The Power of Perspective

CHAPTER 24

LEARNING HOW TO SHIFT OUR PERSPECTIVE

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The last few Sanguine Stories, I’ve been talking about how to define success and how to overcome obstacles that all too often get in our way.  In Chapter 24, I want to zoom in on one particular topic – how to see life through a different lens, or really, many lenses.

How to shift our perspective from rejection to redirection

The other day, I was standing on a piece of driftwood photographing the waves come up and swirl around me. When I returned home, I noticed that some of the pictures looked like I was actually standing on the edge of a cliff with the water far below.

Obviously, I knew that I was only about 8 inches off the ground but it was interesting to see the shift in perspective from how the images I had taken looked on my computer screen.

The ability to shift perspective is a powerful skill, but only if we remember to use it. All too often, in the hustle and bustle of life, we forget to take a moment and look at the situations we’re facing – and the world even – through a different lens.

Sometimes, we need to zoom out and see the bigger picture rather than remain focused on the minute details (which all too often are out of focus and not so pretty).  Other times, we do need to zoom in and get to the heart of the matter.

If you’ve got a smart phone, you know what a difference a filter can make on a photo and our perception of it.  Changing the pic to sepia makes it look older, black and white may dull it down while vibrant will make the colors come to life.

Perspective is everything when it comes to what you see and how you act or react to situations in real life.  We all have different ways we see the world and show up in the world. But one thing that any of us who have ever taken a risk know – we all fail, lose out on an opportunity, are rejected and come up short.  That’s life.

Let’s Get Real: Removing the Rose Colored Lenses

When I moved to Costa Rica, I expected surf and sand, sundresses and sandals, but the dream didn’t live up to the reality.

As I said in my recent post on impermanence and instability, my dream didn’t die. It just became something else. I had to take off my rose colored glasses and replace them with a perspective lens.

Some failures are our own, such as setting ourselves up with unrealistic expectations. Others are the failures of others, such as the sexism and racism that I experience in Costa Rica. Still, we feel them all.

I’m here to tell you that failure doesn’t equal disaster. In fact, it’s the opposite.

Your Own Eyes Can Become Perspective Lenses

Remember how I mentioned the story of me standing on the driftwood above? You don’t need a fancy camera or a filter to turn your own eyes into perspective lenses.

They love you no matter what…so should you.

You can zoom in or zoom out or even put on a totally different lens and change your perspective when you deal with setbacks, frustration, and rejection to see yourself in a whole new light.

Or, if it works better for you, try to see yourself through someone else’s eyes.

Sometimes it helps to do a little role-playing. No, you don’t need someone else for this exercise. Just imagine you’re talking to someone you love about the problems you’re facing now.

A friend has come to you with a similar story of regret and disappointment. What do you say to her?

  • You’re beautiful and kind and loving. Nobody can take that away from you.
  • Everyone makes mistakes. I have, too. Let’s work through this together.
  • You’re not alone.

Now say those things to yourself. This is how you shift your perspective and become your own best friend.

You Control The Next Shot

Paradigms are like glasses. When you have incomplete paradigms about yourself or life in general, it’s like wearing glasses with the wrong prescription. That lens affects how you see everything else. — Sean Covey

I’ve been beaten down by reality more times than I can count. Sometimes, getting back up and dusting myself off seems like the hardest thing in the world.

But I do it. Why? Because I know that I control the next shot.

Whether I’m snorkeling in the ocean, talking with a potential new client, or dealing with the after effects of being robbed, I’m in control. So are you.

I’ve learned that, in some cases, I don’t see my whole self. I see the part that’s broken and hurting, but I don’t see the part that’s strong and caring, tenacious and determined.

When I can’t see the whole picture of myself, I’m reduced to half a person.

Instead, I choose to zoom out, and get a wider perspective that allows me to see the world for what it really is: a constantly shifting, sometimes difficult, always crazy beautiful place.  I choose to see myself as whole, balanced and complete.

As I’ve said before, I’m a pragmatic hippie, so I won’t tell you that a shift in focus will automatically fill your vision with rainbows and unicorns. It doesn’t work like that.

What I can tell you, though, is that you’ll gradually learn to accept frustration and rejection as part of this crazy beautiful universe.

And not to worry… I’m here for the ride with you.

Thank you my friends for being a part of the Sanguine Community. Until next time, be simply sanguine.

Share the love…

I’d love to hear from you:

How do you remind yourself to look at situations from a new perspective? When something seems negative, how do you switch lenses to create a more sanguine outlook?

 

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chrissy gruningerChrissy Gruninger is an author and mindset coach. She mentors people on how to live their ONE beautiful life, wherever they may be. Her latest book, Lost and Found in the Land of Mañana explores her life in Costa Rica and both the challenges of working and living abroad as well as the beautiful life we can create from those experiences.

She loves her rainforest beach shack in Costa Rica, the sunshine and the rain and passionately believes that through intentional actions we create more happiness, health and harmony in the world. 

Her goal: to empower others to thrive in an imperfect world.