I can best describe this week as professionally brutal. Whereas, the blog this week is going to be vital in turning things around, and I am going to do so by re-framing my situation. It can sound hokey to think that everything can be positive, let’s just agree that there are just some situations that flat out suck - it is completely true. However, if we let these negatives grow and become our habitual response then we slowly grow into Eeyore, and make the negative become our default personality. So let’s start by explaining the term re-framing: essentially it is the act, the habit, of looking at a loss and thinking about all the ways we can put ourselves in control of a win in the future. As they explain it in Psychology Today, it is not the naive mind set that everything is going to be alright, just be patient and everything will work out just fine. No, re-framing is just the opposite, that if something positive is going to come of a bad situation, we need to stop, reflect, and think about how we can grow and improve because of it. Plants grow best after it rains, right?
So let’s move this into an example, let’s say that you get passed up for a promotion, your car won’t start on Monday morning, and then someone hacks into your email which locks you out. Rough week, especially since once a few things important to you go array, inevitably you notice all the little things not going your way as well. Re-frame and reflect, the promotion means that either you have not been putting in the efforts necessary to move up the ladder or that there are factors involved that are out of your control and it may be time to start searching for a new job. By re-framing the situation, we put ourselves in charge, we are the center of both problem and solution, which means we are going to either A. Start coming up with a clear plan to stay on task, be it checklists, adjusting some habits, or even meeting with the boss for feedback. Or B. jump on LinkDin, searching for job positions you would enjoy, budgeting for the possibility of no salary for a set amount of time, or even starting a little side hustle to see if something can become of it. Once you stop blaming outside sources that can not be changed, start looking to yourself on what growth can be made - we can re-frame a frustrating situation into a positive step in the right direction. We can do the same for the car not starting, right? Do we service it enough, should we be checking the fluids more often, perhaps time to start budgeting for a new car - put yourself back in control. Finally, the email one can also be re-framed - rather than why is a hacker picking on poor little me, instead change your password more often, keep your new passwords someplace habitual and safe, or just delete that account if you don’t use it often. We can re-frame any of these type of negative situations to develop a growth, positive mindset.
Now, is every situation something that you caused - I mean a meteor can hit you in the head, your car can get rear ended, you can get food poisoning at your favorite restaurant, some things are just the universe seeing how tough you are. Continue to re-frame rather than sulk, how can a bad situation be viewed and reacted to differently to build yourself. Again, this is not a sunny side, everything will be alright, just let karma do its thing - no, act, but choose to act with purpose. Reminder this week is to re-frame, the next time you drop your phone in the toilet, lose a big sale, or find out that annoying Uncle is coming to visit, whatever is trying to set you back, stop and reflect on how it can be used to help you improve and grow. Take control, be the problem and the solution - it is a welcome form of freedom for sure.