Exercise Your Reframe Muscles
“Your reality is as you perceive it to be. So, it is true, that by altering this perception we can alter our reality.” – William Constantine
One of the defining characteristics of effective people, and certainly effectives leaders, the ones we admire, is their willingness to reframe upsetting events into situations with workable solutions.
This is not a default position in the human operating system: We would rather blame the situation or the other person.
And “reframing” is not about employing “positive thinking” in order to whitewash one’s feelings; it’s not about dismissing reality.
The reality is the person is upset. (Let’s make this about you: You are upset, about whatever.)
That “upset”, and whatever feelings accompany it—anger, guilt, resentment, loneliness, sadness, etc.—is a message to you about your distortion of the incoming data, data that triggered patterned pushback.
Rather than look at the way you perceived the interaction and what it tells you about yourself, what you can learn from it, most folks would rather continue to blame; it’s so much easier. That’s why we don’t practice it as often as we could, because it demands self-reflection and personal discipline. It demands a certain sort of humility.
And because if we did, we’d have to give up being right about how wrong the other person was.
But here’s the thing: There is generally a way to reframe a situation, to choose to view it from a different perspective, that both informs future decision-making, as well as altering current behaviour.
But, like core muscles, you need to exercise your brain to strengthen your reframe muscles; it’s a learned skill.
So, check your perceptions. Question the ones that make your insides churn.
How else could you view the situation, thereby creating a new reality?
Because the point is growth and improvement and peace, folks, peace.
And it’s up to you to choose it.
Inside and out.
“To change ourselves effectively, we first have to change our perceptions.” – Stephen Covey