The way we think about our life events and experiences is everything. If we perceive something to be negative, it very likely will be. If we believe the best in someone, even if they do not meet our expectations, we are able to think positively about them and have hope in their behavior. Our perspective can make or break many situations for us, even those that seem impossible to manage.
When we tap into the power of our awareness and perspective, we can begin to control some of the negativity that clouds our thoughts. Often, as we face challenges and disappointments, it is easy to start assuming that our life will be filled with unfortunate experiences. As we try to meet our goals and sometimes fail, it is easy to feel frustrated, defeated, and hopeless. However, once we start to acknowledge that we have to address our perspective at the onset of our thoughts and actions, we can start to experience our lives in healthy, whole, and positive ways.
Here is a common example: job-seeking. Just about everyone has been there, looking for jobs, applying, interviewing, and not getting accepted. And the cycle continues until we land a job we want, or we go another direction by returning to school or even starting our own business.
But the process of job seeking can be very difficult and taxing on our emotional reserve. We feel hopeful one day, after applying for a position that seems perfectly aligned with our skills, then we receive a call from the organization, schedule an interview, but later learn that we were not selected for the position.
Considering that this cycle of job-seeking occurs several times (in most cases) our perspective quickly becomes negative. We begin to despise even looking for a new job, and doubt our ability to qualify for the position and get hired.
Our perspective is critical for an experience like this, and many others. If we give into our current circumstances and outcomes
(such as not being able to land a job), then we will have a negative perspective (believe that we will never get hired), and this outlook eventually results in hopelessness and defeat, where we stop looking for a job altogether and blame our circumstances for the way we feel.
Beware of your perspective! The title of this post is: Be-Aware & Beware, and this is intentional. Beware of the impact that your perspective can have on your well-being, your thoughts, and your life. Be-Aware of the way that you perceive your experiences. Become aware of the way that you process life situations and qualify them, and also use caution of how your thought process connects to a positive or negative experience.
Let’s break down the significance of Beware vs. Be-Aware, and the connection to our perspectives:
Beware: meaning to use caution
- Beware of the power of perspective and emotional triggers: Do not ignore the innate power in having a positive perspective. Do your best to identify emotional triggers, such as frustration, comparing, defeat, and anxiety as you encounter challenging situations. Understanding that your emotions may be negatively involved can help you to work on improving your overall perspective.
- Beware of reaching premature conclusions: Avoid skipping over important details, and jumping directly to the conclusion. Sometimes we can miss the opportunity to develop patience and a positive outlook by moving too fast in our assumptions and expectations.
- Beware of over-thinking: We are all guilty of this. Do not put too many pieces together at the same time. Connecting too many dots will leave you confused and frustrated. Stay focused on positive aspects of your situation, and allow anything that is worrying you to pass. Let it go.
- Beware of the need to have immediate answers or results: Try not to seek immediate answers to anything. Allow time to flow and trust the process.
Be-Aware: meaning to stay alert
- Be-Aware of the connection between thoughts and experiences: Remain vigilant about the real connection between your experiences and thoughts. We all interpret our events according to our previous experiences and future expectations. The ways that you think about what you experience is important. So, think positively.
- Be-Aware of mental sources of input: Pay attention to what you pay attention to. The type of movies and tv you watch, music, social media, and images are all sources of input for our thoughts. If we pretend that negative images do not have an impact on us, we are lying to ourselves.
- Be-Aware of naysayers: Everyone around you has an opinion about your life or a part of it, and many will offer it. Unsolicited advice is not always helpful and can create a spiral of anxiety and negative thinking if not addressed promptly. Work to only allow the advice of trusted sources into your life, and then ignore the rest.
- Be-Aware of snowball thinking: Our thoughts can quickly snowball, with one negative thought connecting to another, and then another, and then we find ourselves covered in a mountain of negativity that seems impossible to overcome. Snowball thinking also contributes to a pessimistic perspective and choices of behavior. Stay aware and alert to any spiral of negative thinking.
- Be-Aware of the power of positive thinking and acting: Never underestimate the power of positive thinking. Some might downplay it and refer to it as “wishful” thinking, which may be accurate in some regard, but either way, what do you have to lose by maintaining a positive outlook and thought life? You have nothing to lose, unless you value living a defeated and frustrating life, which a pattern of consistent negative thinking will certainly provide.
Now that you are on alert for the perspective you have in any situation, continue to be-aware and beware of the ways that your thoughts and emotions can impact your life experiences. As you pay more attention to these elements of thought and feeling, you will be able to identify ways to improve your perspective.
And it is really all a matter of perspective.