Chapter 16: Reframing: The Power of Perspective
“Life is not a static thing. The only people who do not change their minds are incompetents in asylums who can’t and those in cemeteries.” ~Everett Dirksen
Have you ever felt like you were stuck in a situation that made you feel a certain way and, even after that situation was over, you just couldn’t shake the feeling? This chapter discusses how easy it is to change any negative feelings or behavior you have towards something in an instant. This process reframing or the act of “changing the frame” or context of a situation giving it a whole new meaning. Or, think of it this way, a more structured way of seeing the glass half full as opposed to half empty in ANY situation. Reframing is all about your perception and your ability to turn a negative perception into a positive one. There are two main types of reframing:
Context reframing involves taking an experience that seems bad or upsetting and showing how that same experience has great advantage in another context. The most famous example is Rudolf’s bright red nose. From the initial perspective, it was only the thing that made other people make fun of him. But in a brighter (pun intended) perspective it made him the hero that saved Christmas Day!
Content reframing involves taking the exact same situation and changing what it means. An example of this is death, the seemingly worst circumstance that fills our lives with negativity and sadness. However, there are certain cultures that simply don’t see it that way. They think of death as the person graduating to a higher level of existence. They associate it with feelings of joy and light instead of being sad and depressed.
Reframing is a powerful tool you can use for any situation, thought, or feeling any time you want. That’s the beauty of it! Once you learn how to use reframing in your everyday life, you’ll slowly begin to see how powerful it can be in letting in the light, the positivity, and the best situations fill your life as opposed to all the negativity, stress, and bad situations that you may have been making a habit of before!
Here are a few instances that seem to be negative which you could easily turn into a positive:
- My boss yells at me all the time –> It’s great that my boss cares enough to tell me how he feels as opposed to just firing me.
- Every time I begin to succeed in a big way, I sabotage my success –> I’m aware of what my pattern has been in the past. Now I need to figure out what triggered it and change it so I can be successful!
What are some other situations that you could think of in your own life that seem bad but can be easily changed into something positive? Remember living a happy, successful life is all about your perspective and how you can change anything into something that is positive!