The third edition or tool in this blog series is understanding nearly all our interactions are not personal, meaning it’s not about US, it’s usually about the other person.
This practice can help you reframe context in the moment and shift your perspective instantly. Practicing this can elevate your communication skills at home, work and your social life.
There are a few things to consider as a baseline for this tool. Firstly, if you look at a road map it can give you a good idea of where you are, or where you want to go from a routing standpoint, which streets to take and direction to go. A map though will not tell you where the pot-holes are, or stop signs, or “no left turn”, or “one-way” roads.
A map will give you guidance, but the terrain is a much different animal. Our perspectives on life are very much the same. Many of us have heard the axiom “perception is reality”. This is true as far as the individual who is doing the perceiving.
When we are communicating with others, our thoughts and perceptions are very different from theirs, even with friends and loved ones. We may see eye to eye on most things, but you’ll notice a few areas where you an even your closest relation have differing opinions.
Understanding people have very different perceptions than our own, and that “perception is reality”, we can see how a simple mis-understanding, or saying something a certain way can trigger us or the other party.
When we trigger somebody in this way, it has nothing to do with us and is a chance for us to learn a touch point, and gain further insight into the reaction. More on this on another day.
If we are triggered by something, then we have an opportunity to learn a touch point about ourselves, and we get to work on healing it. We get to see where we can grow mentally in these areas as they are highlighted to us.
Another baseline concept is that people are always making the best choices available to them, at that moment. People want to be good, and often they do what is perceived to be the best thing for them even when it’s at the expense of someone/something else.
Ever wonder why that co-worker threw you under the bus with the boss? It wasn’t about you, it was about them advancing their own agenda.
Lastly, the mirror effect is a well known concept which can be a tough one to accept for many. Essentially, what we see in this world is a mirror of what we are giving, putting out into the world. Imagine if all you see is sickness, misery and a world falling apart? That’s a hard pill to swallow and accept it’s not the world who’s crumbling, but you.
The mirror effect though is a real thing. This isn’t to say it’s fair, nice, considerate or compassionate to your circumstances. It can be magical, it can also be brutal. The good news is we have a choice in the matter.
What we experience from other people is a mirror of what we are displaying. It’s never about how we’re being treated as much as it is how we are treating others. It’s not personal FROM others to us, though it is entirely personal from us TO others. This brings us back to perspective. A nice clean circle.
When we are being treated, or experiencing things we don’t like we have to look inward to ourselves first.
The world we live in, the perspective we have, the live we create is entirely up to us and only us to adapt as we choose. When we allow ourselves to be persecuted, attacked, and get down on ourselves and our surroundings we will simply have more of this.
When we realize the world is doing what the world does, and people are doing what people do, and it will all happen whether we are here to experience it or not.
If you’ve ever missed an event you were invited to, a birthday, a recital, a wedding, a baseball game, you name it. The even still happened even if you didn’t show up. That is the world we live in. It’s not personal unless we take it personally, which all to often many of us do.
Creating power in your life means taking ownership of everything you experience. If you don’t like it, find a way to change it. It’s not easy, but it is simple by design.
When you start to use these tools together inside of your daily life you will begin to see shifts in how things transpire. It doesn’t happen overnight, and this is a practice which will take time to learn, hone and improve upon.
Choosing to shift our thoughts is one thing. Consistently practicing over the long term to create lasting change in us, and therefore around us is another thing. The good news is the choices are ours, and when we regress we can always shift back on track again.
Stay tuned for part 4 of this series of tools to upgrade your thoughts.