When I was in my early teens, I had a dream: to play the slide trombone. It didn't matter that my arms weren't yet long enough to play the deepest note... I just loved the deep resonating sound of it and the feel of that wonderful instrument in my hands.

My trombone teacher was a bold, courageous man who had escaped the dictatorship of Romania to play the trombone with the symphony orchestra. He had high expectations of his students... and I had a lot of self doubt.

Every time he put a new piece on the music stand and asked me to play it, I began by saying, "I can't play this...."

Finally, he got quite angry and said, "Well of course you can't right now, what do you expect? It is a brand new piece of music, but that doesn't matter. What matters is that you CAN learn this. So stop whining and start learning."

I was frightened by his anger, but his words sunk in. By saying and thinking "I can't do this," I was stopping myself from learning the instrument I loved so much. I had to ask myself, "Where else in my life am I holding myself back?"

Success When I shifted my perspective from "I can't" to "I can learn" - with the trombone, with my classes, with anything new in life - things got a lot easier. I was able to learn the musical pieces much faster, and with more joy, and even the most dreaded classes at school became a bit less daunting.

The way we look at things really does shape our experience of the world around us.

What belief's are shaping your world? What perspective is no longer serving you anymore? What alternative perspectives might open up new horizons for you?

How to Shift Your Perspective:

1. Choose an area of your life that you feel stuck in. Explore the perspective you are currently holding and get a sense of how that perspective is making you feel.
2. Imagine some other ways to look at this situation. Explore as many perspectives as you can think of.
3. From all the perspectives you can imagine, choose the one that seems most joyful and meaningful to you.
4. Identify an action that you want to take with your new outlook.

Author's Bio: 

Julia James, CPCC, PCC, M.Sc. is a multi-lingual certified life coach, award-winning author and International speaker. She helps busy professionals around the world achieve balance in their lives through individual coaching and workshops. Author of the book, The Mini-Retreat Solution and the audio CD series, Guided Mini-Retreats for Busy People, she provides tools to manage stress effectively and to relax and re-energize quickly. Julia has been featured on Joy TV, CBC News, as well as in The Globe & Mail, Glow Magazine, BC Business Magazine and The Vancouver Observer. For more information visit: www.juliajames.ca