Change your lens, change your life

Why do we get stuck in a rut?

Can you recall a time when you faced a situation that felt simply overwhelming, unfamiliar and uncertain? With simply no way forward, or around it?  As humans, our brains have set neural pathways of thinking, feeling and behaving so we often approach a situation or problem from a single and often biased perspective.  We keep seeing the problem the same way and keep hoping that a solution will magically appear, although we aren’t actually doing anything different or productive to create this solution.  I’d like to introduce you to the concept of changing your lens.

Changing your lens

“Your reality is as you perceive it to be. So it is true, that by altering this perception we can alter our reality.”- William Constantine

I use the word lens to represent “perception”, or how we “perceive things”.  We each have our standard lens, just like the one that is always on the camera ready to use in any situation.  But what if the lens can’t capture the full picture? If we are speaking about photography, we would simply change the lens and use a wide-angle option.  But what about our human lens?  When we are faced with a problem that doesn’t fit within our standard lens, what then? For most of us, we keep peering through the same view, hoping that somehow we can make all the pieces fit. We tell ourselves there must be some way of holding the camera or positioning our bodies to produce a solution.  What we should in fact being doing, is changing our lens – or our perspective.

Taking a different perspective to find a solution

Looking at the problem through the same view with the same perspective – well, nothing is going to change. And without something changing, a solution is unlikely to appear on its own.  We need to slip off our standard lens and try a different one.  In the photography world, there are different lenses to achieve different results: macro, telephoto, wide angle, tilt & shift, soft focus, and more. As humans, we too can change our lens or our perspective to achieve a different result.

Here’s how it works

Imagine, for example, you are faced with the following situation. You’ve always been a high performer at work and you’ve achieved many milestones throughout your career.  Then suddenly you are fired. The relationship between yourself and your manager had become toxic over time and your attitude at work reflected this toxicity. Initially all you can see is how unfairly you’ve been treated – but looking at the situation through this lens isn’t going to change anything.  With some help, you begin to change your lens and see that this scenario is actually a recurring pattern evident in most of your previous jobs. By changing your lens, you begin to see how your behaviour contributed to the situation.  You start to identify your emotional triggers and underlying thoughts and beliefs that drive your actions; and how these actions are derailing your professional progress. With this new self-awareness and clarity i.e. your new lens, you can begin to shift from a negative, victim mindset to a positive, growth mindset.  Your fresh perspective allows you to see alternative options that lead to your development and empowerment, both personally and professionally.

Just like changing a camera lens to produce a different effect or outcome, altering our perception of a situation allows new possibilities and solutions to surface – and helps you move closer to your goals.

And when do I need to focus my lens?

Part of being overwhelmed or stuck in a rut is feeling a loss of control, so once you have changed your perspective and your reality, it’s important to regain a sense of control and purpose.  I call this finding your focus.  You now have the right lens on your camera, but what areas do you need to bring into focus?  What do you need to push into the background? And what do you simply need to blur?

Take a look at my logo

My new business logo features a lens, and it is there for more than artistic creativity or pleasure!  It is there as reminder of the important of the lens – from two angles: the ability to change our lens, and the ability to focus our lens.  Sometimes achieving our goals requires changing our lens, sometimes it requires us to focus.  Sometimes we need a little of both.

If you would like to learn more about how to change your lens or how to find your focus, please contact me for a confidential, obligation-free consultation.