We spent this past New Year’s in Canada celebrating with family, which involved spending time each day at the equine center where our niece was attending a horse camp for the week. I like horses—from a distance. They are large, have big teeth and quite honestly, they scare me. On previous visits we would go to stables to watch my niece take her riding lesson. I was the guy who would observe the horses from far away. My niece rides a large thoroughbred named Ace. On several occasions she would ask me to pet Ace. But every time I tried he would move quickly and I simply decided it was too stressful. I appreciate the beauty of a horse and I was okay with being an observer instead of a participant.
When we went to pick Sophie Claire up on the first day, she was grooming Ace outside of his stable. Sophie Claire is 13 years old and I am amazed how well she handles such a big animal. Her friend, Chelsea who is 7 years old was helping her. Chelsea invited me to come and pet Ace but I told her that I was uncomfortable- yes, that I was scared. Chelsea is a wise soul. She asked why I was afraid and I told her, “Horses have big teeth.” She let me know that all horses are different and that most do not bite. I wasn’t budging. My fear had gotten the best of me.
Chelsea then invited me to go and see the other horses with her. How could I say no to this adorable little girl? I agreed. She took me from horse to horse introducing me to them, encouraging me to pet each one. With each new horse I met I asked the same question “Does it bite?. Most of the time her answer was NO. So we went from stable to stable, from horse to horse and she taught me how to approach the horse, how to feed them etc. After almost an hour of going through the entire building I was nuzzling the horses in my neck and quite honestly could not get enough. I LOVED these horses.
Each day Sophie Claire would have to be dropped off and picked up. I went each time because I wanted to go and see the horses, touch them and spend time with these amazing creatures.
It took the courage and wisdom of a 7 year old to help me have a new perspective and get over my fear of something I avoided.
I came to realize that we can’t always change our circumstances, we can’t always change the people around us but we can always change ourselves and our perspective. And especially in the New Year- we often want new habits, new ways of being and to change our perspective to one that was driving us away from fear to one that is more courageous.
We are as much story as we can write- it takes dedication, aspiration, commitment and sometimes a little girl named Chelsea.
This scenario made me sit back and examine my own life and I started to think about where else I may have been doing the same thing. Below are some tips on how to gain a new perspective.
7 Tips to Help You Gain a New Perspective
- Ask for help. See if a friend or trusted colleague has any fresh ideas. You don’t have to do this alone, even if finding the solution is your responsibility. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with asking for some input. Ask, “How would you do this?” or “Where would you start?”
- Walk away. No, you’re not giving up, you’re simply stepping away from the problem for a while. Instead of banging your head against a wall, try letting go and do something new while your mind keeps chipping away in the background. The subconscious mind has an amazing ability to solve problems on its own.
- Start over. As hard as it might be to scrap whatever progress you’ve made so far, sometimes it’s the best solution. Take a break and start fresh. It doesn’t mean all the time and energy you’ve spent so far has been a waste. On the contrary, once you start again, you’ll find the best places to insert your old data in your new approach.
- Overhaul your routine. Change things up and see if that sparks your imagination and critical thinking. Routine is good and helps us get things done efficiently, but you may have let bad habits or unnecessary actions creep in over time. Maybe your routine is fine, but you’re bored. Change it up! Inject something new into your schedule that gives you a boost.
- Broaden your horizons. It’s always possible you simply don’t know enough to make an informed decision. Have you looked at your problem from every side? From someone with different experience? Have you done your due diligence to tear the problem apart so that you’re intimately familiar with every little tidbit?
- Ask someone else take the lead. You many need to swallow your pride and admit that you’re not the best person for the job at hand or that you are scared. That doesn’t mean you’re a failure, but it does mean that you’re headed toward failure if you don’t make a major adjustment. It also doesn’t mean you’re giving up. It’s a sign that you’re wise and humble enough to recognize that someone else should take the lead (even if she is 7 years old). Now you get the chance to be a team player.