The Power Of Reframing

There is always a choice when it comes to your perspective and how you look at things and you can significantly change your perspective regarding any circumstance or by using the power of reframing. By selectively choosing your thoughts and words, you can have a huge impact on the quality of your experiences both positive and negative.

There is power in the words we use with others and ourselves. Think about the last meeting/party/wedding you felt that you HAD to attend, and where you felt like you had no choice in the matter. How did you act during that event? Were you happy to be there? What was your attitude? What did you get out of it? How different would it had been if YOU made the CHOICE to attend or not, and you were able to consider your alternatives – to go or not go – and decided it was worth attending? It would have probably been a very different experience and a lot more enjoyable I bet.

Here are some examples of how reframing your words can affect the quality of your experiences:

Instead of saying:                Consider saying:

I have to…                              I choose to…

They made me…                    I’ve decided to…

It can’t be done…                 There has to be another way…

Reframing can help you to turn wounds into wisdom, pain into purpose, sadness into strength, and crisis into compassion. It can transmute any situation from bad to good in an instant.

Can reframing FIX every situation? No. It just offers you a way to view reality a little differently by shifting your focus; and what you choose to believe about what you see or experience.

One of the best examples that I can ever think of when it comes to reframing was one of my first experiences with it back when I was in the Air Force. One sergeant that I worked for was good at motivating me and keeping me on task. If you knew me around age 20, you would also know the challenges that posed for him. Anyway, one time, instead of this sergeant giving me an order or directive to get something done, he pulled me aside and said, “Airman Wooten, you have an opportunity to excel, I need you to…”

Was it still an order? Yes. Was he still telling me what to do? Yes. But he framed (or reframed) that request or that order into something more appealing, especially for a 20 year old “kid” who wants to shine and get ahead. I don’t remember what the task was, but I am sure it was not glamorous, it didn’t matter, it was being given the “opportunity to excel” which got my attention and motivated me succeed and get the job done.

Reframing involves changing your perspective on a given situation to give it a more positive or beneficial meaning to you and it can also be used to help remove limiting beliefs. But most importantly, reframing helps you to see your power and purpose in life.

What kinds of situations have you had to “reframe” in your life? How did you do it?

Andy Wooten M.A. Counseling – Certified Life Coach – Aspen, Colorado

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