Have you shared a problem with someone and been mind-blown after getting their perspective on the situation? You simply realized that you were too close-mined about the situation and understood that maybe your problem was not actually a problem, only in the way you viewed it. It is easy to get stuck in our own mindset and only see the world the way we want to see it. Yes, it is true – you are the creator of your perspective and you choose to view situations and life the way that you do. Learning to see life in different perspectives can help you solve a lot of your problems and it is also beautiful when you understand that the way you view life might be completely different to how someone else sees it. One person’s challenge might be another person’s opportunity. It can be hard to view the bigger picture when life brings us difficult situations and for this very reason it can be important to learn how to shift our perspectives. When we are able to change the way we look at things, the things change as we look at them. In this article we will go trough some steps to open your mind and to see situations from different perspectives.
- 1. Reflect on your perspectives
Think about your perspectives and how they shape you. Reflect upon how you got your perspectives. Did you get them from your parents, friends or your daily environment? Why do you think you view the world the way you do? If there is a particular problem you want to solve by viewing it in different perspectives it can be good to write down your thoughts around the situation and why you think you view it the way you do. Do you know someone else who might have viewed this situation differently?
- 2. Acknowledge that other people have other perspectives
Everyone has their own perspectives and opinions, which are shaped by their experiences and environment. When you start acknowledging that others may have a different view than you it will help you to see your views in a different light and that it might be possible to actually change them. Realize that your truth may not be the only right view.
- 3. Keep in mind other persons’ background
If you discuss a problem with another person it is important to understand that they might have another background than you and hence also another perspective on what is going on. Realize the value of discussing things with a person with a completely different background than you, because they will most likely have another perspective than you and for that reason they may also help you view things in a different light. Try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and view the situation from where they are standing. This can be very helpful.
- 4. Listen
A key to take in another person’s perspective is to really listen. A lot of the time we are so caught up in the way we view things that we struggle to actually hear what other persons can bring to the table. We have to realize that if we want to get some input we have to listen to what others are trying to tell us and really try to understand their viewpoint.
- 5. Educate yourself
A good way to develop an open mind is by educating yourself. When you educate yourself broadly through the consideration of a wide variety of sources and opinions you gain knowledge that will help you grow and develop. This can in turn help you reformulate your own perspectives. You can educate yourself through reading, taking classes, traveling or simply talking with people that are different than you. Keep an open mind and you might surprise yourself by how much you can learn!
- 6. Travel
Traveling the world is one of the best ways to see other perspectives. You get to learn about and appreciate other people, cultures and environments. By traveling you will see that the views you hold is largely shaped by the environment you grew up in and the people you hung out with. When you go to foreign countries you see that other people are truly viewing this life on a whole different angle. Learning about their viewpoint will help you see more perspectives and teach you about your own opinions and values.
- 7. Ask deeper questions
Develop a habit of asking deeper questions. When a situation shows up in your life that you view as negative, ask yourself why it is like that and what it means to you. Realize why you act the way you do and what the situation that has showed up mean to you and the ones involved. A powerful way to view negative situations in a different light is to write down several things that the situation can actually mean. After this exercise you realize that the situation can mean several things and that you may simply be stuck on the first meaning that comes to your mind. Questioning your own thoughts and actions lead to improvement on a deeper level.
- 8. See the bigger picture
Learn to see the bigger picture of things. When we realize that nothing is actually black and white and that everyone has their own way of viewing life and the world we are naturally better able at seeing the bigger picture. Analyze your perceptions and understand that it is limited. Realize that others have other perceptions and together you shape the whole of something bigger. Open your mind to other people’s viewpoints in order to change your vision of the world to a more peaceful and loving one.