For example, Oprah did a talk show about eye witness accounts. While the audience was waiting outside, there was a fake crime that was staged. A man stole a woman’s purse. The audience was then asked to write down what they saw. After that they were shown the video of the fake crime. Some people had gotten the color of the man’s shirt wrong. Some people had gotten the man’s height and age range wrong. At the time, that was their perspective of the situation.
Every one has their own unique perspective of the world, much like wearing glasses, it is the unique lens they see the world through.
We could debate how someone’s perspective is right or wrong, but really the beauty in this is that a person can change their perspective when they want to.
It wasn’t always easy, but here are a few shifts in perspective that have changed for me:
I have a friend that wasn’t always able to go out when I asked her to. At first it would make me sad when she said no. Sometimes we would go months without seeing each other. We texted each other but we didn’t talk on the phone. It would hurt my feeling because when she said no, then I would think that she didn’t want to hang out with me. She would say that she was tired or sick. My first full time job was as a nurse. I work 3 days a week. I’ve never worked any job that required me to work 5 days a week for 8 hours each day.
Thinking about that helped me to change my perspective of the situation. I feel tired after I work 3 days in a row. The next day all I want to do is relax at home and not do anything. I can only imagine how tired I would feel if I had to work 5 days a week with just 2 days off. I was talking with my life coach and she told me a story about her friend. I thought about what she said. Now when my friend says no it doesn’t affect me like it used to. When she does say yes to going out, I know that she really wants to be there. She’s not tired or sick. She is present in the moment. I was able to change my perspective of the situation.
Want a shortcut to hearing people’s perspective? Post something on social media or start a blog, haha.
Another example, is recently someone told me since I said in my blog that I didn’t love myself a couple of years ago, then I didn’t have love as a child. Perhaps for some people that might be true, but that person’s perspective didn’t apply to me.
I had a great childhood. I had everything that I needed and most of the things that I wanted. To be honest, I was spoiled and I loved it. I was surrounded by love. I had love from family, friends, and neighbors.
The struggle that I was having a few years ago, was that I was relying on my ability to be happy to come from things outside myself or out of my control. I was telling myself that I will be happy when I get to a certain weight or my husband comes into my life or I will be happy when I get my nursing degree.
My happiness was fleeting because it was always conditional.
When I shifted my perspective, I realized that happiness is an inside job, as in I had to cultivate it within myself first, it brought me back into the driver’s seat of my life. Rather than waiting to be happy later, I could be fulfilled and joyful now, and from there losing weight, loving myself, and feeling worthy of love came naturally.
Another example, is when I started my nursing career. I thought that I was going to be a super nurse. That was my perspective at the time. All my patients were going to listen to what I had to say and they were going to change their lifestyle. One diabetic patient told me that they weren’t going to give up fried foods. That patient was getting worse each time that the patient came to the hospital. I finally had to learn that I can’t change a person. Just because that patient wasn’t listening didn’t make me a bad nurse. I had to change my perspective of the situation. Now I know that I’m a great nurse. Some patients change but its of their own accord. When I overcame my eating disorder, it was because I wanted to change and not because someone else wanted me to change.
One of the reasons that I changed my perspective in the examples above, is because I was harming my self esteem with my original perspective. That diabetic patient was getting worse, but it wasn’t because of them not listening or my teaching skills. It was because the patient didn’t want to change and that was the patient’s choice. My friend wanted to hang out with me but she was tired or sick. I couldn’t let that person’s perspective on my childhood make me feel sad. I know the truth.
What I learned was that we can change our perspectives when we want to.