Last week we talked about perspective: what it is, and how it relates to your job search/career change. Now, let’s talk about how you can shift your perspective in all areas of your life.
Have you ever noticed that people who have a positive attitude always manage to turn lemons into lemonade? No matter what happens in their lives, they’re able to take it in stride, and turn a problem into an advantage. Maybe you admire them for this resiliency—or maybe you’re a little jealous of them, and wish that you too could be so optimistic.
The fact is, a positive outlook is not a birthright, but something that can be cultivated. By making changes to your focus, internal language, and even the way you stand and breathe, you can cultivate a positive perspective and reap the benefits in every area of your life.
Here are some tips to help you get started.
- Stand up straight and smile. Yes, our mothers always told us to do it, but how many of us do? The fact is, it’s hard to feel angry or fearful when you’re standing tall and proud with your chest lifted and your shoulders back. Take deep breaths into the center of your chest, put a smile on your face, and see how your perspective responds.
- Cultivate your health: When we’re feeling tired, achy, and dull, it’s hard to keep a positive outlook. Making even simple improvements to your diet and exercise regimen can have an enormous positive impact. Cardiovascular activity, in particular, is a great mood-booster.
- Shift your internal mantras: A mantra is a saying that we repeat over and over, until it’s ingrained in our subconscious. Think this is only for yogis and Buddhists? How many times do you say “I’m tired of…” or “I can’t…” or “I’m not…” in the course of a day? These negative, limiting thoughts become your mantras. So when you catch yourself making these statements, try rearranging them to say, “I will…” or “I can…” and see what happens to your perspective.
- Realize where your roadblocks are. Often, these will come from past life experiences. Track your feelings to find out where fear, guilt, and other negative emotions are blocking your progress. Notice where you have immediate reactions to situations that haven’t even happened yet. When you say, “I know this is going to be awful,” you’re defining your experience before it has a chance to unfold.
You can’t see the cobwebs in the dark corner until you shine a light on them; in the same way, it’s often difficult to pinpoint where a shift in perspective is needed until you know where to look. The more you learn about your own perspectives and how they affect your life, the easier it is to weed out the perspectives that no longer serve you. One of my jobs as a coach is to help people create shifts in perspective which improve their careers, their lives, and the balance between the two. So are you ready to shift?