There is no doubt about it, abuse skews your perceptions. It gets skewed by the expectations of others, your abuser and your emotions. We inadvertently trap ourselves with faulty thinking and incorrect perceptions. Much of this is habitual and challenging to change, but it can be altered.
To Begin to Free Your Mind – Give yourself a break from your self-imposed limitations:
- Free yourself from the past. Hopefully, you’ve learned a lot of valuable lessons from your past. Unfortunately, you’ve also learned a lot of incorrect information, too. You’ve learned to avoid and fear things that are actually good for you. You’ve learned to like things you should avoid.
- The past exists to serve you, not to guide you. Focus on today.
- Take a media diet. The media is hardly about reality. It’s about ratings. The media might be presenting factual information, but the information isn’t the norm. It’s the interesting and sensational things that keep viewers tuning in night after night. The media presents a narrow slice of the world.
- TV and newspapers also present advertisements. That’s how they pay for the “service” being provided to you. Marketers attempt to present a certain lifestyle as ideal. You can determine your ideal lifestyle for yourself.
- Take a break from the news and attempt to ignore the advertisements. Consider recording your programs and skipping through the ads.
- Make decisions without concern for what others think. Admit it. When you make certain decisions, you consider how your decision will be perceived by others. This might be important in a work setting, but you should feel free to be yourself the rest of the time.
- If you don’t think your friends will approve of a decision, you might need to find new friends. People admire and respect those that are willing to be authentic and be themselves.
- Forget about the possibility of being perfect. Perfection is an unrealistic expectation. Life is about dealing with the imperfect. Your partner, boss, children, physique, health, finances, and the weather are consistently imperfect. Your job is to figure out how to manage the imperfections.
- Talk to an older relative that you respect. Sure, your grandfather wears socks with his sandals when he goes to the beach and pulls his bathing suit up to his armpits, but he knows things that you don’t. People in their middle age tend to be a little too serious.
- Those over the age of 70 have a unique perspective on life. Spend some time with an older relative and ask questions. Ask them how their perspective has changed over the years. It’s likely that you’ll experience similar changes, too.
- Watch younger children. Kids under the age of five are young enough to not care what others think, but are old enough to have preferences. Children of this age will do whatever they want if left to their own devices. They are psychologically free. What would you do if you had the perspective of a 4-year old?
Taking a mental break from the world and giving yourself time to assess your perspective. The challenge with enhancing your perspective about life is that you’re constantly “in” your life. When you’re in the middle of the woods, all you can see are trees. But the world also contains oceans, deserts, and mountains.
However, it’s even more challenging than that, because you’re the one that created the trees in the first place! Those trees are likely limiting you. Disengage from time to time and seek a new viewpoint. Move beyond your past. Free your mind and gain perspective.