There’s always a moment from your past that had you wondering if you would ever get past it. At the end of the day, it was all okay.
Maybe you haven’t experienced heavy depression or anxiety, but you’re not empty-handed, you know the power of negative thinking. You can reflect on the past, yet you have to be careful not to delve too deep and think about the mistakes you’ve made.
I’m talking about any adversity you’ve come across in life beforehand, such as a breakup, death in the family, loss of a job, and even a betrayal of a loved one. I’m talking about perspective and you have an artillery and ammunition to propel yourself.
Since you’ve already battled adversity before, your next challenge will be a walk in the park. Before you know it, you’ll skip the process of fear, and you will trust what’s going on instead. With plenty of repetition and discipline in building this style of mental resilience, your confidence and mastery will grow to a level that allows you to handle any challenge. You’ve taken that leap of faith because you have the tools to calm your emotional arousal.
I’ve learned to reflect on the past and judge if what I’ve dealt with before is harder than this current task or challenge. Almost every time it was harder to deal with depression and anxiety. This paradigm shift gives me a level-headed attitude, and it enables me to push through to the finish line.
By taking yourself out of the egocentric paradigm and changing the outlook from a different perspective, you start skipping a step in the process. This isn’t meant to make you freak out. Instead, you should feel in touch with the fear step and your current narrative. You should be saying to yourself and in your mind, “I got this!”
Something scary can be something small, but what you’re creating is a new habit. Yes, it may seem counter-intuitive, but you’re rewiring your neural pathways to be able to handle stress.
This is a cognitive bias that’s incredibly handy when you’re in a run or completing any goal to help you grow. Think about people who have done what you’re already doing but at a much greater level. This will give you something to gauge your progress on. Just don’t get confused with comparing your success to theirs, because they’re on a different path. You’re only noticing how, as humans, they’ve made it happen. Thus, you can too. In my case with running, I often think of the Tarahumara Indians who can run 300 km at a time. If they can run 300 km, then I can do 42 km. Now I’m at the point of competing in 300 km races and longer.
A common question I get asked is, “Are you crazy?” Well, kinda, but not that insane. If you’re not used to being around endurance athletes, then all these endurance events I have done will seem a little extreme to you. Shifting your perspective will keep you grounded because you have something to measure everything against for completing your goals.
PUSHING YOUR LIMITS
What perspective thinking has taught me is that it can be applied to every pillar of life. If you’re running a business, think of Elon Musk. The man started three companies simultaneously and each has at least $1B valuations. Which means, you can start one business that’s worth $100K. If you want to gain muscle, think of Arnold Schwarzenegger. He trained six hours a day and won Mr Olympia seven consecutive years. Therefore, you can work out for one hour today.
If you want to become happier, then it’s important to travel and explore new cultures. With any developing third-world country, you’ll notice that in some villages or areas there’s poverty, and everything is meagre but the most profound thing is that they’re incredibly grateful. Why’s that? Because their lifestyle is simplified to what they need.
Here are several practical tips on what you can do this week to help you gain perspective:
- In whatever industry or field you’re in, think straight to the top and emulate what they’ve done to get where they are. Your job is to not compare yourself to them as they’re on a different journey. Focus on the traits you want to mirror.
- Travel as much as possible. Go to places where there’s culture shock (India, Brazil, Nepal, etc.).
- If you’re signing up for a 10km run, sign up for the half-marathon or full marathon instead. Try it to see if you can do it (which I’m sure you will).
Whether you stuck in a slump or holding in a plateau, perspective can be the solution to guide you in the right direction.
Would love to hear your two cents on the topic and where perspective has gotten you out of a slump or allowed you to scale to the next level.