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Shifting Perspective During Troubling Times

Jun 1, 2008
Challenging situations and disappointment are an essential part of the journey through the mountains and valleys we call life. We can either move through them kicking and screaming, resisting 'what is' to the bitter end or we can choose to ... SHIFT PERSPECTIVE!

Back in high school, I was determined to become a professional dancer. Every moment of my existence was focused on that one goal - whether I was chewing my food to the beat of a tap step or walking with my tail bone nicely tucked under in a perfect ballet posture. I could be in math class working on geometry while choreography ran through the lines and curves on the page. Wherever I was, dance was. I applied to York University for dance. It was my only option as it was the only degree program for dance in Ontario at the time. I did my audition in March and waited anxiously to find out if I was accepted. June came around and I received a thin envelope in the mail... I was not accepted into the program because my grades were 2% too low. The hysterics began and I spent days crying my eyes out. I felt like all my dreams were taken away for me within a snap second - I simply couldn't see that there may be another path.

All of us have experienced this type of disappointment or challenge. When you feel stuck as I was, follow these steps to shift perspective and turn things around. I have given the resolution to my situation as an example.

STEP ONE: Acknowledge and accept the situation as is. There is no point in trying to create a positive change if you are in denial. Certain circumstances cannot be changed but the outcome can be. Therefore it is essential to evaluate what is the truth in it, accepting that truth and then choosing the best path to get through it.

"I accept that I was rejected from the dance program. I can't change the outcome. I need to stop dwelling on it."

STEP TWO: Ask yourself: "How does this benefit me?" No matter how challenging a situation may be, there is always a positive that can come out of it.

"It will give me a year off to improve my grades, do further dance training and work part time, saving more money for tuition. In the long run, I will have less student debt. "

STEP THREE: Shift perspective! What other choices do you have? How far can you think outside the box? How outrageous can you be? Come up with at least 10 options.

1. "I can train in a full time dance company, getting hands on experience.

2. " I can work full time for 6 months, then use the money to go live in NY and train with the best."

3. And so on....

STEP FOUR: Create an action plan and go! Decide which of those options excite you the most and take the positive steps.

"I am going to make a list of professional dance companies in Ontario by June 20th. Submit applications by June 25th."

Right now, list a challenge or disappointment you are dealing with. Go through the steps and take charge. You are amazing and can shift ANYTHING. There is always a solution. Have fun with the process
About the Author
Cindy Ashton is an expert in helping people kiss their monsters & unleash their courage. Born with a 20% chance of living, Cindy's life triumphs are a miracle. She presents keynote speeches, interactive seminars & motivational concerts across North America. http://www.cindyashton.com
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