This is not Instagram. This is your life through your current natural filter.
Imagine you could change the filter on your vision, perception and emotion as easily and frequently as you can change your photo filters. To see things in the best possible light for that moment. To cover any flaws. To create sharper or softer lines. To get the best shot.
Your filter on life is constructed and modified by the experiences you have, the assumptions you make and the limitations you place on your beliefs. Every moment of your day is processed through your filter and you react accordingly. The realization of your personal potential will be directly impacted by your filter and how you see the world.
Some people wander through life wearing rose coloured glasses and filter everything positively. Others plow through their days in a grey cloud of pessimism. Both of these groups are at a disadvantage as neither of these filters allow for true clarity of the facts and acceptance of the current status.
The brilliance of understanding your filters is in the ability to create and apply new ones. You have the power to build your life through application of new filters that bring every situation into the best light and help you get the best shot. The question is HOW?
Before HOW, you must establish a WHY. What’s your reason to change your filter? What do you want that you don’t have now? What is it that you want a better result from? Once you’ve checked in your goals and established your WHY, start the breakdown process.
Acknowledging your filter starts with simple awareness. Review the events of your day and your reactions and interactions. Break down one key opportunity you had today to move things towards your goal. Revisit this key action or interaction and the result you achieved. Try to pinpoint any moments that weren’t as impactful as you wanted them to be. Review the actions, words and movements you made in those moments. Play back the moment in your mind and watch from an observer perspective. Can you find the moments that you need to pause the show? What happened in those moment that you could have changed? These are your “IF ONLY” moments. IF ONLY I had done/said ___. Inventory these IF ONLY moments with as much detail as you remember.
Now, rewrite those IF ONLY moments to reflect the actions, words and movements that would have moved you towards the result you want. Review your edits a few times to ensure you are confident that these personal changes in behavior would have been a more productive response. Once you’ve got your scripts rewritten, move on to analyzing your filters and constructing new ones.
Before choosing your new filter, review your current filter process. Why did you behave the way you did? What experiences have you had in the past that led you to choose your words and actions? What beliefs do you have about the situation or other person(s) that prevented you from acting to move the situation forward toward your goal? What assumptions have you made about the current circumstances that have limited your perception of the future possibilities? This is deep stuff. It’s hard to change. Remind yourself WHY you want to change.
To change your filter, work back through the scenes you have rewritten and ask yourself these 5 Questions (I always suggest writing down your answers for clarity and reference):
- What would I need to believe in order to make these bold new moves?
- What assumptions do I need to abandon so I can be brave and step into these new actions?
- Why will this work better than my last attempt?
- Why will this situation move forward when I do these new things?
- Who will benefit when I behave this new way?
Once you formulated your answers, check in on your personal energy. You should feel focused and powerful. If you don’t feel charged up, go back to your WHY and replay your new sequences in your mind until you are confident with 5 strong answers that will move you forward.
When your energy reflects a feeling a readiness to act with new perspective, label your filter. Seriously. Give it a name. You will need to call on this filter in the future when similar situations come up and challenge your lifetime assumptions, your indexed personal experiences and your belief in what’s possible.
The next critical step is to put your filter to use. Create an opportunity to revisit the situations you re-scripted from your day today. Strike up the conversation again and play your part the way you’ve rewritten it. Inventory how things go. Did changing your filter change the outcome favourably? If so, revisit that new sequence of behaviours and solidify the assumptions that you dropped, the beliefs that you changed and the new light that you took to the picture. Hold on to this filter.
If it doesn’t yield a more positive result. Work through your filter change exercise again and try a new edit. Chances are, when you re-watch the events from an observer perspective, you’ll catch something that you didn’t notice in the moment. You’ll likely find a new IF ONLY moment.
The filters you apply to your daily interactions will change through relationships and experiences. The more you work on constructing filters, the more open you will be to each situation that arises and the faster you will adopt a filter for that moment that will allow you to move towards your long-term goals. Changing your filters is a task in deep personal reflection and can be a great challenge and a slow process. Small adjustments to your filter will help to improve every interaction as you act and react in ways that support the future experiences you want to have instead of being bound to the past experiences that have shaped your beliefs. Seeing today as it is, without the weight of yesterday will help you build a broader belief in what is possible tomorrow.
A powerful filter changing strategy to keep handy for the tough situations: Don’t ask why it is the way it is and what is contributing to the current situation, ask instead why it can be the way you want & intend for it to be and what will contribute to the achievement of that status.
This is NOT Instagram. This is YOUR life. Choose your filter.