The Power of Reframing

Ever hear the saying, “Don’t cry over spilled milk?” It means a lot more than may be initially apparent. Often times, people beat themselves up over insignificant mistakes or shortcomings. Sometimes people have a single seemingly negative experience that causes them to form a limiting belief about themselves or the world which hinders their success.  These people often appear bitter, jaded or insecure. All it takes is a small shift in thinking to transform their lives. One might tell themselves, “I’m so clumsy! I can’t do anything right.” or they can simply clean the mess and have more positive self-talk like, “It’s okay. That milk was probably going sour anyway.”

In each moment, we are perceiving reality through the lens of our senses, and the way we choose to interpret it is completely unique to who we are and what we believe from past experiences. If you’re speaking and some dude walks out of the room, you might take it personally and think, “He must be bored by what I’m saying. I must be boring,” or you can have a more optimistic outlook and think, “He must really have to pee, because what I’m saying is awesome.”

Focus on becoming aware of any negative belief patterns that surface in various situations, and take time to remember the earliest event that triggered you to think that way. Then, you can look for evidence to disprove the negative beliefs. For example, if you think you’re too fat to get a girlfriend, look for examples of fat men who have girlfriends. The more you prove to yourself that your fears are irrational, the easier it will be to switch to a more confident mindset.

Ever since the movie “The Secret” came out, the idea that you create your reality has been spreading like wildfire, and whether you believe in the law of attraction or not, hopefully now you can at least see how you create your experience of reality which dramatically affects your actions and results. If you don’t believe something is possible for you, the motivation to strive for it will be nonexistent. Keep an open mind, and practice seeing things from different perspectives. If someone is feeling upset, see if you can say something that reframes what’s bothering them and shines a more positive light. Find ways of seeing your supposed weaknesses as strengths. If you feel awkward approaching people in social situations, and think you might be viewed as an annoyance, you might reframe it by flipping the script and thinking something like, “I’m awesome, and all these people want me to approach them.”

Joe asked God, “How much is a penny worth in Heaven?”

God replied, “$1 million.”

Joe asked, “How long is a minute in Heaven?”

God said, “1 million years.”

Joe asked for a penny.

God said, “Sure, in a minute.”

“Aaron T. Beck developed cognitive therapy in the 1960s. Beck worked with patients that had been diagnosed with depression, and found that negative thoughts would come into minds of these patients. Beck helped his patients recognize the impact of their negative thoughts, and aided them in shifting their mindset to think more positively—eventually lessening or even getting rid of the patient’s depression. This process was termed cognitive restructuring – the main goal of which was to rethink negative thoughts and turn them into positive thoughts

Competition vs. Creativity

In our culture, we’ve been taught from an early age that we need to compete for what we want.  We’ve been socially conditioned to believe that we have to be better than everyone else to be a winner in life.  The truth is, when we’re working towards our goals, whether it’s attracting a romantic interest, making money, or physical fitness, there are two mindsets: The competitive mindset based on scarcity and the creative mindset based on abundance.  The competitive frame is one of ego, and the creative frame is one of selflessness.

Different Interpretations of Reality

Our perceptions are based on the information coming in through our five senses, and our interpretations of the experiences and events in our lives is everything!  Everyone interprets life through their own filters.  The way people interpret reality is generally influenced by their past experiences. People can fall into the scarcity mindset without even realizing it because of previous trauma which causes them to react with negativity often in situations that don’t warrant it.  People who seem jaded have often had bad experiences that they formed limiting beliefs around.  They simply haven’t taken the time to reprogram themselves.

That’s why we retrain our minds through positive affirmations, hypnosis, meditation etc.  People who have lived privileged, successful, or wealthy lives thus far are more likely to have positive expectations, and therefore, they tend to keep getting the results they want.  The rich get richer, because they have a positive attitude that hasn’t been clouded by past failures.

The Competitive Mindset

One of the main problems with the competitive frame of mind is that it often manifests as a superiority complex, arrogance, jealousy, envy, and insecurity.  Remember, no matter how good you are there is always someone better.  Feeling the need to be the best is coming from a lower state of consciousness. Comparing ourselves to others and trying to one-up them all the time is based on an ego-based limited perspective. When criticism enters the picture, it’s often based on the competitive frame of mind.  People see what you’ve created and feel envious, or they compare what you’ve done to what someone else has done.  Competition is all about trying to get ahead.  Competing is a taking energy highlighted by the saying, “Whoever eats the fastest gets the most.”

The Creative Mindset

When we approach life from the frame of creativity, we see everything from a different prospective.  We do it for the fun of the process focusing on what we love.  Creativity comes from a place of abundance, and from a belief that there is more than enough to go around.  Creativity provides value. Creativity is independent of the opinions of other people.  Break the mould!  Do you think Vincent van Gogh was trying to be better than anyone else when he painted Starry Night?  He did it out of love.  Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks.  The only person you should ever try to be better than is yourself.  Creativity comes from the heart, and it’s a giving energy.  It’s the essence of generosity.  When we look at the big picture from a state of higher consciousness, it’s not about being the best; it’s about doing our best.  Do what you love.