Laughing Women

Shifting Views

“Shifting” is a term that has become quite popular among personal coaching. Basically, it means helping a person change their perspective about something in their life and thus change the results of their lives. While it’s not always easy to help someone shift, it can have quite a profound effect on both the coach and the client.

It’s also possible for you to shift yourself using some of the same techniques of a coach. One of the easiest and most effective techniques I’ve found is the tool of questions. Here’s a simple, step-by-step way to make a shift in your life.

  1. Identify where you’re stuck. Before you can make a shift, it’s important to get clear that you’re stuck and where you’re stuck. This isn’t always as easy as it sounds, especially if you’ve been stuck there for a long time. It may no longer look or feel like you’re stuck, but more like “that’s just the way life is.” For example, are you stuck around money?

    Be honest with yourself. Becoming clear that you are stuck can be very good news, because it’s the first step to becoming unstuck. How many times in the past week have you had some negative thoughts and/or feelings related to money? If it’s more than a couple, then I’d start getting suspicious that you may have found a good place to make a shift. I use this example because money issues are one of the most common places people seem to be stuck and stay stuck, often without realizing it. So, the first step to becoming unstuck is recognizing that you are.

  2. Turn your thoughts on “loud speaker.” A great starting place to begin to make a shift in consciousness and perspective is by listening to the thoughts you are having around the stuck issue. An easy and fun way to get those thoughts out of the dark recesses of your mind and into the light of day where you can do something about them is to talk your thoughts and record what you say.

    This can be especially enlightening when you first become upset about something. Let’s use the money example again. You go to your mail box and find 6 bills you weren’t counting on, a stack of catalogs of wonderful things you’d like to buy but you know you can’t, and at the very bottom is a letter from the IRS notifying you that they’ve decided to audit you for the last 3 years!

    Now, what are you thinking and feeling? Put it on audio and record it. Then let it rest for a few days.

  3. Listen for the stuck way or ways of thinking. When the upset has had time to diminish, play the tape listening for stuck ways of thinking. Don’t wonder if your thinking is stuck, assume that it is. Your job is to detect the “stuckness.” Some of the common ways of “stuck” thinking to listen for are either/or thinking, familiar stories or statements that you’ve told yourself over and over and collapsing the facts of the situation with your assessments or judgments.
  4. Ask yourself, Am I really willing and ready to become unstuck? Unless you are, you’re likely to end up wasting your time. When the answer is yes, then proceed.
  5. Use powerful questions to shift your thinking and thus your perspective: Powerful questions can jar you out of your stuck perspective or shine light on a new way of thinking. Try several different questions until you hit on the ones that make the biggest difference.

    Let’s say you’ve identified that the main focus of your internal dialogue was on how much you can never afford what you want. You may have recognized that “I can’t afford” has become your unconscious mantra. Asking the question, “How can I afford” can shift you from lack of consciousness to abundance. Or, if you’ve noticed you’re caught in a familiar story ask yourself, If that story wasn’t true, what new story could I invent that would empower me and others?

  6. Claim your shift. A final step is to claim and own the shift in the perspective that comes from this exercise. By doing so, you begin to build confidence that you can shift yourself out of any future stuckness.

Be sure to claim your victories, no matter how large or small.