The Women in Medicine Badass Radioshow

Episode #30: Learn to Shift Your Perspective

Show Notes:

Hello WIMBAs. It’s another episode of how you can be more magnificent even though you already are! But I’m super excited to be back and what I mean by that is —  you’ve probably seen episodes week after week but I had actually been on a six-week road trip up until very recently and so I had batch recorded those episodes for you and I am now settled into my new home in Miami Beach and I’m recording from our new home. So I’m super excited to finally be settled and to be sharing with you what today I hope will be a beginning to a beautiful new string of episodes. 

To start us off, we’re going to talk about something that I am really passionate about and that is how to shift your perspective. Now, as a psychologist for the last 20 years one of the main things I’ve been working with people on is shifting their perspectives. What I want to do today is really talk to you about what it means to change your perspective, why that’s important, and how you can do it effectively.

Before we get started, I want to first share a quote that I found online. It Is by someone by the name of Curtis Tyrone Jones who says, Perspectives are like a batteries. You can see the positive or the negative and they’ll keep you charged up if you replace them often enough. 

This is actually a very interesting quote and I think something that I thought would help you understand about perspectives is that when something happens, you can really choose to look at it one way or another. What typically happens is that we have a habit of seeing things in a certain way. So people who tend to think very negatively, people who tend to catastrophize for instance, are always going to find something to worry about. On the other hand you have people who often see the glass half-full and they’re always the optimist, always finding something good in everything. And then you have the people that are somewhere in between that sometimes see the glass half-full, sometimes see it half empty. 

But what I want to share is that it doesn’t really matter what your habit of mind has been up until now. The beautiful piece of work that you can do on your mind can actually really change your life. So think about it like this: Every time that you feel a certain way, be it negative or positive, it is a direct correlation to your thought process. And that thought process is essentially your perspective on something that’s happened. When you have a thought that is negative, you’re going to feel negatively. And so your perspectives on things might be a certain way, might have always been this way, but it doesn’t mean that they can’t change. When we’re thinking about making change, I want you to recognize that this is absolutely possible for you to do and if you stick around I will share with you exactly how.

Now, I just had an amazing experience with one of my group members. He came to the call and he shared today that he has been writing down some ideas about things that he wants to reprogram in his life, things that he wants to shift some of his perspective, his beliefs, all these things. And as he’s been doing this work on himself and starting to really pay attention, one of the things he noticed is that when something stressful happens that he tends to kind of overreact, he gets really upset, and then as a result he treats people around him not as well as he would like. And he said, “You know, I want to be the best version of myself and when I’m super stressed I can’t really do that. I can’t become that person, but what I realized is that I can react to stress in a more positive manner and I do that but making that decision. I make that decision to breath and not get so stressed out and that’s been so helpful in being able to show up in the way that I want to. 

And I want to share that you can do this just as easily. So the first step here is to really take to heart the fact that you can change, that it doesn’t matter how old you are, how long you’ve been struggling, etc etc. If you want to shift your perspective on whatever it is, you can do so. It might seem impossible, it might feel really difficult to do, but I want to tell you that it’s not as hard as you think and that is possible. So let’s just start with that to create a sense of hope. I want you to know that no matter how entrenched you are in your current thinking patterns, you can absolutely shift them. 

So when we’re talking about shifting your perspective, it’s really the way that you think about things, it’s your interpretation, it’s the meaning that you make of the circumstances that are occurring in your life — just so we’re on the same page in terms of terminology. 

Now, any situation I guarantee you can be viewed as positive, negative, or even neutral. One of the things that come to mind for me is — if you’ve ever been in a debate club I bet that they’ve taken one scenario and you were able to see people debate the negative side of it if that’s what they were assigned, and if somebody else can come along and debate all the positive sides of that same scenario. So if I really challenged you to take something currently in your life that you have a negative perspective on and come up with a positive spin on it, you would be able to do that. And if I took something that you feel very positively about and asked you to come up with some negative things that maybe could be possible, that you would be able to do that as well. 

Now what are the things we do as entrepreneurs is we have to anticipate objections from other people. So even if I create a program which I think is incredible, that could be life-altering for folks, I have to anticipate what kinds of objections other people would have. So it doesn’t mean that you have to buy into all these negative things that could be problems, but you have to anticipate that other people think differently from you and that they might have those mindset issues around then. They might have those kind of perspectives. So when you can anticipate that then you can also prepare for that. You can kind of say, “Oh well if somebody wants to sign up for my program but they’re going to tell me that they don’t have time because they’re so busy then I can take them on this journey. I can kind of share with them how to overcome that obstacle.” 

And the reason I share this is because again every situation you can come at it from a variety of perspectives. 

So now that we have covered what perspective is really about and that it is possible to change it, let’s talk about how do you do this work.

Well one way to do it is to really ask yourself, “What is the thought that is causing me to feel stuck, to feel unfulfilled, to feel burned out, to feel depressed, to feel anxious?” Whatever emotion you’re experiencing, it always comes back to a perspective and I love this word because it tells you that it isn’t necessarily a fact, it’s not the truth. It is just one way of looking at your situation. So you can kind of back up and say to yourself, “Okay what exactly are the facts? What is the situation that I am facing and what are different ways that I can think about it?” And each thought that you think about, your perspective, will then tie into a different emotion. 

And so you can literally do this work on paper where you write down the thought — Thought #1 — and then, “How does this thought make me feel?” And then you can have, “Okay well now there’s Thought #2. When I think about it in that way, how does that make me feel?” And you can literally go down the list and do this for all the different ways that you could potentially think about your situation and see which one feels the best. 

I was talking to another coaching client earlier today and we’ve been doing this work around reprogramming her mind and her job is to take a recording that I’ve created for her and to just listen to it every single day in order to get the results. And something that a lot of people often struggle with is when you don’t yet believe something, that you don’t actually do the work because you don’t think it’s going to help you, right? Makes sense. Well, she was stuck in this exact place which is very common. I asked her, “What would you need to believe in order for you to listen to the recording every single day?” Now one thing she shared prior to this is that when she does listen to it, it helps her a little bit. But she doesn’t do it every single day. She listens maybe every third day. 

So we know that when she listens to it, it helps. We also know that she doesn’t do it every single day and the reason she doesn’t do it every single day is because she doesn’t fully believe that it can work. So now the question is, “How can I shift my perspective on this and actually do it even if I don’t believe it yet so that I could set myself up for the possibility of getting the result?” And one thing we talked about it on our coaching call was that she just has to commit for the next seven days because I’m going to get on a call with her in just a week from now and I’m going to hold her accountable to listening to it every single day for the coming week. And for her having that external accountability was really powerful because that was a motivating factor. And you know, sometimes it’s hard for us to do things for ourselves especially if for caretakers, especially if we have certain self-worth issues where we don’t believe in ourselves enough. You know,  for a variety of reasons we don’t prioritize ourselves and so having somebody external come in and say, “You know what, I’m going to hold you accountable to doing exactly this and it’s not going to be forever. It’s going to be for the next 7 days” then it feels manageable all of a sudden and that’s exactly what happened with her. So I think that you need to figure out what it is that you need to believe in order to do the things that are going to help YOU achieve the kind of results that you want to in your life. 

So what we’re saying is that shifting your perspective is about choice. You get to decide how you want to think about something and a great way to do that again is to write down all of the options that you have in front of you, all the ways that you could think about your situation. You might have to borrow from somebody else’s mind. You might have a coach that sits with you and says, “ Have you considered this?” Or a spouse, or a friend, anybody who you can share your situation with who can lend you their perspective. And what’s so beautiful about this work is that just when you think that you have found all the different ways of thinking about your perspective or that there’s only really one way to think about, it all of a sudden somebody shows up and tells you, “Hey, there’s this whole other thing that you haven’t thought of. How about that?” And I think that can really blow your mind. 

So I invite you all to take the time to sit down and write out where you’re stuck, what are the thoughts that you’re currently having, how those thoughts connect to your current emotional state, and then ask yourself, “What would I rather feel instead and what do I need to think in order to feel this way?” And that allows you to start the shift your perspective and the way that you feel about your situation without ever having to change your circumstances. 

So I hope that you take me up on this challenge and that you do this not just once but for the rest of your life. And if you want help in this, if you want more coaching around how to do this, I want to invite you to check out my new e-book which is available on Amazon that is called, “How to Train Your Brain for Success in 5 Steps.” So I will leave the link in the show notes and I look forward to chatting with you again next week.

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