A Coaching Power Tool Created by Héctor Jiménez Cortés
(Personal Growth Coach & Leadership Coach, SPAIN)
Have you ever been looking at a problem from so close that it has seemed giant?
Have you felt small and insignificant in front of the overwhelming size of a challenge?
Have you experienced facing a challenge from such a short distance that you had to stand your neck upwards without finding the cusp?
Have you felt impotence looking so small when faced with a big challenge right in front of you to solve? Have you been tempted to surrender to a complicated situation even when you knew that this “challenge” was necessary?
I would say that it has happened to all of us. It’s natural. We perceive life events in the present as they arise and therefore our current reality turns to be interpreted in an intuitive and automatic way, many times without any presence of perspective. This happens when we choose to automatically contemplate a problem with our lens from very close without looking a step away from the problem. If we do not look at “the sides”, if we do not take the necessary distance to analyze the problem in perspective, we are in the short-sighted view. And from this place, a challenge can seem giant, overwhelming, fierce, and sometimes even irresolvable.
However, there is a more empowering and lucid place from which to contemplate the challenge: The Perspective Mastery. If we choose to observe the problem from here, we can put the lens further and from another perspective more useful for us. We can move away from the challenge in an aerial and panoramic view thus seeing the problem from far away, from above, in a broad context, as an insignificant figure, in the middle of “the river” of our lives.
You choose, angle and distance
Let’s assume that this overwhelming challenge you face is metaphorically a pine. If we choose how to look at the pine, we can choose the distance and the angle we look from.
The distance refers to how close we want to position ourselves to contemplate it (so close so that we can only see the immediate part of the oak wood that we have in front of us? At an average distance so we can see half a pine tree? Far away to see the entire pine? Even further away to be able to see not only the pine but also the whole map on which it is located?).
The angle refers to where we look at it, that is, from what perspective we put the lens to look through (just in front of the pine from below? Do we rise to reach half the height of the pine? Do we jump high enough so we can sight the last branch of the pine at the height of our heads? Do we look at it from behind so we can find new meaning? Do we look at it from the sky from an aerial view so we can capture its real significance in the whole forest?). We have the power and responsibility to choose the distance and angle through which we observe life events.
Short-sighted view, the illusion
If we choose to position ourselves very close to the very high pine (the challenge), and we also get right in front of it, we run the risk of being dwarfed, tiny in front of it, deprived of all power from our minuscule size at its side. This is the short-sighted view. It is disempowering, limiting, terrifying and makes us feel small and weak in the face of the challenge. If we look at life events like this, we will see them as giants that are difficult to overcome. We automatically put ourselves in a position of inferiority in which we see ourselves as David in front of Goliath. This will trigger our anguish, anxiety, fear, insecurity and a feeling of loss of power and insignificance. We could see ourselves as an ant in front of a tree or as a drop of water insignificant in the immensity of the ocean. From this place, the problem seems tedious and may easily become just a difficult rock to lift without any particular value in our lives.
Perspective Mastery, a useful tool to make life meaningful
In contrast, if we choose to position ourselves far enough from the pine (distance), raising the flight vertically from it to be able to contemplate it by positioning our lens from above (angle), we can now contemplate it in perspective and understand it as insignificant in the immensity of the forest. Here, we can truly understand the meaning of that little test in the vastness and abundance of our life.
From this new place, the “problem” can be perceived as being just “one small step” that led to our overall growth during life. This is the Perspective of Mastery vision. It is empowering, clarifying, it offers us clarity on how to understand and relativize the true impact of our daily challenges. If we look at problems like this, we will see them as small and insignificant, while feeling big and empowered. Furthermore, we will realize that these “problems” were necessary and thanks to them arising in the past, today we are the person we have become.
As Coaches, we can invite our client to look at the same problem from a:
1 –New broader perspective, with an empowering angle: Seeing the problems from above allows us to realize our enormous power within us and it becomes much easier to solve them by being able to see them as a whole.
2 – Further away, from a lucid distance: A distance large enough to 1. Relativize the weight of the challenge and 2. Making sense, understanding that this challenge has its “why” and will, at some point, contribute to our personal growth.
We can assist our client by relativizing the size and impact of a “problem” through powerful questions:
- How will you see this challenge in a year's time?
- What impact can really have on your life in the future?
- What would the successful "Me" in 5 years say to the "Me" full of doubts right now?
- How will you become the new victorious "Me" after overcoming this challenge?
- What is the gift this new step is offering to you?
- What is the meaning of this event in your life journey?
- How can you look at it as a new window of opportunity?
- Fast forward in the future, visualizing yourself having solved this test, how do you see it when you look back?
Perspective Mastery helps us see the meaning and beauty of life challenges as necessary tests to keep on growing and evolve for the best. We feel powerful, proud and accomplished when we look back and contemplate the immensity of the forest. We can then savor the taste of the success we have built thanks to all those pines that one day challenged us and as a result made us grow.
Each pine symbolizes an opportunity to grow, the constant tests we have overcome in the past and thanks to which we grow and live today a meaningful life. We can understand that pines are often fruitful trees, always useful in a way for our overall evolution. Thanks to Perspective Mastery, we can reach to see ourselves as the Masterful creator of our lives, the owner of our destiny. At the end of the day, every pine fits in, and the whole forest has its own meaning and reason to be.
Pines did not look good when arising but make perfect sense today. Some life challenges do not always come with a beautiful bow even though they are gifts that will become meaningful in the future. Perspective Mastery gifts us with the opportunity of clarity to understand that today’s pain can be tomorrow’s gain.
So, if pines make us grow and happiness comes from a place of life progress, what would be a life without pines?