Adapted from The Living Clearly Method
Perspective gives us a chance to ask, How do I want this to go? And in the space we create by asking that question, we can influence the course of events. But what is perspective, exactly? It's commonly defined as a specific point of view or a way of seeing something. There can be multiple perspectives on a given situation (if you need examples of that, check out our politicians). But for me, it's--unsurprisingly!--more active than that. Sure, perspective is something that happens, but only if you decide you want it to. There's innately some momentum behind it, some umph and focused attention; it's not a passive state of being.
The first step to bringing more perspective into your life is acknowledging that you need it. If you sense that you're more reactive than responsive (like if you find yourself spending more time apologizing for things you've said or done than you'd like to), or if you're dominated by feelings of worry or anxiety, or if you feel generally stuck and stagnant in your body, job, relationship, home life, anything, you could probably use some more perspective. And I've got a simple four-step process to get you there. To practice perspective and start the process of defusing reactivity and increasing your ability to hear what's really going on with yourself and others: 1) Pause. 2) Zoom out. 3) Reframe the situation with a key question. 4) Choose a new direction.
The next time you feel the stress rising—if your body is aching, if your heart is hurting, if your child is testing your patience or your partner is testing your compassion--bust out the perspective 1-2-3-4.