Yesterday, we talked about the valuable skill of Context Reframing and how it can help you turn negatives into positives. Today, let’s take it one step further. Here’s the question of the day.
Are you locked into your behaviors – trapped and controlled by them – or are you in charge of your actions, and fully accountable for the results you get in life? If you want to take charge, one of the most important things you can do is to learn how to interpret your experiences in ways that help and support you rather than in ways that undermine and obstruct.
You see, every experience has multiple meanings, depending on who is doing the looking and what they are focusing on. Imagine two teachers looking at the same child. One says, “This child is a motor-mouth and never shuts up. Completely disruptive and difficult.” The other teacher says, “This kid has a lot to contribute and is not a bit shy about doing so. Very active and has good verbal skills.”
Do you see the difference? How do you suppose these two teachers approach the same student? How different would their approaches be? You can apply this same example to the workplace, families, anywhere personalities and behaviors can be observed. It all begins with the starting premise, or what we like to call “mindset.”
You see, we behave not in accordance with the truth, but with the truth as we perceive it and believe it to be. Take a minute and think of situations in your life which are presently challenging you. How many different ways can you see each of these situations? Can you put yourself into a different position, a different perspective? What can you learn by seeing these situations differently?
Here’s another perspective: Can you assign different meanings to them by changing your point of view? And, most importantly, how does doing this free you to behave differently? Our thoughts control our actions, so it is vitally important that we stay in charge of our thoughts.