How to Challenge Interpretations

Posted on January 29, 2016 by Ascanio Pignatelli | 0 comments

Are your interpretations sabotaging your relationships, your life or your success?

What are interpretations?  They are your unique set of beliefs about a given situation. Often times they limit are chances for success if we don’t challenge them. An interpretation is the meaning, or story, we attach to people, events, or experiences. Most times we are not even aware that we have such an interpretation, believing in fact that the story is true, when in fact it’s just one of countless possible perspectives.

Our ability to create meaning from different situations and experiences has helped us to not only survive, but thrive on this planet. Everything has meaning, yet everything we believe, understand and think to be true is just an interpretation. Once we become aware of our interpretations, we can then change focus, raise our energy and discover new possibilities. What are some of the stories you’ve made up to explain the events or people in your life? How are those interpretations impacting you and those around you? Which of your interpretations sabotaging your relationships, your life or your success?

How to Challenge Interpretations

Just realizing that there are other perspectives can lessen the limitations your interpretations have on you. There are many ways to challenge interpretations including the following:

  • What’s another way to look at that?
  • How would someone who could easily accomplish the task you find challenging see your situation?
  • What would an opposite point of view about the person or situation you are struggle with be?

Now look at your “Things I Haven’t Achieved Yet” entry above. See which of the items you listed might be due to interpretations you’ve made, then use the questions above to challenge your interpretations. Which experiences from your past are the one’s you find most catabolic? What was the meaning or story you gave it? What is a new or opposite perspective?


Ascanio Pignatelli is an employee engagement expert. He is an award winning speaker, seminar leader, coach, and author of the forthcoming book Lead from Need: Raising Employee Engagement from the Core. He is the founder of E3 Solutions, an executive coaching and leadership development group that helps executives develop the leadership and communication skills to create more engaging workplaces.

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