I was teaching a psychology class. We were talking about different types of psychological testing methods. I put one of those old inkblots on the screen and asked what my students saw. There were a variety of answers. One of them said, “Two koala bears kissing.” Really? I had seen everything else others had said. I didn’t see any koala bears.
My student told me to come to her desk. I did. I stood beside the young lady and I still didn’t see any koala bears. I knelt beside her desk, trying to get to the exact perspective she was taking and…there were two koala bears kissing. I saw it! Seeing the koala bears, the way this young lady saw them, required me to get a different perspective.
Life teaches us things. Experiences cause us to believe certain things. Guess what? We all believe things that are false! Some of these false beliefs cause us problems. We usually aren’t aware of them, but they tend to guide the way we see things. Depression and anxiety are grounded in these beliefs. Some examples of problem beliefs might be:
- I am a failure
- I never do anything right
- Life will never get any better
- No one would want me if they really knew me
- Bad things always happen to me
- No matter what I do, the worst will happen
We need to look at life and ourselves
Perspective is important. How we view any situation and what we ultimately believe about that situation comes down to our perspective. Here’s the other problem – we usually don’t see everything. The way we see things may be flawed. This is particularly true when we consider our own circumstances. We examine our lives and conclude that things are a certain way when they may not be quite as bad as we perceive them. In these times, we need a different perspective. We need to look at life and ourselves through a different lens.
Think about your typical pattern. How do you tend to think? Are you normally optimistic? Are you typically pessimistic? Some people see the good in every situation. Others see the problems in every situation. Do you tend to feel “picked on?” Do you tend to believe others have good motives or malicious ones? Imagine how we might react differently depending on which side of these we were on.
Get a Different Lens
Okay. So we all have some beliefs that are negative and can cause us some problems. Here are some questions to ask yourself to get a different perspective:
- What am I not seeing in this situation?
- What good things about myself do I seem to ignore?
- How have my good decisions paid off in the past?
- If my best friend was in the same situation, what would I tell him/her?
- What would I say to my child if he or she made one of those statements to me?
- What would my friend or spouse say to me if I made one of those statements out loud?
See things differently takes some effort. Getting a different perspective really is like getting a different lens. The fuzziness clears and reality becomes more obvious. When we see things clearly, it is then we can take our best action.
Feel free to contact us if we can help you deal with problems either past or present that are robbing you of having a true picture of yourself or your situation.