Sunshine blues - Gaining perspective on a problem
The sun is shining and everybody else seems happy and care free. So why don’t you feel the same? Sometimes it can be even harder to understand why we don’t feel our best when the weather is good and other people look like they are in control of their lives. It can feel unfair and feel more painful than usual. So what can you do about it?
Often when people are in a place that they don’t want to be, they can examine every detail of the problem they are having over and over again. In fact, you become so familiar with your issue that it sometimes feels as though it has taken over your life, or at least become an on-going part of it. This is when taking a different perspective can help.
If you think of it as similar to being lost in a maze and, having tried over and over again, you feel like you are never going to get out as you tread what seems to be the same path and even different routes land you up in the same place. The reason for this is that, in a situation like this, you are on the ground with your nose to the wall or the hedge without being able to see the bigger picture. Now, if you imagine if you could float up out of that maze, high enough to see it all yet low enough to focus, all of a sudden you can see the patterns, the dead ends. You can see the exit, know what it looks like, put a strategy together to get to it and you can finally make your way out.
In a similar way, if we do this with our own issues, we begin to put things into context and gain a new perspective and maybe even opportunities we hadn’t noticed before.
Firstly, we need acknowledge the issue; if we pretend that something isn’t happening and just hope it is going to go away, but it doesn’t, it’s time to flag it up and stick a label on it. Even if you aren’t sure why it’s there or how you are stuck with the issue, accepting that it's there will help enormously in dealing with it.
Once we know the issue is there, we need to decide whether or not dealing with it and escaping the maze it is going to benefit us. It's amazing how many people stay stuck for fear of what might be on the ‘outside’. So decide what you would like to be out there and choose to be the person who is going to be responsible for getting you out.
That’s when it’s time to put things into context and take a different perspective. Look at it from a different point of view. This is where coaching can help you. Sometimes people find it hard to draw themselves out and prefer to have a helping hand. Having said that, there are exercises you can do yourself and any life coach should be able to help you.
Once we have things in perspective and get a strategy together to find the way out of a problem, all of a sudden we don’t feel quite so alone. We stop separating ourselves from the rest of the world; we are allowed to enjoy ourselves, make plans and get out and enjoy the sunshine. By the way, even the rain clouds won’t look so bad either!
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