Tag: flexibility

How To Be Flexible With Your Perceptions

Photo by Anders Jildén/Unsplash

Photo by Anders Jildén/Unsplash


“When we become fixed in our perceptions we lose our ability to fly.” – Mingyur Rinpoche


How a person looks at the world colors all subsequent action. If the way immediately ahead appears dark and scary, timidity and reluctance to act are the likely results. Being able to discern light amidst the darkness, however, can prove to be a motivating factor – at least to the extent that you’re willing to try something new or different.

What happens when you regard life and the world around you as hopeless, miserable, one failure after another, untrustworthy, unlovable and unloved? You might find yourself retreating from others, holing up in isolation, drinking or drugging too much. You most certainly won’t want to embark on a challenging project, pursue adventure, or dare to discover what you’re truly made of.

Indeed, if your perception remains fixed, so will your horizon. Instead of expanding, the options available to you will appear limited, possibly pointless and a waste of time.

So much for the ability to fly.

On the other hand, if you’re willing to stand up to first impressions and attempt to see the other side, there’s hope that you can move forward – no matter what obstacles you encounter. It won’t be easy to try to glean some insight that isn’t readily apparent and it may not happen every time. Still, the effort is worth it if the result is that you can bypass the logjam where preconceived notions have held you captive. You want to be able to act, not stagnate doing nothing.

How do you become flexible with your perceptions? Is there some trick to this that you can master? As with anything that’s challenging, scary or new, a multi-pronged approach is generally the best one. Be sure to include the following:

  • Recognize that there is always another way to look at things. There is no one way and situations are never totally negative – no matter how they appear at first.


  • Be willing to change your point of view in the presence of new information. Even be willing to explore opposite viewpoints with the hope of learning something new. Whether you ultimately change your outlook or not, you’re exercising flexibility instead of remaining rigid and fixed in your perceptions.


  • Engage in brainstorming. Coming up with alternate solutions is an exercise in creativity. It doesn’t necessarily mean that your total approach will change, but it may result in a modification or revision of a plan that will culminate in success.


  • Study what worked well for others. Undoubtedly, this isn’t the first time such a wall has appeared before you. Others have probably experienced something similar. By reviewing the solutions that worked for someone you know or read about, you might learn a thing or two that will help you modify your own perspective – and arrive at some answers applicable to your situation.


  • Never give up. Maybe it seems too difficult to be open and flexible with your perceptions. That’s OK. Just give it time. Acknowledge the challenge and keep on trying to see things in another light. Determination and persistence will help you adopt the ability to be flexible. Think of it as a bird’s fledgling attempts to fly. The winged creature doesn’t succeed the first time out, but with time and practice, the act becomes second nature.


  • Flexibility is like a muscle: exercise it. The more you practice being flexible, the easier it gets. This applies as much to perceptions as toning muscles on your body. Get into the habit of keeping a flexible, open mind and your perceptions will change.

Keep in mind that the life you want to live depends on having the courage and willingness to embrace change, to challenge yourself to do more, and to let go of outdated beliefs and perceptions. The potential benefits to doing so are incalculable. It’s up to you to decide how you want to live.

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7 Tips on Mastering Change

Photo by Roberto Nickson/Unsplash

Photo by Roberto Nickson/Unsplash

“You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.” – Brian Tracy


Change is nonstop. Life coaches and proponents of positive thinking are nearly unanimous in recommending that we accept and embrace change.

While that is good advice, sometimes change brings with it uncertainty, fear, doubt, failure and dashed hopes. We may start off with an optimistic outlook, only to encounter some difficulty or unexpected problem that throws everything we had planned off-kilter.

We might just give up on the change we’re trying to make.

Or, we might become even more determined to see it through.

The attitude we adopt is really the key to what comes afterward. Granted, we cannot predict what will happen or what will ultimately be the result of our actions, but we can control how we think about our prospects, what we believe our strengths are and how self-confident we are.

It does take practice to see the hopeful, rather than the dismal, but we can learn how to do this.

Here are some tips on mastering change:

  • Keep your eye on the goal.

While interruptions and challenges are bound to occur, if you have a firm grasp of what you want to achieve, you’ll be poised to weather distractions and detours along the way.


  • Revisit your plan often.

Sometimes, with everything being thrown at you, it’s tough to stay focused on the plan. That’s why you write it down, so you can refer to it as often as necessary to remind you of your goal – and the steps you need to take to be successful.


  • Be optimistic about being able to find solutions.

Problems will occur, but you have been through these kinds of situations before and figured out solutions. Remind yourself of this and it will help bolster your resolve and maintain your optimistic attitude.


  • Don’t be afraid to adapt and revise.

Just because you have a plan doesn’t mean that you have to adhere to it so rigidly that you miss opportunities. The key here is to remain flexible so that you are able to adapt and modify your plan to incorporate new ideas and perhaps take advantage of a different approach. Flexibility is one of the hallmarks of mastering change.


  • Surround yourself with positive people.

When you’re embarking on change, or making a decision to change, you don’t need naysayers around you challenging your actions. Choose to be with others who are upbeat, supportive of your ideas and goals, and whose success and demeanor you admire. Positivity is contagious, and you’ll benefit from associating with positive friends, co-workers, neighbors and acquaintances.


  • Find the lesson in failure.

No one likes to think about failure, but the fact is that it happens. Should this quash your attitude about ultimately succeeding? Not if you study what happened and discover the lesson the experience holds. This makes you that much more prepared to handle whatever comes next and to take proactive measures to deal with them.

  • Be open to new ideas.

You wouldn’t eat the same meal day after day, would you? Just as variety is the spice of cuisine, so, too, is the willingness to entertain new ideas. Even if what you read, see or hear is a somewhat different way to accomplish a goal than you’ve used before, it might hold some merit in terms of adaptation, revision or addition to what strategies you have in your toolkit. Knowing you have options is a great confidence-builder.

Keep in mind that the way you regard change says a lot about who you are. You can be in control of your attitude and master change, or allow change to master you.

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