Life can be tough. Between managing work, paying the bills, caring for family, and trying to stay healthy, it’s easy to forget what it’s like to feel satisfied.
The road to happiness is different for everyone. Some may feel like they don’t have time to feel happy. For others, it appears to come so naturally. No matter the experience, every tough situation has something in common: your perception of it.
Perception is all about how we experience ourselves, other people and the world at large. By shifting our perception of what happens to us in our daily lives, we have the ability to influence how well we cope.
Let’s have a look at three areas in which a shift of perspective could enhance our quality of life.
Society incessantly bombards us with unrealistic and at times irrelevant standards such as our physical appearance, social status, and personal success. This pushes us to lead a life governed by comparison.
In fact, as children we form our self-perception from other’s opinions leading us to often believe harmful and untrue things well into our adulthood. These false ideas cause us to see ourselves as incapable, unlikeable, unworthy, etc.
Combating years of negative self-perception is no easy task. One way to start a shift in this thinking is with a negative self-talk journal. Write down every negative self-perception as soon as it arises. By seeing it on paper, you can recognise the invalidity of the idea and argue against it.
Sometimes we respond to others so quickly that we are unable to analyse the origin of our reactions. Just as our childhood influences how we see ourselves, it also impacts our perceptions of others.
Even our past relationships can affect what we project onto new people we meet. For example, you might adopt a negative view of a co-worker because they remind you of an unsavoury experience with someone else.
If you engage with others based solely on negative perceptions, your relationships could suffer. Ask yourself: why am I reacting to this person in this way? This will enable you to shift towards a more positive social interaction.
Are you happy with your career? How we perceive our jobs is important, because work takes up so much of our time. According to WorkScore's survey data only 1 in 3 people say that they are happy in their jobs.
It’s easy to see that for many, the ideal job which is both fulfilling and easy to balance remains elusive. Here is where perspective can give hope.
In a discussion on career and purpose, 1Giant Mind founder Jonni Pollard offers a great solution. Instead of habitually seeing our jobs as unfulfilling, we can shift our perspective by thinking: What can I bring to this role that is unique to me? For example, if you have creative talent bring it to work. By putting more of yourself into what you do, you may start to feel more at home. Changing how you perceive your job very powerfully shifts how you feel when you wake up and throughout the day.
An inability to control everything in our lives is what keeps us guessing and growing. If we put our efforts into changing our perceptions from negative to positives ones, it will allow us to feel happier and more at peace with life.