“You must look within for value, but must look beyond for perspective.” — Denis Waitley
Nothing in life is absolutely good or bad, right or wrong, or black and white. Learning how to change our perspectives is all the proof we need to experience this truth and keep us more grounded in reality.
Even though changing our perspective involves leaving our own little bubble behind, it can still help us grow and become better versions of ourselves in so many ways. Some of the benefits include:
- Becoming more open-minded and accepting of other people’s differences
- Engaging in more random acts of kindness and generosity
- Solving problems more effectively (and more fairly)
- Developing a higher level of emotional intelligence
So if you’re ready to start taking your personal growth beyond the limits constructed by your own mind, consider doing the following.
Check Your Ego
When someone tells you to “check your ego,” they’re usually trying to make you aware of the fact that you seem a little full of yourself. But even when you aren’t acting a little full of yourself, you’re still constantly identified with your ego, which creates biases in your mind that you may not even be aware of.
To properly check your ego anytime at all, ask yourself this: If maintaining your chance of survival or status in society didn’t matter at all, what would the situation look like? Asking this type of question downplays the ego and makes it easier to see things from different perspectives.
Notice How You Cling to Beliefs
Lots of people have very rigid beliefs on topics like religion and politics, but even some of the most commonly held beliefs can keep you stuck. For example, believing that your worth is tied to your career, or that you should act a certain way around your family are just a couple of seemingly harmless beliefs that may actually be doing more harm than good.
Anytime you find yourself thinking, “I need to do this,” or “this has to be this way” — just stop and notice how quickly you assumed it to be true. Is it true? Get out of your own head for a minute and try questioning it.
Seek to Empathize With Others
Even when we know we should be looking to understand and share the feelings of other people, we often don’t, because our egos tell us that it will uncomfortable and inconvenient, so it’s not necessary. But when we resort to this, we often respond and behave inappropriately.
To change your perspective, you have to be willing to step into the shoes of others to feel what they feel so you can better understand how they experience life. Even if that means taking on beliefs that go against your own or having to feel painful emotions, doing so will help you empathize with others and take on their perspective in the most practical and effective way possible.
Focus on the Lesson
When certain situations arise, we often look for problems and then try to solve them by deciding what’s good and bad or right and wrong. This approach, however, keeps us stuck in our bubbles and makes us blind to our own cognitive biases.
Instead of looking for the problem and then trying to solve it, focus on getting curious about the lesson instead. When you’re more concerned about the bigger picture of what something has to teach you rather than how to fix what’s wrong or bad, you’re more likely to view it from different angles (a.k.a. other perspectives) rather than your own self-serving, problem-solving perspective.