The benefits of taking a bird's eye view
One thing that we all benefit from is the capacity to see things from a fresh perspective. Nowhere in life is this more useful than in our interpersonal relationships – whether they be personal or professional. So, before reading on, I invite you to consider a situation where you’d benefit from taking a bird’s eye view, where perhaps:
- You are frustrated by some tension or conflict present.
- You are frequently finding yourself behaving in a defensive way, arguing your position.
- You lose your cool far more easily compared to other areas of your life.
- You are devoting less energy to really seeking to understand what is going on in someone else’s world.
- Your attempts to ‘fix’ the situation either are not working or are making things worse.
Here are five ways to rise above a situation
1. Be willing to take a fresh view
Whatever our circumstances, however difficult and challenging they may be, a fresh perspective will always help us take the next step.
For some people, this can be difficult, as it appears to be giving away their power, but the capacity to take a different point of view is actually a leadership quality we can all nurture that gives us the power, demonstrating agility of mind.
2. See that we can never be truly objective
To be 100% objective is impossible; our perceptual position will always be coloured by our own judgements, opinions, expectations, biases, hopes and fears. Self-awareness is recognising the internal factors that distort our own perception of reality.
Acknowledging that our perceptions are being coloured in ways that are invisible to us is an act of courage and shows humility.
3. Ask better questions
When we do commit to taking the higher ground, the quality of the questions that arise usually changes. Imagine taking yourself out of the situation - we all live a separate reality, each trying to make sense of the world using our own mental maps and the invitation is to get really curious: Why are they thinking that? What is going on for them? How are they suffering? What are they really trying to communicate? How can I meet them where they are at and really listen with nothing on my mind? And the most challenging questions of all:
How am I contributing to this situation in ways that are not obvious to me? What would I benefit from seeing differently?
4. Be pragmatic
There is a saying that we can either be right or be happy. The emotions associated with the ‘need to be right’ are an invitation to take a step back, letting us know we are unlikely to be seeing the situation clearly. We can inadvertently create suffering in ourselves when we become entrenched in our position, and this is not always obvious to us.
5. Maintain your own well-being
Sometimes we want to be a ‘rescuer’ or make things right. Self-compassion and being kind to yourself are essential for maintaining boundaries and acknowledging your own limitation and responsibilities.
Putting yourself first is often the kindest act. Be aware of your energy levels and use your emotions as a barometer of your state of mind. And where possible, be willing to ask for help.
Struggling with a situation that you’d benefit from a fresh perspective on? Message me to book your free 45-minute session today.
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