We recently had friends visiting us from London, and as we strolled around our small, quaint city, it was fun to hear their comments.
“Look at all these wooden houses. And all the different colors!”
“Everyone is so happy here.”
“I love how clean everything is.”
Showing them around turned us into tourists in our own back yard. What a lovely new perspective!
If you’ve ever acted as a tour guide for out-of-town guests, I’m sure you’ve experienced the same. You think about the sites they’d like to see, locally-focused experiences you can arrange, etc. In doing so, you might end up seeing and experiencing things you never have before. (A perfect example, I’ve lived in Massachusetts my entire life, many years very close to Boston, and still have never walked the Freedom Trail!).
Seeing your town or city through the eyes of visitors shifts your perspective and can be quite enlightening. Often, it can make you fall in love with where you live all over again.
What if you were to take this concept and apply it to other areas of your life? Intentionally looking for a new perspective is a powerful way to snap yourself out of a funk, discover a solution to a challenge, or make some marked progress toward a goal.
Give it a shot. Think about something that’s stressing you out. Now imagine your best friend came to you with the same situation. What suggestions would you offer him or her? How might he or she look at the situation differently? It’s often easier to come up with a new perspective for ourselves when we imagine it’s for someone else — a product of us being too close to our own stuff.
Another way to see possibility in any situation is to play make-believe. Let’s say you hate your job. Start by thinking BIG and then backing into it. Ask yourself, “What would be my dream job?” Then break it down. What is it about the dream job that appeals to you? Is it the flexibility? The travel? The collaboration? The service? The stability? These identifiers represent your work values — something important to know to help you focus your search for something new, and it is in playing make-believe that you can see options you may have been blind to before.
In my years of working with clients, I have found perspective to be one of the most powerful tools in improving the quality of life. Don’t confuse feeling stuck with having no options. There is ALWAYS an option. Yes, always. If you’re having a hard time finding it, give the above approaches a try.
Our London friends are coming back to join us for their first American Thanksgiving. I can’t wait to experience this day in a whole new way through them.
I’d love to hear from you. Where could you use a new perspective? Have you tried one of these tactics with some success? Join the conversation in the comments below!
Until next week, keep taking those small steps to Live Out Loud.