I’ve probably never mentioned this before (for obvious reasons)…but I’m a little accident-prone.
I’m very good at breaking things, including the occasional body part. I’m awkward and clumsy and inelegant. If something can go wrong, it most likely will when I’m around…and I’ll probably be 100% responsible for the situation.
It’s a real curse, I tell you.
So the other day, I pulled a classic Chrissy and it upset me. I was embarrassed. I felt stupid. I felt defeated by the cruel, cruel world.
I, of course, told my boyfriend as much in a moment of self-hatred and humiliation. And, being an incredibly wise soul, his response went something like this:
“Well, sure, you could be annoyed and embarrassed. Or you could look at it like this: You’re always willing to try things, even if you’re not perfect. You’re willing to take risks. You’re willing to look like an idiot! And that’s awesome!”
I mean…what a great guy, right?? (Even the idiot part made me smile…)
And what a great reminder! We ALL have to shift perspective from time to time. It’s easy to get stuck in your usual “woe is me” point-of-view. It takes effort to think differently. Sometimes, you need a good friend in your life who is willing to help you shake things up a bit—pull you from your narrow, one-lane focus and help you see another path.
Of course, there’s a trick here too: YOU have to be a willing participant. YOU have to be able to see that other perspective as a real option. And yes, that can be hard. REALLY hard. Like kicking-and-screaming-and-“you must be crazy”-hard.
You have to be willing to admit that what you’re seeing isn’t TRUTH. It’s merely your interpretation. You see, there are no “right” perspectives or “wrong” perspectives. There is no single indisputable truth when it comes to interpretation of facts.
The facts are true—and out of your control—but the story you create around them is your own doing. The story is fully within your control.
That means you get to CHOOSE the perspective that works best for you—the one that leads to the best conclusion for you in that moment.
For me, the story that I’m clumsy and accident-prone and inelegant is old news. I’m over it. It doesn’t serve me. So instead, I’m choosing to embrace a new story. The one that says I’m adventurous, a risk-taker, and willing to try new things even at the risk of being imperfect.
That story feels good.
What stories are you creating? What perspectives are you choosing? How can you shift the meaning of the facts you face to create a new story and a new point-of-view that serves you better?
This tool works whether in the workplace or at home so start practicing.