This week we share a guest post from blogger and Transformational Coach, Suzie de Jonge. Enjoy :)
“Your belief becomes your reality.” ~ Brian Tracy
When you find yourself in a difficult or challenging situation, do you look at it through a clear or emotionally filtered lens?
Understandably, when you feel under pressure or upset, emotions are heightened. This can often cause you to react without fully processing the situation and respond in less than effective, and sometimes even self-destructive ways.
The fact is, we see the world in different lenses. But this lens is our choice. As Brian Tracy famously said: “Your belief becomes your reality” and it couldn’t be more true. The way we perceive the world around us affects our emotions, our attitude, and of course, our actions.
Here are a few damaging (though sometimes understandable) filtered lenses you may wear:
Gloom & doom gold
My (way or the highway) maroon
When you get caught up in the emotions of the moment, this can affect the clarity with which you view the situation. This in turn may cause you to react automatically without thinking and can often lead to regret. It may even result in irreversible consequences if you react from the head and not the heart.
Think of a time when you said something in the heat of the moment that you later regretted, maybe to your boss or a partner or friend. In that instance you were reacting from your ego/emotions and not your logical mind. Or perhaps there has been a time when someone has said something hurtful to you and afterwards you play the scene over and over in your head, constantly dwelling on the situation and thinking of all the ways you should have responded!
Maybe you are envious of someone else’s successes and achievements, and therefore resentment becomes your lens of choice. It seems everything they touch turns to gold and instead of being happy for them, it may shed light on your own insecurities and dissatisfaction with where you are in life. It could be you are watching the news and see a story about someone on welfare in a dire situation and you automatically labor or budget them. This is another commonly worn lens.
But remember, this doesn’t mean that you are a bad or horrible person. We all fall into patterns of behavior that end up fitting us like our favorite pair of comfortable slippers. They could be patterns handed down to us from our childhood that we have never challenged.
So, it is important that we remember to take note of how we are showing up in the world.
Think of the people closest to you and see if you can identify what color lens they look at life through. Most people have a “go to” color that is easy to recognize. Some may be positive colors such as always looking on the bright side or always seeing the best in people. Thankfully, not all the lenses we view the world through are negative or destructive.
When you are constantly looking at life through negative lenses, what effect do you think this has on you? It can be as though everything is tainted with that particular color/emotion and can start to cause feelings of bitterness, resentfulness as well as suspicion and paranoia. Life is just happening TO YOU. Even though there are beautiful colors around you, you become oblivious to them. In the end, you become the victim and you feel powerless to break out of your “story”.
So how do you turn this around? Next time you are in a situation where you are about to react automatically just STOP and pause – count down from 5 to 1. Notice your breathing, relax, and don’t automatically think the worst. Step back in the moment and see what your automatic lens was going to be. Is the way you were going to react helpful and healthy, or negative and unproductive? How does it make you feel when you hold a mirror up to that? What would happen if you just sat with the situation/thought and gave space to your feelings before responding?
This is a practice that can become your NEW “go to” way of dealing with situations. And like learning how to drive a car or ride a bike, the more you do it, the easier it becomes until it is your automatic way of being.
Wouldn’t living your life like that be a more joyful and lighter way of being?
Remember, awareness is a very powerful tool and a lot less painful than the lesson of hindsight!
Suzie de Jonge is a Transformational Coach and the founder of Beautifully Selfish. She supports women who are ready to rebuild their lives, their careers and sense of self. To learn more, click here.