This blog post is inspired by a conversation I had with an old friend of mine who I've recently connected with again. Dear old friend of mine, if you are reading this, I left you unnamed, but thank you for inspiring this post.
We were talking about some of the lessons we've learned so far in our life and how we can better ourselves. One of those lessons was the importance of perspective.
Now to define what exactly perspective is: "a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view."
With so much going on in our lives each and every day, sometimes it can get hard to clear our mind and bring ourselves back to a moment. We're human, so we tend to stress and worry. We are always thinking about multiple things at once and trying to balance so much in our lives. Sometimes these so-called problems and worries take over our mind and it's all we seem to see. They become largely occupied in our minds, and now suddenly it feels like it's the end of the world. Perhaps it's some conflict at work, or it's a person in your life, or maybe it's just something inconvenient that happened, on top of many other things, and it causes you to just tip over the edge. It's so easy to put a blame on yourself, your life, or someone else.
However, shifting our perspective sometimes can help us see the problem for what it is, and make rational choices. It can help us clarify and recognize what is truly happening and how we can approach it.
I encountered an incident recently... I dropped my iPhone on the floor. Yep. It was in my hand one moment, and then somehow my arm coordination caused my phone to fly out of my hands. My first instinct was to attempt some ninja skills by "saving" my phone from falling - but I ended up losing balance and there it went flying out of my hands - my precious iPhone, across the kitchen floor, screen facing down...
A little worried and feeling very stupid, I picked up my phone and immediately checked it out. No scratches, no cracks. Phew. We are good. Thanks iPhone for being strong enough to survive that fall. Relieved, I proceeded with my evening.
A little while later, I pick up my phone to check my messages. Funny enough, a strip on the edge of my phone screen was being unresponsive to my touch. "Uh oh", I thought, "that's not good. But that's okay, I can live with that. I'm still able to use my phone features. Must've been from the fall. We'll just pretend like everything is okay."
Yeah... the next morning that unresponsive strip of my screen doubled in size and now I couldn't hit the letter A on my keyboard or any buttons on that part of the screen. "I know. I'll make my keyboard shift to the right more, and pretend like everything is still fine. This is fine."
Another day went by. That unresponsive strip has now tripled in size. It's like the screen is slowly dying. "Uh oh. Maybe I should restart this device, while I search up 10 different tabs on how to fix an unresponsive screen."
Restarts iPhone. iPhone requires password to unlock after restarting, and no your thumbprint won't work until you've logged in with your passcode.
Only problem... my password digits were all located on the left hand side of the screen. The unresponsive side. Great. I locked myself out of my phone. It won't connect to wifi, Siri, voice control, or my thumb, until I input my password.
Fast forward, I am going to skip the parts about me stressing out about the fact that I may need to factory reset my phone, but I haven't backed up anything, so I'm going to lose all my photos from this summer. I book the next available appointment with an Apple technician and make my way over to downtown to visit the store.
On the ride there, I started to to have the following thoughts…
"Life was going so well recently, why did this have to happen to me?”
"I have to drop $200 bucks on a repair that could've been avoided.”
"Why does my life suck!!!"
But then... I caught myself thinking these thoughts and then about my conversation with my friend, and immediately shifted my perspective and point of view.
I let go of that anxiety, worry, and negative feeling about my current situation. And I welcomed gratitude into my mind instead. You must be thinking.... why gratitude?
My single, biggest problem, right now in my life, is that my iPhone isn’t working.
I’m headed downtown, to the Apple store, swiping my card and paying them to repair it the same day, and then continue living my life, as an independent woman who lives on her own, has an amazing job(s), and is able to write this blog post right now.
Let me restate: my single, biggest problem, right now, is that my iPhone isn’t working.
I shifted my perspective, and approached my thoughts from the point of view of those people that would gladly take my problems over theirs any day. Thinking about how sometimes we can take our current life for granted, I came back to this place of acceptance of my situation. I let go of the worry, tension, stress, frustration, and invited gratitude, acceptance, and peace.
Funny enough, I got to the Apple store, had a seat and took out my phone. And the craziest thing happened. For only two seconds, my screen worked. It was just enough time for me to input my password and unlock it, before it went back to being unresponsive. I successfully backed it up, got it repaired, didn’t lose any data, and everything worked out in the end.
And truly, I think the Universe helped in some kind of way. My phone screen was unresponsive for 3 consecutive days, but as soon as I accepted that reality and focused on this current moment, it worked for a couple seconds, right before I gave it to the technician. I don’t know, but that felt like some sign.
The energy you put out into the world, is the energy you get back from the world.
Shifting your perspective can go long ways in shaping the way you think, the way you act and the way you react. Instead of letting your mind wander, blaming yourself or something else, letting anxiety build up, or bury in negativity, simply change the way you look at the problem. Your energy and time are some of the most valuable assets you have, so utilizing these in the best ways can do wonders! If I had gone the other route, who knows, I may not have tested my screen in that very moment and potentially would have had to factory reset my phone before getting it repaired, aka lose all my valuable data.
Accepting Your Feelings: A Happy Medium
I’m a huge believer in accepting and acknowledging our problems. Shifting your perspective doesn’t necessarily mean disregarding deeper problems, emotions, or feelings you may have, because “someone else has it worse.” I believe that statement itself is probably the worst thing one could say. I mean, yeah it’s true in some cases, but you don’t have control over other people. You only have control over your own self.
Shifting your perspective is running into situations and scenarios, where you can reevaluate and analyze an alternate point of view, to come up with a different approach or reaction. It isn’t running away from the problem and disregarding your feelings.
Accepting how you feel is the first step. If there’s something bothering you, you are feeling anxious, or you are feeling sad, for reasons you may not even know or feel “aren’t big enough” to be of value, take a moment. Get in touch with those emotions and start to ask yourself where that’s coming from. And then find solutions to help overcome and develop yourself.
For example, taking my phone example, let's pretend I lose my temper and patience. I feel super angry and then super disappointed. I feel like I lost everything in the world, all because my phone’s screen stopped working. These feelings may sound extreme, but maybe these emotions aren’t generating from that situation exactly, maybe it’s coming from a deeper root of problems and this incident had just tipped me over the edge.
Perhaps I was overwhelmed with work, and this phone hassle is taking my time away from my desk and duties, which is leading me to Anxiety-ville… maybe then I should start looking at my work schedule and workload.
Or maybe I begin to blame everything, from my existence to my capabilities in life, all because I ran into this situation. I start to think that I’m facing some kind of karma and the Universe is plotting against me. What is causing that anxiety, tension, or worry? Where exactly are those feelings coming from? It sure isn’t coming from a technological device that only functions with the touch of my fingertips.
Acknowledging your feelings is so important. You shouldn’t disregard them in any way, if you want to grow, develop and better yourself. We are all human and we have emotions. We shouldn’t be afraid of accepting that. However, if shifting your perspective and looking at a situation from a different point of view helps you understand it more, relieves you of anxiety or worry, helps shrink your ego, or brings you more peace, then you're on the right path!
That's it for this post! I hope this either helped you, gave you a friendly reminder, or made you think of something a little differently! I would love to hear your thoughts and comments, so don’t hesitate to reach out to me via any of my social media or email!
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Sending positive vibes your way.