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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When something “hooks” me, either in a good way or bad, I find it useful to ask myself “does it matter?” The reason I do this is that some experiences and situations can knock me off balance and my response can be out of proportion to what is happening.
The next time you have an experience that creates a strong reaction, try asking yourself does it matter? Doing so allows you to gain perspective and respond from a place of power. Asking the question centers you, allowing you to get through experiences in control of yourself and to avoid creating messes you have to get out of later.
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In the early days of the coaching profession there was focus on the stories we tell ourselves. These stories impact our perspective, emotions and actions, as we build our careers and work every day.
Do you have a “story” that you tell yourself? Perhaps the story is that you are trapped in your current circumstances, that the world is against you, that there is no place to go or that you are underappreciated. Or, perhaps your story is that there are no limits, that you can do whatever you put your mind to or that the world will support you in your dreams. See the difference?
What stories do you tell yourself?
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Always, there are multiple ways to view things. Keep this in mind, when you get into a difficult situation. Take a moment and step away. Identify the lens you are looking through and try out other ways of looking at the situation. Stepping back and identifying multiple ways to view a situation allows you to breathe, to innovate and to find your best path forward.
How do you use your alone time? Alone time can just happen for you or you can create it. However it occurs, there are benefits to reap from your alone time.
Alone time leaves you with yourself, allowing you freedom and perspective. Some of alone time’s benefits: you gain space for your thoughts and emotions, your creativity thrives, you get a broader view by stepping away, your mind and physical body calm and slow down, you become free of the influences that normally surround you and you grow to be more comfortable with yourself and who you are.
When did you last have some alone time? When will you create some alone time again?
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