We often think about how the lens of our experience colors our own story, but we can forget how much we use that same lens to apply stories to others.
If you spend years working for a boss who pays you poorly and at the same time seems to be burning through the company’s money, spending it on wasteful or selfish purchases, the story that you tell yourself is that the person is self-centered, unfair, and maybe even unintelligent. When you change jobs and have a new boss, that story often doesn’t stay behind. It comes with you, and even if you are being paid well and your boss is unselfish, there is a a high likelihood that you will scrutinize their purchases the same way you did with your old boss.
The story is a short cut, but it’s a short cut that leads you to potentially judge something new through an old lens, and causes you to extend a negative experience from the past into the present.
In moments of judgment, it can be helpful to check in and get some clarity around which lens you are choosing to see the situation through.
If it’s an old, dirty lens with a lot history on it, give it a quick clean, and try looking at the situation again.