This week was a week of perspectives as I travelled for a long weekend along the Italian coast visiting with three different friends and then carried on overnight to Austria where I reconnected with some family friends I had not seen in over 15 years. The visits were all far too short, especially that everyone of them shared with me their present challenges from mourning, to separation, to divorce to strained family relationships. I felt honored and happy that they could all open to me as a friend, not as a Coach and I hope that I could share with them new perspectives, as well as putting things into perspective presenting it as a gift.
It is so easy for us to lose perspective in our daily challenges and everything appears to be going from bad to worse. When we experience a setback, perspective is often the first cause for a meltdown. Setbacks are unavoidable. As hard as they are, they make us stronger and develop us. We can only grow if we maintain perspective.
As many of us spend some holiday time with our families or in-laws this summer, keep perspectives in mind and take some steps back to look at the bigger picture. I know I will and this week, my friends gave me a gift…appreciation.
We all experience failure in our lives and we all have a choice between whether to get up when we fall down or keep moving forward.
The last several weeks, I have been busy organizing workshops and making presentations to teenage students, parents in schools, diplomats and senior managers. What is the one thing all these groups have in common? The answer lies in my recently published article.
This photo was taken last week during our family vacation in Barcelona. We had just entered the impressive Sagrada Familia. I lead the family inside and walked directly to a side wall, so as to not stand in the middle of the crowds. Turning around, I found myself alone, as the four of them stood together near the crowds, each facing a different direction and taking their own pictures. I waved to them to come over, as to get a more panoramic view, which from my angle was stunning. No one paid attention, nor moved from their positions. Feeling a moment of frustration, I walked towards them and looked up at each of their perspectives observing details and colors that I could not see from my viewpoint. We showed and shared each other’s pictures and discussed what we liked about them. We then decided together, where to walk too next and how we would go about the tour. We all agreed and enjoyed the rest of our breathtaking visit soaking in Gaudi’s work and vision.
When we take a perspective on something, we have beliefs and opinions. A perspective is like a powerful filter that allows us to see only certain things and makes predictions based on these assumptions that belong to that perspective. If something is not part of that perspective, then it is invisible or not valid and this becomes limiting.
Ever had an email exchange with someone when you thought it was written in a good tone and the other person got upset or offended by it? Know anyone whose mindsets are so fixed that seeking solutions together seems impossible? What impact has a destructive relationship had on you due to a lack of other perspectives?
Perspectives open our eyes and minds, they put us in other people’s shoes. We are taught, among many things, to suspend judgement, to listen, to be curious and to self-manage ourselves. We work as a team, build and together move forward to reach goals. Without the ability to shift perspectives, we don’t grow and we don’t learn. Without such shifts, we remain in the status quo and can feel frustrated, bitter, stuck and lonely.
When my daughter showed me this photo that she found on Instagram, it resonated with me instantly, in fact, so much so that for a second I noticed a physical reaction…warm and serene. I smiled. Having struggled for many years with a family relationship, seeking guidance, working on myself, becoming a Coach, I chose to let go. It does not mean that I no longer care or no longer love, but sometimes holding on seems to cause more damage.
Last week, I was in Geneva giving two workshops and the theme of “letting go” came up consistently. I also notice this with my clients and friends. Letting go control as a parent giving your child space, letting go as a manager delegating the work to others, letting go of a project that is only depleting your energy, letting go of a relationship that only gives you pain, letting go of a job that no longer fulfills you, letting go of someone you love.
Letting go can only come after YOU know YOU have invested a lot of work, energy, efforts, emotions and reflections into a specific situation or relationship. If you have not made that long personal investment, you are giving up. If you choose the easy way out, you cannot expect to move forward feeling good about yourself. Your issue will continue creeping up and dragging you around.
What are you waiting for? An apology? Are you so convinced of yourself that you need to continue standing firm no matter what? Do you feel victimized? Have you failed at something? Does the grieving feel endless? Is your ego your obstacle?
Some of us think that holding on makes us stronger, but sometimes it is letting go. It is not easy to do. Trust your intuition and when that time comes, you may reach the serenity that I felt when I saw this drawing.
“Me time” can be a challenge for many people and recently, several of my clients are struggling with this. They are juggling too many balls at the same time, complaining of exhaustion, noticing their mood changes and the impact it is having on themselves and their surroundings.
Not only does “me time” give you focus, self-awareness, clarity for decision making, disconnection from your hectic surroundings, boosting your creativity, among many things, it has a mirror effect on others. We want the best for our loved ones and that they love and respect each other and value their own lives. By showing them the importance of taking some “me time,” we are teaching them how to value and care for their own lives as well.
If you value “me time,” it can suggest that you value and respect yourself. You enjoy your own company, you feel at ease with yourself and those around you are likely to notice this, and value and respect you in return. If you are constantly on the go, running around like a headless chicken, always doing things for others and never taking the time to prioritize taking care of yourself, people are likely to pick up on this and treat you accordingly.
What is the impact you want on yourself? What is the impact you want on others?
(c) 2017 Anna Jankovich, all rights reserved.