Perspective is defined as a particular attitude or way of regarding something. In a more simplified definition, our perspective is our current frame of mind regarding our current thoughts or feelings.
From time-to-time we could run the risk of losing a positive perspective about the livestock show industry. How do we know what loosing perspective looks like? What are the warning signs?
- The fun is gone – We seem to have lost the joy in engaging with the industry in one way or another. Things we used to love to do have lost some of their appeal. Maybe we’re second guessing attending a show or we dread the work necessary to prepare. We start to wonder “is it worth it?” Maybe we begin to question the investment in time, money or sweat equity.
- We focus on what we don’t have – We’ve probably all had thoughts about keeping up with the Jones’ from time to time. Comparing ourselves to others and what we feel our shortcomings are …“If only we had a bigger trailer”, “If only we had spent more money and bought that calf,” “They have hired help and we don’t.” The list could go on and on.
- We play the victim role – We are a helpless victim in a situation out of our control; nothing is our fault. We tell ourselves a lot of stories “so-and-so only won because they….” Or “the judge made that decision based on politics.” “They win because they cheat” and so on. We see others as the villains in our own personal stories.
It’s probably safe to say that none of us want to get stuck in this rut of negative thinking and negative emotions regarding the industry that we love. But the truth is, if we’re not careful sometimes we can hit the ditch and need a bit or realignment to get back on the right track. So, how do we shift our perspective? Here are some helpful tips.
- Remember, the only thing/circumstance/person I can control is myself. My attitude is my choice. No one can make me have a bad day, a bad mood, or a bad thought – I am in control of myself. The responsibility to hold myself accountable to a higher standard sits squarely on my own shoulders. Commit to practicing self-control by keeping your chin up and being an example of someone with a positive attitude even if the environment or people around you is negative. Say to yourself “I choose to be different. I choose to be positive”
- Take some time away from the negativity. Evaluate the things and people who are influencing you. Sometimes we need to be cautious about the voices speaking into our lives. Where is the influence coming from? If we recognize negative vibes in certain areas, consider taking a break, distancing yourself from those things or removing them all-together. Maybe it’s negativity on social media. Maybe it’s a negative gossip-driven person in your life. Whatever it is, you can choose to put on the brakes.
- Choose to be thankful. You can’t be both negative and grateful at the same time. Choose to be grateful and express appreciation. The bottom line is that we are blessed people. We are especially blessed to be part of a the best industry in the world…the livestock show industry. And beyond the show industry, stop and think for a moment about being part of agriculture as a whole. Now if that doesn’t leave you feeling appreciative, I don’t know what will. If you have the opportunity to say thank-you to someone else in the industry who has helped you along the way.
- Remember, it’s More than a banner. We chase the banner but we remember the lifelong lessons and memories created in the process. The precious family time, the learning experiences for our kids, making new friends who become more like family, the character and values built throughout. Wow; now these are things worth working to keep alive. Love the process, not the banner.
So, the next time you feel like you could be losing some perspective, remember that you’re in control and can make a change to a more positive mindset!