• Tony de Lacey

The Third Person Self-Perspective

Wouldn't it be amazing to have someone narrate our lives? If you had your entire life filmed and narrated back to you would you gain something from it? I'm sure you would especially if the golden voice that is Morgan Freeman was the narrator. He'd probably talk really slowly, with a tempo y'all might know very well. And he would say that maybe he didn't think much of you, Andy Dufrain...sorry I got sidetracked. The point is if you stepped back and talked about what you think, have gone through and what you struggle with in the third person might you gain a perspective unique to the more objective mindset? Why not try it?

A third person self-perspective sounds like a bit of an oxymoron but is actually quite an effective method of seeing things from another and perhaps more objective and less emotionally charged point of view. It is a difficult method and one which needs a bit of practice but put simply it is the art of detaching you from a situation, event or problem, looking at it from another point of view e.g. from a friend's point of view and seeing if the situation could be improved from going in from that direction rather than at the emotional and subjective coal face.

Let's give an example. Say you have been exercising for a while and are getting really frustrated that the results aren't what you hoped. Perhaps the results are coming slowly or not at all. Perhaps you are just thinking of giving up because it seems like nothing is working. Let's look at this from a third person self perspective. 'Tony has been exercising for a while now and he felt that things were not going right for him. Perhaps he forgot, as many do that the results he was looking for were in fact more mental than physical. What Tony has done is go to the gym regularly for the past 6 years and in doing so has developed a life discipline from which other life disciplines started to grow. Tony realized that the results he thought were not there were in fact all around him. And he felt better. He no longer felt bad. He had realized just how far he had come and how much further he had left to go'.

This example is one of many you can have with yourself and it is more effective said out loud. The perspective gained from this technique can show us what we overlook; as we often do in life. We overlook the bad and the good in our lives. We take positive and negative influences for granted, leave most of the things we should recognize as important for the mind to deal with and go on with our lives doing ourselves down for not doing the realizing ourselves. A third person self-perspective puts the awareness back into our hands, our control and along with detaching emotionally from the situation we are able to plan accordingly with reality rather than the viewpoint we see from the ground or the front line. The best generals survey the battlefield from on high rather than in the trenches; so should you not do the same with things that happen in your life?

Perspective is a precious and valuable resource and we often rely on friends and family to help give us that perspective. As TDL Fitness permanently promotes the value of physical and mental self-sufficiency we think that this method is perfect for helping you achieve perspective yourself. Looking above the fog of war which the mind places around you as a defense mechanism is so important. The mind wants us to see what's right in front of us and no further because that's much simpler to understand, comprehend. It is the shortsightedness that leads so many into suffering and ruin. It is why we suffer unknowingly because we lack the self-awareness to see further than what our mind may allow. The third person self-perspective allows us to see further, better, clearer and thus we can act accordingly with wisdom and logic rather than the charged emotion that is prevalent when charging head first into a situation.

If you like this idea and want another idea, want to try something different or perhaps more direct, as one of the critiques of this method is it's indirectness, is to go to the second person self-perspective. This method deserves an article on its own. This is the method by which you talk to yourself directly either in the mirror or just out loud. The reason why this is great is because you still gain a sense of perspective but also you are able to talk to yourself, or indeed your mind pretty directly. If you are someone who thrives on confrontation this would work perfectly. Do exactly the same as the third person self-perspective in terms of content but you could essentially have a conversation with yourself. Why not? In the end you have to treat yourself like you matter, first and foremost. Treat yourself like you are responsible for yourself...because you are. This second person method really highlights that point if you are ready, willing and able to look yourself in the eyes and say it like it is, as if a friend is doing it. You have to be harsh to yourself sometimes, but if you don't do it who will?

In the end perspective is always needed and sometimes it's worth acting a bit odd in order to get it. People might call it weird, but whilst they stop listening to themselves and simply go where life tells them you are gaining an added perspective, seeing the roads ahead of you and living your life on the better path. You are your own general. Get to higher ground, look behind you to see where you have come from. Enjoy the view. Then when you are ready look on into the distance and see where you are to go next.


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