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Perspective

Our own perspective is one of the biggest influencers in our lives on how we make decisions. What is perspective? How is it defined?

Perspective is the attitude or way of regarding something, a point of view. Perspective is not what things are but what you believe them to be. We all have different perspectives or different viewpoints on events and things. Two different people who see or experience the same thing will describe it differently depending on their perspective. It could be  a perspective related to where they were when they saw the event. It can also be an emotional perspective, like the attitudes and feelings they have about the event.

Emotional Perspective

We’ve already discussed how we consume information and how our perspectives are formed by it, so for the sake of this post I want to focus on the emotional perspective and how this can shape or sway our decisions rather than the physical perspective. Let’s say you are an athlete in these times of uncertainty during this pandemic, like so many you find out your season is canceled. A large part of your identity is in the sport you play and you have the perspective of this being a threat to who you are. You can become angry at the fact that your season was canceled and start reacting impulsively, not thinking and just acting out. Slamming your bedroom door, yelling, even punching a whole in the wall because you’re furious at the fact that you will not be able to play this year.

A different perspective may lead someone to react differently. Someone who loves the sport itself and will miss their favorite hobby may become upset or depressed because they’re going to miss it so much. What that person is essentially doing is your grieving loss. When we think about loss we think about losing a person to death, but we can also grieve the loss of other things. In this case it’s the loss of having the freedom to play the sport that we enjoy and makes us feel good about ourselves. Dwelling on this for too long can lead to poor decisions such as drinking or using substances to fill the void you are feeling from grieving the loss of the sport.

Change Your Perspective to Change How You Feel

The best way to change your attitude and the way you feel about an issue is to change your perspective. The following are 4 ways you can change your perspective to make better decisions:

  1. Think I get to instead of I have to.
  2. Zoom out, look at the bigger picture of the situation, and find positives in it.
  3. Write down the negative thoughts you’re having at the time and replace them with positive ones.
  4. Distance yourself from the negativity.

The perspective we attach to the things that happen in our lives or what we are faced with is so crucial to the decisions we make. Depending on the perspective we have in any situation determines the picture we paint of the situation, and the outcome we believe it will have. Whether it’s good or bad is determined by you.