Feel like everything is going wrong? Try changing your perception.
From the cost of living crisis in the UK to the war in Ukraine to electricity outages here in South Africa, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the world is going to hell in a handbasket. Wherever you are in the world, the media will exclusively share all the bad news with you 24 hours a day. It’s up to you whether you take it all in and get swept up in the collective negativity or if you choose to believe in more positive possibilities for your own life.
What you focus on grows. I choose not to watch or read the news or listen to the radio because most of what is shared is negative and it gives me anxiety. There is no point in worrying about external things you cannot change. Instead, putting your focus on things you can change is far more useful. Simply put, when you feel better, you do better.
You get to choose the way you feel each moment and you get to change the way you feel in any given moment. All that’s needed is a perception shift.
Here are 5 simple perception shifts you can make right now to feel better:
- Take an inventory of what you do have in your life. Often we’re hyper focussed on getting something we don’t have or achieving a goal we’ve not hit yet. Stopping to take stock of what you do have and the goals you’ve already achieved will shift you out of striving and into gratitude.
- Get present with what’s happening and where you are right now. Are you safe? Are you comfortable? Is everything ok at this very moment? If you can answer yes to these questions, you’re all good.
- Look at difficult situations involving other people from their point of view. Granted, occasionally other people are out to get you, but chances are they’re not. Could the perceived difficult behaviour be down to the other person being under stress or in emotional or physical pain or worrying about a family member who’s unwell? Can you shift your anger and frustration to compassion and understanding, then approach the problem?
- Find the opportunity in failure. Easier said than done sometimes, but finding the positive will help you move on. When the Dalai Lama was asked how he was able to feel happiness despite being in exile from his home country for 56 years he said, “We lost our own country and became refugees, but that same experience gave us new opportunities to see more things. I had more opportunities to meet with different people, different spiritual practitioners and scientists. This new opportunity arrived because I became a refugee.”
- Imagine for a moment that you’ve been given 1 month to live. Where would your focus go? My guess is it wouldn’t be on worrying about the current dollar to pound exchange rate, it would be on how you could best use your time. What comes up? Perhaps you’d spend more time with your family, how could you do that now?
Practicing the strategies I’ve outlined above has helped me enormously. When I’m calmer, kinder and not caught up in negative mind loops, I’m more productive and my days unfold better. I’m also better equipped to cope when things do go off track (as they inevitably do sometimes). Knowing I can always choose an alternative thought or feeling is incredibly empowering and it’s been a game changer in my life.
Need some help with your mindset? Please get in touch with me. I coach people from all walks of life to feel happier and do better in life and business.