Today, driving the highway, I was listening to a song from a Broadway musical and the entire song was a reframe. For those of you wondering what a reframe is, reframing involves thinking about something differently than you might typically, allowing for new possibilities if one is open to it. Unfortunately I didn’t catch the name of the tune. I began to think about the miracle of the reframe, how we can think about anything and rethink it in a different way. The tune described how two different people thought about everything very differently, one using a positive reframe and one using a reframe that was not so positive. Each one had their own perspective and one was open to looking at their perspective and altering it, being open to changing their perspective so it served them.
I began to think about how many thoughts we have a day. For so many of us, these thoughts are bombarded with ‘not enough_____’… Not enough time, not enough money, not thin enough, not healthy enough, not green enough, not smart enough, not funny enough, not strong enough, not pretty enough… the list tirelessly goes on. These thoughts of ‘not enough’ unfortunately don’t fill us up – they deplete us. They are not thoughts that have a positive impact on what we do or how we do it. This negative lens affects everything that we do, every choice that we make, every conversation that we have, and every relationship that we try to build and often doesn’t serve us well. So what would happen if we were aware of our thoughts and CHOSE to reframe those that aren’t serving us – looking at things differently and being open to new possibilities?
We can reframe any thought we might have with a positive lens, a lens that can serve us well and fill us up. Given the number of thoughts we have during a day, if we choose to think negative thoughts AND reframe using a negative lens, we can have a not so great day – contributing to our feelings of ‘not enough’, depleting ourselves, and not serving us well. If on the other hand, we think positive OR negative thoughts AND reframe them with a positive lens, we can have a very different outcome, one filled with possibility and promise. It is up to us to set some intention around this, be open to possibility and make a choice that serve us, and our communities, well.
When I think of a day with negative thoughts that we choose to reframe in other negative ways, WOW, what a bummer of day I would have. It would also be a bummer of a day for my husband and family given the head space I would have. Conversely even with a negative thought, if I CHOOSE to reframe with a positive thought, I can intentionally change the mood or tone of my day, which would in turn affect my families day as well. It is as simple as that.
We can reframe anything. I started to think more about this as I drove. Some of the examples we have heard are:
1). I did not have enough breakfast before I left home. I am getting hungry and there is no place to stop for something to eat.
REFRAME: I have not had much to eat today so I will probably be able to fit more comfortably into my new jeans that were a bit tight when I bought them. I can hardly wait to finish my drive so I can try them on.
2. My child asked for ice cream and I bought her an ice cream cone. She was so excited to get it that she ate it quickly and got ice cream on her hands, face and all over her clothes. She looks a mess and I can’t find a place to clean her up.
REFRAME: My child wanted an ice cream cone and she is having so much fun eating it. She is a mess and is so happy. I love to see her this happy.
3. I totally bombed my presentation. I didn’t give them enough of the information that they wanted, I totally embarrassed myself and feel like I am not good enough for this job.
REFRAME: While I feel my presentation didn’t go as well as I wanted, I learned what my client is looking for, have a better understanding of what they don’t want and have a greater understanding of what I need to do to knock it out of the park. All in all, it was good learning for me.
4. I didn’t get nearly enough done today that I wanted to do. I never have enough time and now can’t go out and spend time with my friends like I wanted as I need to get more done.
REFRAME: Looking at all the things I did get done today, it may not be as much as I had hoped, and it’s more than not doing any of it. Tomorrow I will look at what got in the way of me feeling productive and adjust my workload expectations accordingly, so tonight I can enjoy time with my friends.
Now think of something you may be thinking about that is pulling you down. How is this serving you and those around you? How can you think of it differently, reframe it in a way that works to your advantage? What can you learn from it?
What possibilities are there for you if you are open to them?