4 ways to help you gain perspective….
How a move to new office space created better perspective in everything.
Have you ever been stuck in a particular way of thinking or seeing the world around you? Have you ever wished for clarity or for a way to approach a situation differently?
“You must learn a new way to think before you can master a new way to be.”—Marianne Williamson
This happens to me all the time. I get that heavy feeling inside of my chest when I know I am stuck in my head and in my own perspective. It’s hard sometimes to ask for someone else’s point of view because you know for sure it will be counter to your own. It’s also hard when you know that changing perspective will mean letting go of what is familiar, that right or wrong your way of thinking is the only way you know and are comfortable handling.
Is it such a bad thing to take a different approach, to look with a new point of view?
For a while now I have been contemplating changing where my office is located in my home. I have been sharing office space with my husband for well over 8 years now and for a while we had also set up a small area in this small office so that the kids could have their own “office” space for school work. You can imagine how crowded our space felt on school nights with the gang all working together.
As I have been making my career transition I knew the day would come that I would need to have more office space to allow for me to have my clients meet with me in person, to sit and feel welcome and safe and comfortable.
Recently that day came. I got a call to meet with a client in person and I suddenly really needed to separate our offices and so I finally put my idea of MY office space into reality and made the move. Let me just say right now that I will never share office space again. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family and I love being in their space 24/7 but honestly, I love my new space. I love the entire room I am in. We call it the fireplace room because, yep, you guessed it, the fireplace is the main focal point of the room. It is a bright area due to the room having the most windows, and it is cheerful and roomy and I am slowly creating the space to be cozy for my clients as well as my family. I love the new perspective I have now with the view from my windows of the front of the house and now also the back of the house.
I feel more creative all of a sudden. I find that I want to be in my new office all the time. I get more respect from my family because I have this established space. I decorated the space to accommodate my clients and I feel more professional toward my new career and it just seems like my family treats me with more professionalism.
Today I was working on my latest blog post and heard a noise at the back window. I turned and saw a bird hanging on to the window screen. I would have missed that sight completely if I was still in my old office space and I suddenly felt so grateful for the chance to see something I never would have seen before. My new space not only changed my feelings inside of myself but it changed my physical perspective on the small world around me. The sight of the bird on the window made me take a deep breath and just stop, for one minute and be grateful for the little things.
It may not seem like much to change furniture around in a room or to change the sheets on the bed or to just look out a window you have looked out of a million times before but what is amazing about all those “routine” things is that TODAY your perspective is different. Today you get to smell the freshly washed sheet smell, today you get to sit in a new position in the same old room, today you get to look out of that window and realize that yesterday you didn’t get to see that Cardinal bird sit on the tree branch and how amazing the red Cardinal bird looks against the deep green on the leaves of the tree. In a few short weeks those leaves will start to change and that deep green won’t be back again for another year.
Maybe you can’t change a room around but you can still change your perspective. All it takes is a bit of practice. Ask yourself a few questions:
1) What do I want to get clear on?
2) How can I look at this situation from a different angle?
3) What are the possibilities if I just let go of this way of thinking or seeing?
Here are 4 ways that might help you gain perspective:
1) Visualize. Take a piece of paper and crayons or markers or a pen and draw what you see in your mind. Taking your thoughts out of your head and making them come to life on paper or through a design program in your computer help to get your juices flowing toward deeper understanding of your need, your excitement, and your objective. Perhaps creating a scrapbook from old magazine cutouts that allow you to actually choose the pieces of the design or idea you are visualizing would help make it more real. Perhaps saying it out loud or writing it in a journal would help you get clear on what exactly you want to accomplish.
2) Ask for another point of view. Maybe you would benefit from talking to someone about your perspective? Are you really stuck in an old way of seeing or thinking about a situation? Perhaps a partner, friend, coach, or parent might be able to help you get clear on what perspective to take.
3) Physically walk around the situation. Getting physical is a great way to help your perspective get more laser focused. Go for a walk either through the space or the idea. Lay out your drawing and walk around the drawing. When I was thinking about which room would be best for my own office space I had to establish what my goal was, why I needed the new space and then where and how to make it happen. I walked through the room I was thinking of using many times before I settled on just where to put my desk, my computer printer/copier, my sitting area, etc. Taking my visualization ideas and mapping out my space physically helped not only in creating excitement but also in the eventual move into the new space. It took no time at all to get the room ready because I had done the preliminary work through visualizing and mapping.
4) Don’t wait too long. The longer you wait to change your perspective the more you risk feeling like the change in perspective is out of reach. I knew eventually I would move my office and I also knew it would happen when the time was right but waiting so long left me feeling a bit hopeless that maybe I was being silly or selfish to want to change. Don’t wait. If your insides are ready for a fresh point of view then make the change. Had I changed my office perspective sooner who knows what would have happened to my creativity? Now that I am in my new space I feel so relaxed and open to possibilities. I am now visualizing new perspectives to give this space and what that will do for my clients. I am looking at how much more this new space can say about me.
After this amazing new office move I knew I needed to tackle one more room change. My husband and I had wanted to change the furniture around in our bedroom for many years but we had been putting it off because the room design we had in mind would force us to lose the headboard of our bed by moving the bed under the large double window. My old way of thinking was that we paid good money for that headboard it should not be put away in a closet, and besides, which closet had the most room to house the headboard? That one stuck perspective prevented us from doing anything new in that room for a very long time.
I was so changed and charged from creating my office space that I decided one Sunday morning to take my son and my husband upstairs and change the bedroom furniture around. For too long I knew exactly what I wanted to do with a new room design and so we did it. We took off the headboard.
What was I so afraid of?
Our bedroom looks like a hotel room now. We have a lot more walking space, we have a room that is not dominated by the bed and we have been sleeping better. The room makes sense now and I wish we had not waited so long to change our perspective.
“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” –Anais Nin
If we can change our perspective, even just a little bit, if we can be open to possibilities just a touch, what will our new perspective bring to our lives, ourselves? Journey On…..
Lisa is a career and life coach. She has been featured in Parent Magazine and in the book, A Stay-At-Home Mom’s Guide to Making Money by Liz Folger. If you would like to explore how coaching can help you please write to firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a free 30 minute coaching consultation