10 Perspective Shifting Questions
The power of shifting one’s perspective is immense. It can flip the energy of a bad situation to a great opportunity. It can turn tears to amusement, fear to laughter – even problems to easy solutions.
Here are a few questions I like to use to shift my perspective of a situation or a person. I also use these to get clarity on my own thoughts, feelings, needs and wants.
- What result am I really after?
- How can I make this fun? (or challenging, exciting, profitable, interesting, entertaining, unique)
- What is great about this? Is it humorous, ironic, mysterious, surprising, inspiring, eye-opening?
- In this situation/person, what can I find to be grateful for?
- What is a possible solution? What CAN be done (drop the excuses or discounting rationale!)
- What did I learn from this? What trait or skill did I develop because of this situation/person?
- How can I simplify this?
- What action do I need to take? How can I feel better right now?
- Why do I REALLY want to do this?
- How is this situation/person good for me right now? What purpose does this truly serve?
Now here is the final question; and this is perhaps the most important one. Now you have asked the question and hopefully, have an honest answer, how do you really feel about the answer?
Here’s a scenario: My upstairs neighbor was running loud fans all day and night. This was giving me headaches and stressing me out because I couldn’t seem to have peace and quiet in my own home.
Question: What result was I after? Peace and quiet. And no confrontation because I think these neighbors are a little wonky. An instant, magic wand solution – with no human interaction – is ideal here.
What action do I need to take? Talk directly to the neighbors (I hate this answer because I really don’t like confrontation). The friendly little notes I left weren’t quite doing the trick. Apparently we had to talk in person.
What can I find to be grateful for? Since I don’t like confrontation, this actually gave me a chance to practice and develop the skill of assertively resolving conflict. Which I’m not happy about, but… it is for my highest good, and I recognize that. Darn it.
What is eye-opening about this? I didn’t realize how adverse I was to confrontation until this incident. It made me realize that this is something I really need to work on. My stress and headaches were really due to my fear of confrontation. This is definitely something for me to meditate on or journal about for more epiphanies.
What action do I need to take? Knock on their door and talk to them directly. Be honest with them about how much this is annoying me and offer to help find a solution that works for both of us. Okay… that’s scary and intimidating for me, so I realized that I need to break this down into smaller pieces first. Figure out how to approach them, know what I am going to say, how I will say it, what I want to propose, and choose the right bottle of wine to drink before I go up there for the big event.
The most insightful part of this process didn’t come from the initial question. It came from my REACTION to the honest answer. This nudged me toward the root of what was blocking me or causing me to have the negative reaction in the first place.
The perspective shifting was the first step. The real transformation comes from healing the triggers arising from my reaction to those honest answers.