Our reality is shaped by our perspective. Our perspective is formed by who we are and what we have experienced. One of the most powerful questions used in personal coaching is simply this: “Is that true?”
Most of what we believe is not “true” but merely a version of reality that we’ve accepted based on who we are and what we have experienced. A woman who stands at 5’4″ might consider herself to be tall in China, where the average height of women is 5’1″. If that same woman gets on an airplane in Beijing and heads to Copenhagen, she may feel a bit diminutive when she lands because the average height of a woman is 5’7″ in Denmark. So, how should this woman feel about herself? Is she tall? Or is she small?
What we see in those around us often distorts our reality into a skewed perception of who we are. Rather than being grateful for what is “true” – being 5’4″ tall – we tend to define our reality through comparison to others.
The more you look around you to determine your value and worth, it is less likely you will truly know how valuable you are. You must be focused internally and be honest about who you are – using facts. Statements like “I AM broke” or “I AM rich” are only made in comparison to others or the bills sitting on your kitchen counter. The reality is that you have what you have. Depending on the view around you, you can appreciate that as “much” or malign it as “lack”. The decision is yours. Your truth is really a perspective. But who’s perspective are you using?
You may find it useful to use God’s perspective. What does God say you have? Who does God say you are? If you are 5’4″ in height then you are fearfully and wonderfully made – tall or small. Reading the Bible can help change your view of reality to a more positive perspective. You can better understand who you are by understanding your creator and why you were created.
So the next time you have a thought about yourself or someone else, positive or negative, ask the question “Is that true?” Go ahead and try it:
“I am so dumb” – Is that true?
“Today was horrible.” – Is that true?
“I was great!” – Is that true?
Asking yourself the question helps you to realize that you are only speaking from your perspective. When you understand the nature of your “truth” you also begin to accept and understand the “truth” of others. This allows you to love those who hold a different opinion than you own. It helps you put your own thoughts into perspective and understand where your emotions may be shading the light inside of you.
So when someone holds an opinion of you or you hold an opinion of yourself, simply take a minute to ask: “Is that true?” Chances are you will come to the realization that very few things in our lives are “truth”. That’s why, as Christians, we follow the Biblical teachings that show us what is “true”. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the light.