judgmental and then you find out he or she has been deliberately undermining you and others.
When you get turned around, you may as well enjoy the view. Most likely, a truth or something previously unknown has been revealed. Put yourself firmly in the now and create your path forward from there.
You handle things best when you clearly “see” a situation. Biases, tilted emotions, fears and skewed perspective can cloud your vision. One powerful way to sharpen your skill at seeing things clearly is to practice non-judgment.
Non-judgment does not mean lack of opinion, perspective or feeling. It is a state in which to observe a situation or person without a decision of right or wrong. What does this get you? It lets you see a situation or person without bias. From there, you can decide how to proceed. Your clear vision will allow you to respond, rather than react, and to make the best move possible.
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Fear can turn you around in many ways. When you feel fear you can lose perspective, courage and power. Fear can come from within or from things outside you (some use fear to control and manipulate others). It serves you to have a way of dealing with fear when it shows up in your life and work.
What is your natural reaction to fear? Do you hide, try to tackle it, get defensive? Know your natural reaction to fear. Then, identify a way of dealing with fear that serves your interests. Doing this makes a big difference. You will be able to maintain your perspective, courage and power, no matter what comes along.
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It is natural to want smooth sailing in your life and work. You do what you can to keep it that way. To varying degrees, disturbance shows up and smooth sailing is disrupted. When this happens, you do what you can to get things going smoothly again.
Have you ever thought of disturbance as a positive thing? It can be. At work, disturbance can strengthen your skills, change your perspective in a positive way, help you see things you could not see before and rearrange things for the better.
Next time you experience a disturbance, make the most of it.
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Vacations and times spent away from work are always helpful to refresh your perspective on things. You don’t have to wait for them, however. There are other ways to change your perspective by getting away. Here are some of them:
• Spend a day out in the “field” (whatever that may be for your work) observing and interacting
• Solicit feedback and opinions from people around you, as well as from people you are not as closely involved with
• Find a completely new way to look at a situation and see if it fits
• Give some open contemplation time to difficult issues and see what your intuition tells you
• Physically get away from your normal work environment for short periods of time
Refreshing your perspective feeds clear thinking, creativity and momentum. Doing it often serves you.
It happens – you get down. All kinds of things can cause you to feel discouraged – personal interactions, failures and mistakes, dashed hopes, unrealized expectations, unfairness. How do you handle discouragement when it shows up in your work?
Here are some aspects of discouragement to look at: your mood darkens, your self-confidence dives, your optimism wanes, your body language reflects your feeling. What are these things about? A lot of them are about your perspective. Acknowledging this can help you deal with discouragement.
Next time you feel discouraged, try changing your perspective. It may take time, but muster your optimism and realize this too shall pass. Find constructive actions you can take to either remedy the situation or prevent the chances of its happening again. Look carefully of the root causes of your discouragement and if you can eliminate any of them. Before you know it your discouragement will dissipate and you will be your confident self again!
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1. Be CEO of your career
2. Let no one else have control over your choices and decisions
3. See your work as a meaningful pursuit that shapes your life
4. Explore your options
5. Exercise your creativity and imagination often
6. See mastering your interpersonal interactions as a way to challenge yourself and grow
7. Know your truth about the place work has in your life
8. Get away often
9. Always honor your values and act accordingly
10. Make fun a part of every work day
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In my last blog post, Shifting Perspective I wrote of how your perspective influences the way you see situations and the power that lies in shifting your perspective. There’s another facet in this that involves proactively creating a new perspective. Doing so allows you to handle a situation in a positive way. Say that you find yourself caught in a difficult interaction or are feeling down about your current situation. You don’t want to stay there. One way to get moving is to create a perspective that motivates and encourages you.
How do you create a fresh perspective? Start to see the positives in the situation – for example, a lesson the situation is teaching you, the negatives the situation reveals that you can now begin to change or the truth that the situation exposes. Once you identify the positives, change your perspective accordingly and act from there. With a fresh perspective, you can tackle the toughest situations successfully.
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Sometimes, even the slightest shift in your perspective changes the way you see your life, your work or a particular situation. Do you ever consciously focus on how your current perspective is affecting the way you experience things?
If you are looking at something through a lens of anger, excitement, sadness, being tired, worry, fear, comparison with your past or comparison with others, you may not be seeing what is truly there. When you are looking at a situation, it behooves you to do a “perspective check” to make sure you are centered and looking through a clear lens. We al know that rose-color glasses or foggy ones can alter your vision.
Try to maintain a clear perspective and shift away from lenses that skew the truth. Doing so, can serve you well.
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Crucible: a situation of severe trial, or in which different elements interact, leading to the creation of something new.
In the midst of challenging situations and times, do your thoughts turn to the possibility that a crucible is happening and will create something new? It could be helpful to do so. When you experience challenges, it is natural to focus on the difficulties you are experiencing – they are real. However, you benefit from developing the practice of looking at situations from various angles, crucibles being one of them. Doing so, allows you to open your mind to other possibilities and to weather crises more evenly.
Next time you face a severe challenge, try looking at the possibility that it is a crucible that will lead to something new.
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