The Power of Perspective Shifting


My mom and I are taking a trip across the country in a few weeks. We, along with my two teens, will fly from Philadelphia to Seattle, stay in a beach house in Port Angeles, and attend my cousin’s wedding in Olympic National Park. The other night, Mom and I were sharing concerns about the trip: are we spending too much money? Should we have rented a house at the beach or just stayed in cheaper accommodations? Will we even know anyone at the wedding? Is Zach going to be ok without me for 5 days??

Worrying is not very much fun. Thankfully, I had my coaching hat with me 😉 .

With my coaching hat on, I thought, you know what’s done is done and what’s to come will come. Worrying won’t change any of it. So let’s try on a new perspective. How do we want to feel right now?

Peaceful. Excited. Grateful for the opportunity to travel together.

Together we decided to stand in the perspective of “cross-country adventure with my grand-kids / kids.” Any adventure worth its salt will contain the unknown, the unfamiliar, and the unpredictable. Through the lens of “cross-country adventure,” facing the unknown, unfamiliar, and unpredictable excites me, raises my curiosity and sense of anticipation. Which feels infinitely more fun than worrying!

What circumstance or area of your life would benefit from a perspective shift?

Here are two ways to begin:
1. First is prayer (isn’t prayer the best first step for everything?!). Father God, I ask for Your help to shift my perspective about ______. I’ve been worrying rather than trusting You. Help me to see this situation/person through Your eyes. Please correct my thinking; remove any thoughts that cause me to step off the path that leads to You – to light, truth, and peace. Place new thoughts – Your thoughts – into my heart and mind. Saced Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in You!

2. Second is a fun little exercise…
Pretend that you are taking off a pair of glasses and setting them down on a table. These glasses hold your current perspective. All your thoughts, worries, fears, and assumptions about that circumstance or relationship. Before you on the table are dozens of other pairs of glasses, each with a different label.

There’s the Mountain-top Perspective glasses, the Forest Perspective glasses, and the Bubbling Brook Perspective glasses.
– What if you looked at that circumstance from the “mountain-top” perspective? Standing high above, up out of the
mucky details, where the air is refreshing and crisp. Get curious about what you might see from this bird’s-eye-view.

There’s the Salsa Dance Perspective glasses and the Waltz Perspective glasses.
– What fresh thinking might be available to you while considering the Waltz perspective, with it’s smooth, flowing,
comfortably rhythmic movement?

There’s also a long line of glasses labeled with colors.
– How would your world look different if you chose to wear the Yellow Perspective glasses today? The Hot Pink
Perspective glasses? The Sage Green Perspective glasses?

Worry, anxiety and frustration can leave us feeling stuck or powerless. The truth is, we have the power at any moment to create a new experience for ourselves. The very moment we become aware of our worry, anxiety, or dissonance, we can gently pause our thinking, take a breath, and begin to pray for help to shift our perspective. Whether our circumstance ever changes or not, isn’t the issue. When we shift our perspective, we shift how we’re feeling about the circumstance and how we’re choosing to relate with that circumstance.

And this becomes the difference between being captive to our circumstances or going free.

The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. – Philippians 4:5-6

Join the conversation!
  1. De, thank you for sharing your coaching on perspective shifting. I found it so timely and invaluable to my current circumstances. I used your suggestion and sample prayer, as well as the fun exercise on perspective glasses (loved the mountain top perspective!)

    Enjoy your trip with your mother & children across the country!
    Sincerely
    Michelle McFadden

    Reply
    • De Yarrison says:

      Hi Michelle! That’s wonderful! I am so glad that you found the suggestions immediately helpful. Mountain-top perspective is one of favorites to go to. I notice that whenever I feel “stuck” or frustrated in a particular relationship (or situation), I am focusing too much “in the weeds” of how I feel or what’s NOT going the way I want it to. Pulling myself out of the weeds and up to the mountain-top always provides a moment to breathe in some fresh air and look at things in a broader, less-self-focused way. God bless you!

      Reply

Leave a reply.