It's a trait that we would all like to believe we possess. After all, in the majority of situations, the best course of action is objectivity. What better way to make decisions than to do so with facts? It sounds like an easy proposition, yet it's anything but.
Every one of us possesses biases. If we do not manage those biases then they can negatively impact our lives. We are guilty of cognitive errors constantly because when we perceive something, we imprint our own mental models, backgrounds, and experiences onto the thing. That rings true whether it's an event, a situation, or a person. As a result, we often get it wrong.
Whatever you think you know, you have to apply objectivity to determine what you truly know. This is especially true when you are overwhelmed with stress and in need of a healthy coping mechanism.
I'm sure if you think back on your history, you can think of something that went sour because you lost all objectivity. Like a business deal (or even a relationship) that went wrong because you were too tied up in it emotionally. There was an abundance of red flags that indicated this was a bad deal, but you were so passionate about it you couldn't recognize the danger signs. Now, with distance, you can recognize all of the warning signs you ignored. What you need then was objectivity.
How Objectivity Helps You Cope
There are always going to be things, people, or situations that you do not like. And, we have all lived long enough to know that things can and will go wrong. Often, though, we don't anticipate those problems, and it's easy to feel sorry for one's self when it happens.
We do the slideshow flashing in our minds, so slow, as we think about all the ways we could have stopped it. Wishful thinking isn't going to help you here, but objectivity will.
Objectivity allows you to accept that the situation is what it is. Non-acceptance will only complicate the emotions you are experiencing. For example, Jessica is a career woman. She works for a major investment firm and is in her 30s.
Objectivity allows her to be more flexible. She has a plan and while she feels irritated when she has to deviate from it, she reminds herself to remain objective. She doesn't complain or waste time getting angry; she adapts and moves forward.
Matthew, an entrepreneur who recently turned 30, leads a chaotic life. It would have been easy for him to give in and allow the stress to overwhelm him. However, by learning to be a more objective person he found an efficient way to overcome the stress and chaos. He changed his perception and learned how to respond appropriately to any and all events.
So, ultimately, the principles of objectivity help you remain calm and think smarter. That is what you need to cope, no matter the situation. Things might be bad, but you can always find a way through it.
It Has Limits
Objectivity has its limits. If you believe that you are truly objective as we speak, then please know this – you are dead wrong. We are naturally biased, whether you are aware of those biases or not. The first step to gaining objectivity is to understand how far away you are from attaining it. Don't lie to yourself, as it won't do you any favors.
Locate Your Weak Spots
Pay attention to the situations that often cause you to overreact. These are the times when you struggle with objectivity. Now that you know, you can do the opposite of your impulse.
Your Brain Trust
Start building a network of people who you respect and who hold views that differ from yours. You can expand your horizons and learn objectivity by seeking out their opinion on difficult topics.