A Powerful Shift of Perspective

Posted by Ann Deaton Share Your Voice


We are naturally wired to see what's wrong---to perceive risk, to notice a threat, to react. It's easy. It's natural. AND it's limited. Our natural reactive tendency can ensure an endlessly negative focus that does not move us towards what we want in life. For a number of years now, one of my favorite books about the challenges of our inherently threat-oriented wiring has been The Power of TED* by David Emerald (Womeldorff). 

The book is, in many ways, simple. It's a parable about how we see the world, especially in challenging times, and the stories that we create about ourselves as Victim, another person or circumstance as Persecutor, and the choice of a Rescuer to save us. This drama triangle plays out in many, many ways in life, from minor situations like being cut off in heavy traffic, to major ones like a life threatening illness or the loss of a dream, or a loved one. 

The Power of TED* offers the possibility of self-empowerment, as well as empowerment of others. The book's basic premise is that there IS another way. Instead of going with our natural default and focusing on the threat, or what we DON'T want, it's possible instead to shift to seeing what it is we DO want. When we make that shift, the world looks different. There are possibilities we hadn't seen before. Indeed, we feel empowered! 

A colleague of mine, Bob Tschannen-Moran, has offered a powerful demonstration of this perspective shift over this past year as he's faced a life-threatening brain encephalitis. Bob is continuing his long recovery, and he's doing it with grace and optimism, sharing his experiences in written form along the way. His most recent post is just one example of Bob's ability to take an empowerment perspective on what anyone might see as a situation of victimization by some unknown brain-attacking virus. I encourage you to read it, and to think about what's possible for you in your own life.
Questions for Reflection:
Where are you feeling victimized by a negative situation or life event?
If you focus on the outcome you want in this situation, instead of all the obstacles and problems, what do you see?

What's one small step you can take today towards that desired outcome?

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Small Ann Deaton I am a leadership coach, and Managing Partner in Bounce. I love to coach and facilitate with individuals and systems experiencing significant change and growth. The clients I work with, regardless of their age or position, are talented and creative individuals willing to look with fresh eyes at their challenges and opportunities, and to take action based on their discoveries. As a result, they find that they are capable of accomplishing far greater things than they ever imagined. What do you want to accomplish today? Who do you want to be?


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