When we’re looking to make a change or carve a new path and we’re struggling to see the destination or even just the way forward, we usually don’t realize that WE are the obstacle in our path.
Perspective is such a tricky thing and it’s impossible to make change or get clear on what the change needs to be without changing your perspective.
One of my favorite episodes of West Wing is Big Block of Cheese Day. In that episode, the concept that we’ve been looking at world maps all wrong is introduced. That we’re biased as Northern Hemispherers and the maps should be turned upside down.
I remember feeling… MIND BLOWN! It was freaking me out too. What about you? See the picture.
That’s because a change of perspective that big calls into question EVERY ASSUMPTION of your world view.
There is no up or down in space. So, who’s to say that the north should be up and the south should be down?
The first maps were drawn from the perspective of the first cartographers and have never been changed. Even hundreds of years later. All of the maps and navigation in our high tech smartphones are still governed by assumptions created hundreds of years ago.
It is impossible to completely change a perspective without examining all of the related assumptions and recalibrating that perspective. Unless you completely buy into every assumption, you will never truly own the new perspective. You may be able to visit it from time to time, but it will not have completely changed.
You may be able to get clarity without completely changing your perspective, but you will never create the permanent change you’re looking for without fully adopting the new perspective. So, if you find you’ve been vacillating or struggling to make a change, then you may need to revisit your perspective and the underlying assumptions.
But be wary of the assumptions that look like rock but are nothing more that Styrofoam.
The assumptions used to build the Pyramids were rock. We know that because they’re still standing!
The assumptions used to build the Tower in Pisa… well, not so set in rock. It is still standing, but not as it was intended.
The sad part is that so many of the assumptions by which we live our lives and that guide what we think we can or cannot do are manmade of nothing more than Styrofoam. Yet, we accept them as hard core, can’t cross the line, facts.
The second largest chunk of limiting assumptions are those that are self-imposed based on negative labels we’ve given ourselves.
In my experience, I’ve found that there are only a small number of assumptions that are truly solid as rock – laws of nature, science, math, etc. As much as I would like to fly like Captain Marvel under my own power, at this point in time, it’s not possible. BUT… there was a point in time when it wasn’t possible for man to fly at all and then the Wright Brothers came along. So, who knows about the future.
What does this mean for you?
If you’re looking to make a lasting change, you’re going to need to change your perspective and the underlying assumptions. So, here’s a little exercise to help you do that.
Take a close look at that which you want to create or the change you want to have happen as if it has happened.
Then list out the following things:
- Write down everything that you know to be true about it.
- Write down everything that will need to be done or exist in order for it to come to fruition.
- Write down everything you believe about yourself and the role you will need to play in making it come true.
Once you have your lists that make up the new perspective, go down each item and ask these questions depending on what is appropriate – why, says who, why not, what if, can it be different, am I willing, am I capable, what needs to happen first.
Basically, challenge everything that you see as true to uncover any false assumptions that are not serving you.
Then re-write the new assumptions and perspective in a motivating way that you can read and revisit on a daily or regular basis until you own it.
Once you own it, you are now victorious and there will be no stopping you!