We can not solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them – A. Einstein
Yes, it’s true that a life can be quite tough throughout our lives. On the other hands, series of misfortune events can also taught us valuable lessons that can changed our lives in better . For an example, we can learn that we can decide how we shall be affected by events, or, not to be caught in a vicious circle of circumstances thus, becoming ”victim of circumstances”! I find such a view as useless that serve no purpose in our lives but rather to undermine ourselves and our mental faculties we have been given to use.
We can learn to choose to give more attention to one aspect of a situation than others. The language we use is extremely powerful. It is the frame through which we perceive and describe ourselves and our picture of the world. All these is about one of the so powerful NLP techniques called Reframing. See my previous post on the same subject https://bit.ly/2XPZUOy
Once mastered I consider reframing as an art of changing our perspective to see new options that we can equally use with ourselves, but also with unknown people, loved ones, our co-workers, etc.
The fact is that humans create mental models of the world in order to function. These models are sort of frames in which they see and operate in the outside world. Frames are bits and pieces of missing information that can be harmless but can be also very harmful that can easily cause our mental paralysis. That’s where this tactic comes in, when we actually replace an existing and negative frame with a new, positive and emotionally more resourceful for us.
Reframing means changing your perspective on a given situation to give it a more positive or beneficial meaning to you. It can be useful in lots of different situations, for an example in negotiations (politicians and spin doctors use it a lot), whereby reframing both parties so they come to an agreement. It is also very efficient technique in empowering people who lack security or self-confidence.
What do we re-frame? We reframe context in the way that we give another meaning to a statement by changing the context or our focus to something.
Example: “My 14-years old teen is too melancholic” – “won’t you be happy that she’ll be able to be consistent, persistent, generous, and take care of you since he’s very emphatic person that yo can not say for your son who you say is totally opposite and very self-oriented, egocentric …?”
Example : “My superior always comes to me when he wants to share his personal frustrations with staff and fact that his not happy with some colleagues’ performance but has no courage telling them himself. I personally don’t like to participate in these gossips” – “Well, I understand complexity of the situation but your superior than must have confidence in your abilities to deal with this issue and she trusts you so much!”
Example: You’re stuck in a traffic jam and are going to be late for a meeting and get worried, angry,overwhelmed with anxiety what your boss will tell you. Yes, traffic jam is a fact – How can you use the situation instead of putting yourself into negative emotional state? First, you can relax and put some music on and plan what to say to your angry boss and how to up on things over the course of the day.
Example: Your husband is calling you to tell you he won’t be able to take you to a dinner tonight due to fact that is boos asked him to join him a dinner with business partners. How about surprising some of your friends by asking them to join you to cinema or to have a pizza together. Or deciding that this is an opportunity to start reading a book or doing something that will make you happy.
Example: Your friendship with your best friend is over for whatever reason. This is the fact . What you can do is first, feeling sorry for yourself or being angry with the other person. Isn’t it better using the freedom it gives you for a personal makeover, engage into new hobby, give your career or family extra attention? Think about this.
Hence, in reframing you choose what an event means to you. When things go wrong you search for what is good about the situation and give that most attention and focus on that aspect because there is always something good in any bad or negative circumstance. You look for how you can use the situation rather than be a victim of it! It’s as simple as that.
Reframing is not about simply denying ”state of the fact” as many argue because you don’t deny anything – you do not deny traffic jam, or bad weather, or whatever in terms of the meaning of the event , but rather give different context to an event. As a matter of fact you fully acknowledge that “Yes, I’d prefer if I had not taken a bank loan with such a huge interest rate and now worried and anxious” . On the other hand, you also acknowledge that you have a choice in how you respond to this reality. Yes, I can choose to feel worried, anxious, angry or whatever. Or, I can focus on the advantages of the situation and actively search for how to make this situation benefit me.
Remember, that in all stages in life we have choice in how we are affected by events and what meaning we gonna give to something or someone. Hence, it’s not the event itself that affects us emotionally. What affect us is how we respond to the event.
Therefore, we could consider reframing as an art of actively choosing our response that will empower rather than weaken us, meaning we can opt not to engage in regretting or resenting.
If a problem can’t be solved within the frame it was conceived, the solution lies in reframing the problem !
Yes, it takes a bit of practise to get into the re framing habit as your life style but what other alternatives do you have? Do you prefer to see yourself as a victim of circumstances or to see new options and opportunities in such circumstances a circumstances?
I know what I choose.
What about You?