As we head into a new year it's the perfect time to brush up on some reframes. Since I don't always have the ability to drop into a 20 minute meditation or head out for a run when I'm feeling stressed or overwhelmed, these quick word switches help me shift my mindset and attitude on the fly. I love having these in my back pocket when I'm in a meeting that's going sideways or when I find my mind spiraling into a puddle of
My Favorite Reframes (in no particular order)
I GET to ( vs. I have to) - I use this one on the daily. It's perfect for mundane tasks like picking up my house. Instead of feeling bogged down by the clean-up, I think ... I get to clean-up this space because I'm so lucky to have such a beautiful home OR I get to do this laundry because I'm fortunate to have clothes to wear, etc.. It also works when I'm grappling with a problem at WIT. Instead of feeling shame around asking for help, I switch to " I get to ask for help and learn from others."
How is the happening FOR me ( vs. to me) - Another regular on the reframe rotation. This one helps me when I'm feeling like life just isn't going in my favor. It could be a moment when I'm wallowing in a "why me?" mindset or believing the lie that everyone else has "it" all figured out. This also helps during times when I feel I'm being rejected. For example, if I'm ghosted it can be tempting to start spiraling into " Why is this happening to me???" but when I switch my response to " How could this be happening FOR me?" I feel more hopeful and reflective. If I believe that everything is happening FOR me than maybe my life is better off without this person! I can end up seeing that rejection as more of a protection.
Redirection ( vs. rejection) - Lately I've been sharing this one with teens who have been "rejected" from their top college choice. This rejection can hit a teen in the gut. So many years of working towards a goal, tons of late nights studying, and hours of essay writing ... only to get the "We regret to inform you..." letter. The thing is, I believe so strongly that these types of rejection are just a redirection to get us right where we are meant to be. I know what it's like to want something SO badly and to even feel like you deserve it and yet still not get it. I also know what it's like to be further down the road and look back and go ... " Oh it makes sense now why I didn't get that ... this is SO much better for me." We just have to go back to that other reframe and remember ... it's all happening for us.
Now, before you add these reframes to your toolkit for life, there is one caveat. It's incredibly important to feel. I used to just slap a reframe on an issue and go about my business, but then I realized it wasn't really working. When I dug a little deeper, I realized it was because I skipped over the feeling part. If we use the ghosting as an example, in the past I would just try and get right to the " Oh it's ok, this is just a redirection to someone better." But it wouldn't stick. It only stuck when I let myself feel bummed about it. To feel sad that someone didn't follow through or someone didn't want to spend time with me. Now, I feel it and then I ask myself, " Yes, this sucks but are you willing to see this differently? Are you ready to feel better" and then I use the reframe. This has made a big difference.
So .... feel those feelings and use those reframes.
Let me know how it goes and if you end up having a favorite!
P.S. i've done a few tedx talks on these topics if you want to check them out.