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Last Updated on January 12, 2021

How to Develop Different Perspectives on Life

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How to Develop Different Perspectives on Life

You may have come across the picture that has a number drawn on the floor with two people standing on either side of the number. One person sees a 6, and the other sees a 9. They are both right, yet they are wrong in the eyes of the other person because of their particular perspective on life.

They could either stay there arguing and holding on to their idea of what the number is, or they could around and see the difference in their thoughts. This is perspective.

The world would be a better place if people understood a perspective on life can be molded, changed, or explained. A lot of quarrels, battles, and wars could have been avoided if people saw things from another person’s perspective.

We would raise better, empathetic, and more responsible adults if we taught kids what perspective was, the importance of perspective, and why we may need to alter a given perspective on life when faced with new information.

Before you start thinking of how you can start seeing things from the perspective of another person, you might want to start by understanding the fundamentals of perspective. You need to first know what a life perspective is.[1]

What Is a Life Perspective?

Just like the example given above with the 6 and 9, your life perspective is the way you see things. Life perspective is the way people see life, including the way they approach life and all there is in their personal experience.

In this life, few things are absolutely right or wrong. What we usually have are two different perspectives on one thing. We have a person saying something is bad and should not be done, and then we have another person saying that “bad” is a strong word to use for the same thing.

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Recently, a question hit social media: “Can you marry or go into a relationship with your best friend’s spouse if your best friend is dead?”

As usual, different answers hit the net, and while some thought it was morally wrong based on a truckload of sentiments, others felt there was absolutely no big deal to it. This was based on the fact that the person who would probably have an issue with this was dead, and there were no reports of the two people who now want to go into a relationship seeing each other before the death of the ex-spouse.

As a neutral person who has not picked a side yet, you can see that both sides of this argument have concrete reasons to support their answers. They have different choices, and all of the choices are valid.

While one set sees life from the perspective of “anything goes as long as it makes you happy,” another set sees life as “there are boundaries you should not cross.”

You see now that there are two valid perspectives here. Both of them are right in their choices, and saying one is wrong is an unsupportable stance.

There are more than 7 billion people in the world seeing things a lot differently compared to the next person. This complicates life because, instead of seeing the similarities we share, we often focus on what is different, which leads to disagreements and fights. Simply making a switch and attempting to see from a different perspective could help many of these problems.

How Important Is Your Perspective on Life?

Your perspective on life determines how you relate to people, how you handle relationships and troubles, and how you live day-to-day. You may not realize how important your perspective on life is because we often feel that as long as other people’s opinions and decisions do not affect us, ours should not affect other people.

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However, the fact is that our perspective on life does affect the people around us.

Going back to the 6 and 9 analogy we began with, what we also have are two different scenarios that can play out here.

We can end up having two adults who refuse to agree to disagree and separate after a heated argument, destroying the chances of building a relationship.

We can also end up having two adults who swapped positions and perspectives and looked through each other’s eyes for a minute to see that this could either be a 6 or a 9, depending on where they stood. This could graduate into handshakes, drinks later, and the start of a friendship. And all they had to do was view things from a different perspective.

Your perspective on life can either make or mar a relationship.

If you have a bad or negative perspective on life, it affects everything and everyone around you negatively. You find yourself constantly being angry and not being able to accept other people’s perspectives.

Other times you find yourself complaining and stressing over things that simply require a small shift in your perspective.

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Having a good perspective on life gives you an advantage. First of all, you are a lot more open to seeing from other people’s perspective, thus making it easy for you to create meaningful relationships.

It also gives you a lot more reasons to be grateful and happy. If you live a life where you are constantly showing gratitude and being happy, then you have lived a fulfilled life.

How to Change Your Perspective on Life

Changing your perspective is an active decision you have to make intentionally. First, you have to come to terms with the fact that your current perspective on life is not absolute and can be changed. Then, you have to understand the importance of having a different perspective from the one you already have.

Once you have dealt with these, here are some active steps you can take to changing your perspective on life.

1. Stop Complaining

Whatever the issue is, whenever you feel like complaining, fold your thumb, bite your tongue, do something and make sure it stops you from letting out that complaint. When you listen and try to understand more than you complain, you are beginning to see things from diverse perspectives.

2. Consciously Seek Happiness

When you are happier, you will see things more positively and seek out more things that make you happy. However, when you are constantly brooding and thinking negatively, your perspective will never change, and soon all that negativity will begin to spread around you like wildfire.

3. Reduce the Social Media Vitriol

Oftentimes on social media, people will post one thing and followers will take on a different perspective regarding its meaning.

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When different phrases in a post hit social media, some people do not understand them, which can increase online conflicts.

Responding to critical or negative posts with a sense of maturity and lightheartedness will lessen any vitriol spills and keeps anyone from receiving blocks.

If you feel like you may need some time away from social media to practice this, this article may help.

When you are on social media, always seek the other angle of the person disagreeing with you. Your opinion is not alpha, it is just an opinion and can change.

The beautiful thing about perspective is that it is subject to change. It is not static, and the decision to alter it rests on you.

Final Thoughts

The moment your perspective on life comes to play, always remember that it is not the alpha perspective and that the other person’s perspective matters as well.

Your perspective on life can also improve, and trying to get into someone else’s shoes might show you the way to betting your thoughts and your attitude.

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More Tips on Perspective

Featured photo credit: Elijah Hiett via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Association for Talent Development: Perspective Shift: The Power to Change Your Mind

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Published on October 14, 2021

How to Silence the Impostor Syndrome

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How to Silence the Impostor Syndrome

Do you ever worry about being exposed as a “fraud?” You’re not alone. It’s actually quite common for people to feel like imposters. In fact, approximately 70 percent of people admit to having experienced impostor syndrome[1] at some point in their lives — a Twitter poll found that 87 percent of people have experienced this.[2] Even successful and famous people like Tom Hanks, Howard Schultz, and Natalie Portman suffer from imposter syndrome.

But, what exactly is imposter syndrome. And, more importantly, how can you silence it?

Originally coined in 1978 by psychologists Pauline Rose Clance, Ph.D., ABPP, and Suzanne Imes, Ph.D., the term “impostor syndrome” describes symptoms that include being unable to internalize accomplishments and being afraid of being exposed as a fraud.

The individual may also be plagued by chronic self-doubt and believe that they’re unqualified for success despite evidence to the contrary. Inadequacies, fears of failure, and disbelief that success is a matter of luck or timing are also common.

If you don’t address this phenomenon, feeling like an impostor can prevent you from achieving ambitious goals. Moreover, those experiencing these feelings tend to over-prepare or procrastinate — which obviously hinders productivity and reaching goals. And, as if that weren’t bad enough, imposter syndrome prevents you from pursuing new challenges and opportunities.

Do you feel like you’re suffering from impostor syndrome? If so, don’t beat yourself up. After all, there are effective ways to overcome these feelings in a healthy and proactive way.

1. Don’t Hide It.

“Firstly, acknowledge it,” advises Claudine Robson,[3] the Intentional Coach. “You give strength to imposter syndrome by letting it continue to peck away at your confidence unchecked.” It can only be banished if you acknowledge it as soon as possible and break the silence.

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“Then you need to separate your feelings from facts,” Robson adds. “One thing imposter syndrome does very effectively is to mix up your perceptions of reality.”

If you can, take a step back and look at the situation objectively. “Recognize when you should — and when you should not — feel fraudulent,” she says. Appreciate and acknowledge the task, intellect, and insight that have led to your success.

You might even be able to take action by recognizing that the reason you feel fraudulent is that you’re new to a task. “That gives you a path forward; learning is growth, don’t deny yourself that.”

2. Implement the STOP Technique

In her book Cognitive Enlightenment, Melinda Fouts, Ph.D., outlines a technique to overcome imposter syndrome using what she calls the STOP technique.

“STOP is an acronym for ‘silence the oppressive player,” Fouts explains in Forbes.[4] “You need to eradicate this tape that is playing 24/7, whether you are conscious of it or not. It plays loudest when we are tired, hungry, or feeling defeated.”

Steps to implementing the STOP technique and rewiring your brain are as follows:

To replace the tape of not good enough, you need a “launch sentence.” “I’m more than good enough” would is an example of a solid launch statement.

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Put your launch sentence in prominent locations, such as your car’s dashboard or computer. How come? The reason is that as the tape plays, you won’t be able to remember your launch statement.

Continue to say “stop” until you recall your launch sentence, says Fouts.

Put your launch sentence into your own words and pontificate.

While going about your daily tasks, like while driving or exercising, practice your launch sentence so you can recall it when you need it in the future.

“I am told this sounds simple and it does,” she adds. However, this technique is challenging when your negative tape is playing. You will not want to replace the tape every day while your brain is rewiring itself. “It is these moments you can’t give up.”

3. Distinguish Humility and Fear

When it comes to hard work and accomplishments, there’s humility, and then there’s fear. In other words, having a high level of competence can lead one to discount its value occasionally. However, as Carl Richards wrote in an article for the New York Times,[5] “After spending a lot of time fine-tuning our ability, isn’t it sort of the point for our skill to look and feel natural?”

The problem is that we feel unworthy from time to time. But, as Seth Godin explained in a blog post,[6] “When you feel unworthy, any kind response, positive feedback or reward feels like a trick, a scam, the luck of the draw.”

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Feeling worthy without feeling entitled is possible. And, finding the right balance between them is critical for overcoming impostor syndrome. “Humility and worthiness have nothing at all to do with defending our territory,” Godin continues. “We don’t have to feel like a fraud to also be gracious, open, or humble.”

4. Keep a “Brag Sheet”

When you were sending out college applications, did you build yourself a “brag sheet?” If not, here’s a clean description from Shawna Newman,[7] “A brag sheet is very similar to a student resume – it highlights your accomplishments, key experiences, leadership skills, and employment throughout your secondary education.” In short, “it’s a quick reference guide with all the details and achievements for someone trying to get to know you better.”

While it may be awkward at first, you can apply the same concept when coping with imposter syndrome. Just compose a list of your accomplishments, activities, skills. That’s it. Just remember Godin’s advice and also be humble and gracious.

As an added perk, besides being an effective way to talk myself up, I’ve also found that this has helped me stop comparing myself to others. Instead of harping about other people’s milestones, I’m honing in on what I’ve done.

5. Celebrate Wins, Period

Speaking of accomplishments, they shouldn’t be categorized as small or big. After all, you feel as if you don’t belong when you have imposter syndrome. So, the more you celebrate your wins, the more confident you’ll become.

Furthermore, accept compliments without qualifying them and practice listening to praise every day. Finally, become kinder to yourself by saying at least one kind thing to yourself daily. And, give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back.

6. Assemble a Legion of Superheroes

“You know how corporations have a board of directors to — in theory — make them stronger, maintain checks and balances, leverage resources, and help advance the organization’s vision?” asks inspirational speaker, speaking coach, and creative consultant Tania Katan.[8] “Why not assemble your own board of directors to leverage resources to help make your career stronger, keep you in check and balanced, and advance your vision?”

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“My friend Alison Wade, president of conferences, training, and consulting at Techwell, calls her personal board of directors her “front-row” — those are the people she invites to sit spitting distance from the stage, cheer her on, challenge her, and review her performance,” Katan writes.

As for Katan, she calls hers a “legion of superheroes.” The reason? “I dig the idea of joining forces to do good in the corporate galaxy.”

It’s important to have a diverse group of individuals who will defend you. Ideally, they should be varied in all dimensions, such as cultural background, way of thinking, and skills.

Katan recommends that you meet together frequently, whether if that’s once a week or every quarter. “Share your experiences, fears, creative ideas, aspirations,” she adds. “Celebrate each other’s accomplishments.” You also need to both support and challenge each other. “Discover what you are capable of doing when you combine your powers.”

7. Visualize Success

Follow the example of a professional athlete by imagining yourself crushing that presentation or project. You’ll enjoy the relief from performance-related stress. And, more importantly, it can help you avoid focusing on the worst-case scenario.

Final Words of Advice

While there’s no single formula to cure imposter syndrome, the tips listed above are a start. After all, your success depends on your ability to fight the negative effects of it. For example, feeling unworthy over time can lead to crippling anxiety and depression if left untreated.

If you’ve tried the above, then make sure that you speak to someone about what you’re experiencing, whether it’s a mentor, peer group, or licensed professional. And, above all else, there’s a place at the table for everyone — no matter what your inner voice is telling you.

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How to Silence the Impostor Syndrome was originally published on Calendar by John Rampton.

Featured photo credit: Laurenz Kleinheider via unsplash.com

Reference

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