I Never Thought of It Like This Before
How often have you overheard a remark, been party to a conversation or seen something that has caused you to reflect and say, ‘I never thought of it like that before‘.
Or had a strongly held opinion or belief blown apart when a new piece of information came to light?
It can be disconcerting to have to acknowledge that what we held onto, and perhaps even defended, as right and true is not what we believed it to be.
Even our eyesight can fool us.
From a distance, we may see a shape, an outline that we’re 100% certain is one thing, but as we approach, we begin to realise that it’s something completely different, or even nothing, just a shadow casting a particular image.
Much of what we see and hear is appreciated through our personal lens, through our background conditioning and personal experiences; what we think, see and imagine the truth, the reality to be.
Interestingly, if we approached ten people to give witness testimony after seeing a traffic accident, there would probably be slight variations in their stories, not deliberate falsehoods, but a genuine belief in what they had to say.
In addition, our perspective can be dependent on how we’re feeling, our emotional state.
We may be sensitive to other people’s attitudes, behaviour and comments, influenced by how stressed we are, whether we’re feeling vulnerable, pressurised by the demands of work or struggling with a domestic or relationship issue.
Any of these can impact on how we interpret what happens to us, on how personally we react, how convinced we are about someone else’s intentions, about how things seem to be.
So, if we’re tired, stressed or feeling a little overwhelmed we’re likely to react rather differently than on calmer, easier days.
It’s natural to become defensive and self-protective at times of hassle and stress, perhaps losing our tolerance, resilience and sense of humour for a while.
Using time well means allowing enough time, not trying to fit in one more call, job or appointment when you really should be moving on.
It benefits no one to arrive hot and hassled, when you’re less likely to be calm and open to any discussion points or seek a constructive outcome.
Remember, you never see celebrities and superstars running red-faced from place to place.
Of course, they have assistants, but they also manage their scheduled appointments and allow enough time to do them and themselves justice.
Life can throw up interesting situations.
It’s wonderful to know that, with the right mindset, and when feeling receptive, a discussion, question or story has the potential to open the doors to a whole new way of thinking for us. Even when started relatively innocuously.
In life, it’s important to allow ourselves to be receptive to other ways of thinking, to appreciate that things aren’t always what they seem at first.
So, that even if we choose to continue following the same path, at least we’re doing so with more commitment, insight, a slightly enhanced perspective.
There’s potential for growth in an attitude like that!
And it may be that a row, a serious disagreement, or even a chance remark prompts us to reconsider and question previously held beliefs.
This provides space for reflection on our existing opinions, giving ourselves time to be quiet and heal.
And if we become aware, through feedback or self-reflection, that we’re behaving in ways that are unhelpful and ‘not us’ it can be important to consider any feedback, take time out and detach for a while.
It’s useful sometimes to question if they’ve got a point, or if there’s some validity in what they have to say.
Pausing to ensure we have a good approach and are empathic includes being open-minded, practising quality listening, being prepared to be sensitive to other people, their points of view, so trying to understand their world a little and what motivates their thoughts, feelings and actions.
This can bring a whole new perspective into our interactions and dramatically shift our previously held opinions.
Significant growth can occur during those interludes.
It’s important to take the opportunity to dedicate some time and make space to seek out the bigger picture, to take a walk in nature, sit in the garden, perhaps be alone.
Doing this can be beneficial and improve mindset, perspective, stress and happiness levels.
When we accept the potential for things to be different than we first thought and not what they initially seemed to be we bring energy, light, curiosity and receptiveness into our lives and the situations in which we find ourselves.
It can be fascinating to discover that things are not always what they initially seemed to be.
Enjoy the revelations!
Susan Leigh, Counsellor & Hypnotherapist lifestyletherapy.net