Man does not simply exist but always decides what his existence will be, what he will become the next moment. By the same token, every human being has the freedom to change at any instant.
– Viktor Frankl
Perspective is everything!
Stoic philosophy and cognitive psychology are both grounded in that fundamental notion. When you can reframe a problem or rethink about an idea, you change your perspective which changes everything — the problem and the answer.
Fear is debilitating, distracting, tiring, and often irrational. When faced with fear a good solution is to change your perspective. Often just considering ways in which a situation could be worse will make things better (or at least seem better). Alternatively, a less anxiety inducing option is to take what you’re afraid of and break it apart. Analyze all the details and explain it away.
The right perspective can redefine a problem such that it is more manageable. And on the other hand, a poor perspective can be the real root cause of a problem.
Perspective can be thought of as the combination of context and framing. Context is a sense of the larger picture of the world and framing is an individual’s unique way of looking at the world. If you want to make a problem seem smaller then consider how it impacts the whole world. If you want to reduce the sting of a problem then think of ways in which the problem has a positive value.
Perception precedes action. Finding the right action follows from applying the right perspective.