An exercise in seeing things from a different angle

Sometimes we are so focused on a problem, that we lose track of what it is we actually want. It can feel a lot easier to know what we don’t want rather than be able to say what do want. However, when we are clear what it is we actively want (rather than simply the absence of a problem) it means we are much more able to head towards it and make it happen.

The following exercise is designed to help you see things from a different angle and hopefully help you work out what you want and the difference it will make to you and those closest to you. 

The whole exercise will take roughly 45 minutes. It’s important that you really take your time with the questions. Sometimes an answer will take a few minutes to come to you – this is not only fine, but completely normal! You’re searching for new ways at looking for things… because they’re new, they won’t come straight away. Be patient and keep going. Once you are confident you have thought through each question and there’s nothing else you can get out of it, move on to the next one. 

Here’s what to do…

Find a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed and let’s get to it!

  • Supposing that this exercise was useful for you and it brought a positive change, what might that change be?


  • Once this change has happened, what difference would it make to you? What else might be different once this change has happened? What else? 


  • What would you be pleased to notice about yourself once this change has happened?


  • Think of someone who you are close to, that knows you really well. Once this change has happened, what would they be pleased to notice about you? 


  • What difference do you think it would make to them?


  • On a scale of 1-10, where 10 is that this change has happened and 1 is when you were as far away from this happening as you ever have been. Where would you put yourself on that scale?


  • What tells you that you are at that number? If you are at a 2 or above, how come you’re not at a 1? What things are you doing already that have helped you be further on than a 1? And if you are at a 1, how are you coping? What things, people, thoughts or beliefs help you to keep going?


  • Think about the strengths that help you be at your current number (and not any lower). What are these strengths? 


  • Thinking about these strengths, what difference does it make to you knowing that you have them?


  • What about the difference these strengths make to others?


  • Imagine you are 1 place further up the scale (for example if you are currently at a 3, imagine you are at a 4). What would you be doing differently that showed yourself that you were 1 place higher? What else? 


  • Still imagining that you were this one place higher. Who might notice this change in you? What difference would it make to them?


  • Now imagine that you have reached a number on the scale that you would be satisfied with. For some people, that number is a 7 or 8 – that would be ‘good enough’ for them. What would you be doing once you were at a number that was good enough for you on the scale? What else? What else?


  • How might others respond when you were at that number on the scale? Try and think of the difference it might make to as many people as possible – sometimes it could even make a difference to the way you spoke with strangers or acquaintances. And what difference would that make?


  • Again, thinking of a scale of 1 – 10 where 10 is you are completely confident that these changes could happen and 1 is you are 100% sure that these changes are completely impossible. What number would you put yourself on that scale as you think about this now? What do you know about yourself that means you’re at that number?


That is the end of this exercise. Hopefully it has helped you to see things from a different angle. Hopefully you now have a clearer idea of what changes you would like to make and see happening for yourself and also the positive impact it could have on those around you.

Did you find it useful? We’d love to hear how you got on, so do please let us know!

an exercise to try to help reframe things from a different angle


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