This week, a bald eagle swooped through our yard with his lunch in his talons, and perched himself on a fir tree across the street. My husband and I grabbed the binoculars and watched with fascination. What a beautiful place we live in! As a few neighbors gathered to see what we were looking at, one rushed up and screamed “It isn’t eating a bunny, is it?!?” Why, yes, it was eating one of the dozens of bunnies we have in the neighborhood this time of year. She was so horrified and concerned about the bunny’s fate that she didn’t care at all about the beauty and majesty of the bald eagle in our yard!
It made me think, in an odd sort of way, how perspective is everything. Are you focusing on the beauty of nature doing what nature does, or are you so focused on what’s wrong with the situation – in this case, a bunny being eaten by its natural predator – that you can’t see and enjoy the beauty in front of you?
There are many different perspectives going on in our world right now.
Stressed out? Overwhelmed?
Are you in a rut about something and just can’t seem to find a solution? Are you stressed out about an issue or situation? Do you seem to be struggling in a relationship that needs some fresh energy? Do you need some new communication strategies to actually get through to someone?
Most of us can answer yes to at least one of those questions.
Sometimes the solution starts with turning things upside down a bit and taking a look at your situation in a fresh new way.
Giving yourself a new perspective can open up new possibilities as well as generate ideas you haven’t thought of yet. It can help you improve a relationship with someone, calm you down when you’re stressed, and even help you enjoy and appreciate all the good things you already have.
Nothing changes, if you change nothing.
When deciding if you might need a fresh perspective on something, ask yourself this: Will this change without my effort? If not, try some of these tips to help you gain some new perspective.
1. Take a hike.
Get outside and get some fresh air – even if you don’t feel like it. Getting out and moving, even just taking a short walk, can change your mood dramatically. It also gives you a chance to clear your mind and let your inner thoughts quiet down a bit.
2. Brainstorm with yourself.
Write down all of your thoughts and possible solutions. Be creative. Maybe draw a picture of what you want as an end result. Keep brainstorming until you have an “A-HA!” moment.
3. Change your scenery.
Move to a different room, go sit outside. Remove yourself from whatever daily routine you are in right now. It can have a powerful impact on your perspective. Getting out of your routine gives you a chance to view different scenery and will also give you some time and space for a little self-reflection.
4. Write a list of things you’re grateful for.
When you’re frustrated with your current situation, pause and reflect. Remind yourself that you have a lot of great things going on in your life as well. Try spending just five minutes a day writing down what you’re grateful for – big and small. Maybe it’s that first cup of coffee in the morning or your healthy child. Daily gratitude is a powerful exercise that will help you keep your perspective in check.
A change in perspective isn’t quite as simple as turning yourself upside down. Removing yourself from a situation and looking at it differently can be your best strategy towards gaining control. Once you give yourself some perspective, you can take steps to make necessary changes, or decide to accept the things you can’t change.
Next time you need an attitude check, try one or more of these tips to help in changing your perspective!
Do you find yourself wishing you could be a better communicator both at home and at work? Learn these skills and develop the self-confidence you need with my new online course, Communication Skills for Success. For any questions or to learn more, you can also contact me for a free 30-minute consultation.
Betty Lochner is a human resources consultant, business coach and expert in workplace communications. She is the author of 2 books on communication, and a newly published journal Intentional Gratitude.
Photo by Carolyn Cummins