Art of the Reframe

reframe-handsPerspective. I’ve been thinking a lot about it this week. I think it’s interesting that two people can have the same experience, yet come away with completely different interpretations about what happened.  That’s part of the deal, interpretations.  With each experience we bring our own interpretations about the “truth.” But the truth is tempered by what we’ve experienced in the past, our beliefs, what we’ve been through. Sometimes it makes it hard to see the another perspective.

The other perspective is helpful for a lot of different reasons. Let’s just say you’re stuck. Ok, maybe that’s just me. Having the ability to see your circumstance from another point of view can be extremely helpful.  The other day, I was taking a look at my day to day work, thinking about the nature of what I do vs. what in my head I want to do. I had a conversation with someone whose opinion I trust about it.  She pointed out aspects about the work I’m doing that I wasn’t seeing.  Aspects that fell in line with exactly the qualities that I wanted to bring more of into my work. Reframe. She saw it from another perspective that I wasn’t seeing and shed light for me.

Or, I was talking with a trusted friend about achievement.  I’m a high, high achiever.  The great thing about being a high achiever is that you get a lot done, with a high degree of excellence.  That’s the way you should do it, after all.  The downside is that you never really feel, ok, maybe just me again, that you really ever achieve anything big because you’re doing what anyone should do in that situation. Except they don’t.  Not everyone has that same internal wiring, that same drive, so what you’re doing could be extraordinary. So back to my friend, I mentioned how I was thinking about this and gave an example of when I walked a marathon last year.  I had someone, whose opinion matters a lot to me, say “What, do you think you can’t walk 26 miles?” The way it was said registered to me as, of course you would, it’s not a big deal.  My friend asked me if, in fact, that person could have made the statement from a position of belief. As in, Lisa can do anything she sets her mind to. Reframe. He showed me a different way to look at it that actually spoke to belief, not expectation.

The amazing thing about the reframe, the other perspective, is that it can shift you. It can take what you currently believe about an area of your life and shed new light on it. It’s awesome when you have people you trust who can do it, a friend, spouse or family member. It’s also something a coach can do with you. Something I feel fortunate to be learning in my coaching training. If I could only apply it to myself more often. That’s part of the deal too though, sometimes it takes someone outside of your head to look in and reframe for you.  That said, I would encourage you to try it. In the midst of a circumstance that you wish could be different, take a deep breath and ask yourself “how else could I see this?” “What’s another way to look at that?” “How could I reframe it to move forward?” There’s no magic to it, but it IS a conscious choice. A choice that could move you forward in a more positive, empowered way. Try it. Or call me, I’d love to take that journey with you.

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