“Life is 10 percent what you make it and 90 percent how you take it.”
― Irving Berlin
The above quote illustrates the fundamental importance of perception in how we see ourselves, our lives, and the actions and expressions of the people and events around us. In Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) one of the most important techniques I teach is about managing your perspective. Our actions are often based on assumptions that have layered themselves in our subconscious – so our actions to certain situations are in reality reactions.
Knee-jerk responses that we put out there without conscious thought or consideration for the damage we may be doing to ourselves and our own potential for success. Our internal programming is simply following the neural pathway that exists and our behaviours are enacted accordingly.
But what if this is something you can change? After all, your perception of a person or event isn’t truly real is it? It’s an interpretation – and if this is so, then you can adjust that understanding much like the contrast and brightness settings on your TV. You can choose to re-interpret – or re-frame – the way you see something so that the thoughts and beliefs around this better serve your life goals. Let me give you an example.
You have never stayed with any kind of diet – so you tell yourself you just aren’t good at managing your weight. This perspective does not help you achieve the healthy lifestyle you would like to have, does it? What if you shifted your point of view just a little? What if you decided that you just hadn’t found the right weight management plan for you yet? This at least frees up your thinking so you’re likely to give some of them a go. Hell, you might choose to give all of them a go.
Try a different program every week or month until you find one that seems to suit you. Perhaps you choose to blog about your experiment and gain followers and before you know it, not only have you lost weight and gained health, but you have a successful blog and can earn an income via advertising on your blog – all because you chose a different point of view for your weight loss situation than you had done before. See how that works?
The great thing about owning your own perspective is that you can teach yourself to choose one that best serves your goals and needs. You can also learn to recognise when current thoughts are not serving you – and you can begin to re-frame them one by one until your viewpoint is so very different from the old way you used to see things that you barely recognise this happy, healthy, positive person. You keep checking yourself in the mirror – yep that’s you; smiling. Just a different way of seeing you – a perspective shift if you will.
Can you think of an area of your life that could be improved with a little re-framing? Share your story in the Comments box below.