A miracle is a change in perspective. Marianne Williamson
Mental flexibility is the ability to look at and question our beliefs and to fully consider other possibilities. It's adopting a stance of curiosity.
If there is something we want to change about our lives, we need to be able to think about it differently.
We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein
Cultivating Mental Flexibility:
What can I do to invite a broader perspective? The most effective tool I've found is to consider that the opposite might be true.
Consider the Opposite.
Think about a struggle you are currently facing. Something that's been bothering you for a while. Sum up your belief about it in one sentence. Then consider that the opposite might be true.
- It would be irresponsible for me to quit my job right now. The opposite: It would be responsible for me to quit my job right now.
- I can't afford to move to London. The opposite: I can't afford not to move to London.
- I can't delegate this because no one can do it as well as I can. The opposite: I can delegate it because lots of people can do it better than I can.
What would it mean if the opposite were true?
In my case, I hold the belief that I can't afford to move to London which I would dearly love to do. What if the opposite is true? What if I can't afford not to move to London? That puts the shoe on the other foot, doesn't it? I have to ask myself in what ways I can't afford not to move to London.
I'll start by using this journal prompt:
'I can't afford not to move to London because________'.
By fully considering the opposite, my thinking becomes more flexible and I can see the multiplicity of choices available to me and, perhaps, make a different choice.
Try this powerful exercise and see what you come up with.
I would love to hear about your experience with this exercise. To leave a comment, go to shibui-life.com, find this post under Perspectives, and scroll to the bottom of the post.