Shaking Up What You Think You Know About Yourself.

Photo by Alexas Fotos on

Have you ever seen the moon when it’s on the horizon?  It looks massive and yet we know it hasn’t changed size. It’s a matter of our perspective: the way our brains are processing the information. Did you know that if you look upside down at the same moon, it will appear its normal size?* Trying to look at everyday experiences differently is one of the challenges I’m setting for myself.

Change Your Perspective

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It’s all about observing and not presuming you already know. In school, you may have done an exercise in art class when you were asked to copy a picture of something you thought you knew, maybe a photo of a person. But instead of looking at the photo the right way up, you were asked to look at it upside down. From a topsy-turvy perspective, the human form is a bunch of lines and shapes that your brain is not familiar with and so you will look very closely at them as you draw.** I haven’t done this exercise in a long time but maybe I’ll try it again today.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on

Change Your Thoughts About Yourself

American author, Byron Katie,*** based her self-inquiry method on looking at “facts” you think you know about yourself from a different perspective. When I say to myself that I’m not a writer, the method that Katie prescribes would ask me four questions:

  1. Is it true? Well, I’ve never been paid to write a book or article. I’m not a writer.
  2. Can you absolutely know that it’s true?  Well, I do write this blog and I do write a personal journal and some poetry. So maybe it’s not completely true that I’m not a writer.
  3. What happens when I believe this thought?  When I think I’m not a writer, I don’t write or put extra effort into developing the craft of being a writer.
  4. Who would I be without this thought? I would be a writer who pursues this craft and develops my skills. I might try to submit my work to other sites. I will grow as a writer.

I can see that if I believe the statement that I’m not a writer, it’s actually stunting my progress and it’s not true. My perspective changes and my opportunities grow!

What statements do you believe to be true about yourself that you would like to challenge and see if they are, in fact, true?

The resources:

*The moon on the horizon illusion explained here by Neil deGrasse Tyson.

** Click here to learn how drawing upside down activates the right side of your brain.

*** There are many videos of Byron Katie on YouTube that you can watch to see the process. She was also on a recent episode of a popular mental health podcast, Mayim Bialik’s Breakdown:

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