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Sunshine above the storm: Finding perspective in the clear skies

By Kyrstie Nolan
26 June 2024 | 12 minute read
kyrstie nolan harcourts reb enyveq

A miserable and wet drive to the airport usually marks the beginning of my week (classic Melbourne weather). Then, sitting on the plane, on the tarmac, watching the rain trickle down the window beside me.

But within minutes of take-off, I’m above the clouds, greeted by a breathtaking view and the warmth of the sun.

Don’t get me wrong, the journey from ground to sky can be uncomfortable and comes with its share of bumps, but that’s all part of the process, right?

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Once, in a state of complete overwhelm and frustration, a mentor shared a piece of wisdom that has stayed with me ever since: “You’re not considering all the facts or seeing the bigger picture. Imagine this is a theatre, and you’re sitting too close to the stage. Stand up, walk back, and choose a new seat – but not too far back. One in the middle, allowing you to see the entire stage. Every person plays a different role, but each role is crucial to understanding the story.”

This advice frequently comes to mind during my travels. For me, it’s about perspective – shifting your angle or viewpoint on a situation, problem, or concept. A physical or mental move changes the landscape. While challenging your thinking, it unlocks new possibilities and solutions.

My team, like many others, operates in a high-demand environment with considerable workloads and competing priorities. The constant influx of emails and incessant phone calls are routine aspects of our daily operations. Many of us have experienced the overwhelming sensation of an overflowing inbox that seems impossible to clear.

Recently, I received a call from a team member whose stress was clear in her voice. Recognising this, we quickly deployed the “power of perspective” to correct the situation and alleviate some of her anxiety. By simply suggesting she close her laptop, listen to some music and take a walk, we created a valuable opportunity for her to clear her mind. This brief 20-minute respite allowed her to return with a refreshed outlook and a clearer sense of task prioritisation. Taking care of yourself first is essential to being able to effectively assist others.

This shift in perspective takes an awareness of where you are, but can make all the difference. It can turn a bad day into a good one, drive us forward instead of keeping us stuck, and enable us to collaborate effectively with others rather than just feeling frustrated trying to deliver satisfactory results on our own.

Our perspective shapes our reality. When we’re too close to a problem, we can become overwhelmed and lose sight of the bigger picture. By stepping back and reassessing our position, we can see things more clearly and make better decisions.

So, next time you’re feeling overwhelmed or uncertain, remember that it’s completely OK. You’ve got this! It just takes a moment of awareness of where you are, to change your perspective. At the end of the day, we can control our responses and the thoughts we choose to believe. Don’t let them be limiting or overwhelming! Instead, allow yourself to see the bigger picture and embrace the possibilities it brings.

Before you know it, the rainy bumpy take-off will be over, and you’ll be sailing through clear sunny skies.

Kyrstie Nolan is Harcourts’ head of business operations.

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