There is no denying that our experiences shape the way we see anything. But those experiences do not have to define the way we see everything.
We can choose how we look at people, our circumstances, ourselves. And ultimately, our view will help determine the actions we take.
But how do we get there? Let us help you with these five simple steps, as Doe a Deery's theme for the month is Lenses...
1. Be Aware of Your Go To Lenses
When trouble strikes, what is your immediate reaction? Is it along the lines of, "Why me?" (victim lens) or, "Bring it on!" (courageous lens), or "I'm not going to think about it..." (avoidance lens).
When faced with an exciting opportunity, do you say, "I can do it!" (opportunistic lens) or "I'm frightened" (anxiety lens) or "I'll give it a go..." (explorer lens).
Identify your knee jerk reactions to positive and negative occurrences and then apply a lens label to your reactions (like I did in parentheses above). Then, decide which lenses you are most happy with and which ones are giving you trouble.
For example... sometimes I feel like I WILL NEVER CHANGE. And it drives me bonkers because I WANT to be so much better than I am. I know I am capable of change, but sometimes, one of my go to lenses is the you-can't-so-why-try lens.
2. Zoom Out
Try and look at your circumstance in the grand scheme of things. Breath. This will help you know which lens would be better suited for the situation.
When I zoom out on a stressful situation, I realize that it will pass. When I zoom out on my desire for change, I realize, I will not change if I look at myself through the you-can't-so-why-try-lens.
3. Pick a Better Lens
Figure out which lens is going to help you get the results you want--even if it doesn't come naturally to you.
Feeling self conscious? Choose the lens of confidence. Feeling sorry for yourself? Choose a lens of action.
For me, I'm going to pick up the lens of capability. I can change. I have changed in the past. I will change in the future.
4. Practice With that Lens
Create some sort of physical reminder that you are using a new lens for the day, week, month, what have you. Write the first letter of your lens on your hand, put a post-it on your mirror, tell your closest ally about it. When that pesky lens that you are used to seeing through tries to creep back into your sights, swat it down and hold tight to your new lens. Say its name if you have to. This may not be easy at first, but the more you do it, the more natural it will become.
5. Don't Focus Your Lens on Others
You don't paint a self portrait while staring at a picture of someone else. Same goes with developing yourself. Focus on you.
The moment we start comparing ourselves to others is the moment our lens goes blurry. Luckily, we can refocus, but it takes practice, practice, practice. (I do not claim to be even remotely good at this, but hopefully I can take my own advice and get better, yes... I can change!)
Let's get a little facebook thread going, what lens are you thinking of swapping out?