Ahmad says, “My life is a complete failure and I hate going to work”. Kassim, on the other hand, says, “I am excited every morning because I look forward to work”.
Two same human beings but with two contrasting minds will see their lives differently from the lenses they wear in their minds.
When we perceive our lives in a certain way, we are actually adopting a perspective that will greatly influence the way we interpret the world. It is really a CHOICE we are making. No one can force nor stop us from seeing the world in the way we want to.
A perspective is so fundamental and important to a person’s way of experiencing life because it strongly influences our thoughts, moods and eventually, our actions. What it means is, it is our perspective rather than the circumstances we are in that rules our lives. For instance, if someone strongly feels that people cannot be trusted, he will either shun them, ignore them or even retaliate by cheating them back! Conversely, consider a contented man who is satisfied with his life, may feel appreciative that God has given him good health and a good family although he may not have the kind of money like a richer person. To him, “having lesser”, is not directly related to “experiencing lesser” in life.
As it is our own self who can control how we think, feel and act, it is really important we build our mental strength to maintain a positive perspective so that we stay happy and contented as often as possible. When people can “turn their minds around” it means they have the resilience to pick themselves up quickly to move forward again. Why they can do it is because they have an “inner mind supervisor” who tells them that they are in a negative state and it would not do them any good if they prolong it. These are the forward-looking people who experience more moments of happiness and contention in their lives.
One disempowering perspective that most of us need to watch out for is the “significance” perspective or “taking things too seriously” due to the high sense of fear of disappointment, failure or rejection. When we can reframe ourselves from “significance” to “game”, we can then loosen up to take things more easily like someone who can prevent himself from being angry with a friend who does not show up on time. When this can happen, we get less stressed and relationship does not have to suffer too.
So how do we develop such skills? There are four (4) steps to take. Firstly, we need to be constantly mindful to read our current thoughts and moods. Secondly, we need to suspend the feelings for a while to reflect deeply on what they are doing to us. The third step is to deeply reflect by asking ourselves what do we gain (and lose) from having such thoughts. The final step is to bravely disarm those thoughts and moods for a more empowering one.
At the heart of reframing is the use of powerful questioning. Here are some powerful questions to ask ourselves: What am I feeling now? How is it helping me? How do I want to feel? What will I gain if I can change my negative thought? What will I do now to get it?
The hallmark of an effective coach-leader is someone who can do this successfully, for after all, leadership is simply about the ability to take charge of circumstances so that they do not make us victims of them. The wonderful thing is when this becomes our strength we will naturally inspire others to do the same so that they too experience greater happiness and contention in their lives as well.
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