Categories: Gettin The Mind Right

Role Playing to Gain Perspective

Happy Monday!

You ever notice how you’re able to help other people forgive themselves for “screwing up” or help ease their worries—far more than you forgive yourself or stop worrying?

It’s because we get so wrapped into our emotions when we get stressed out that we’re unable to think objectively and see an issue for what it is.  We internalize and build stories around the issue, making it seem bigger than it really is.  We lose perspective and catastrophize our lives.

Next time you find yourself super stressed and feeling like you are drowning in your worries, role play.

To role play, you must take yourself out of the situation and imagine your best friend came to you with the same exact issue – what would you recommend him/her do?

It will feel awkward and at first you may find it difficult to separate yourself (your emotion) from this exercise, but remember your mind is trainable. If you buy into something, your mind will follow.

Like anything else, to achieve an outcome you have to commit.  Make the practice as real as possible:

  • Go somewhere quiet with a pen and paper or your laptop.
  • Identify a real or imaginary friend you’re going to use for the example and make sure to give him/her a name
  • Write as if you were writing in your journal about a phone call you had with this friend where he/she came to you seeking advice about XYZ problem (XYZ is what’s stressing you right now).
  • Use the real context of a friend (for example, if you are writing about you and your wife, use the name of your friend Chip and his wife Buffy. If you are imagining a person, build up some context so it feels real.
  • Then write out the advice you’d give Chip.
  • As you’re doing this, recognize any resistance that comes up for you. As you’re giving advice, try to catch yourself second guessing the advice and doubting it.
  • Stay the course!
  • Play devil’s advocate by asking objective questions to those doubts.

Give this exercise 10-30 minutes then review what you wrote. If nothing else, you’ll feel better just by seeking an alternative perspective and writing all of this down.

I know it sounds a bit wacky but this process is already happening subconsciously – without you knowing, your mind builds stories about the stuff that happens in your life.

So why not take control and build your own narrative rather than just accepting your emotions as truths?



IMAGE BY:  J.Linferd


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