Finally Learn How to Reframe Negative Situations

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A lot of people talk about reframing situations, but not a lot of people know how to do it. Today we will look at 7 situations and explore how to reframe negative situations.

I have been blogging lately about self talk, to be clear, I am talking about the inner sound track of your mind. Unfortunately, a majority of people have a negative sound track that plays over and over in their head. That means, your inner critic (I call mine Wilhemina, or Willie) has easy access to you and always seems to get your attention and make you doubt yourself. Your inner critic knows all your secrets and she knows the best buttons to push to prevent you from being powerful. She is a liar, but she can be persuasive.

Most of the things that I hear from my negative self talk I would never dream of saying to anyone else. And I certainly wouldn’t allow anybody else to talk to me that way!  And yet Wilhemina persists.

There are seven situations below, that we can break down to reframe negative situations to use positive self talk. Our goal is to have Wilhemina shut up, and we want to replace that negative talk with powerful talk.

The magical thing about reframing is:

  1.  It’s completely in your control. When our emotions are swirling and our negative talk is gaining strength, what’s really going on is that we feel like we don’t have options and that’s not good. If we take a moment and reframe negative situations we feel more powerful.
  2. Reframing is choosing to look at the situation differently. And it’s accessible right now. You don’t have to take a class or ask everybody for their opinion, you can choose to look at each situation differently.

Negative self talk is harmful and useless!

Check out these 7 scenes and how negative self talk compares to positive self talk:

Scene 1:  It’s mid-afternoon, your mind isn’t moving as fast as you’d like and it’s harder to focus.

Negative self talk: Uh, here come my afternoon blahs. I’m not going to get anything done now. I’m useless after lunch.
Positive self talk: I feel the afternoon drowsies coming, time to take a break and clear my head.

Those two different kinds of self talk feel very different. The negative talk makes you feel defeated, victimized and powerless. The positive talk feels much more powerful and has a plan for change built-in.

Scene 2:  A client emails you with corrections for a project you just finished and turned over the day before.

Negative self talk: She must think I’m an idiot. I can’t believe she sent me these changes at the last minute. She always does this!
Positive self talk:  I can fix these up and get them back to her in no time.

Are you sensing the shift in the energy between the two types of responses yet?

Scene 3: You realize you forgot to put clothes in the dryer last night. (I know someone who did this recently, LOL)

Negative self talk: What is the matter with me? Why can’t I do anything right? I have nothing to wear!
Positive self talk: Oh well, now I have an excuse to wear a nice dress to run my errands or now I have a reason to fall in love with something else in my closet.

Scene 4:  Your mother gives you a back handed compliment on your new hairdo with her usual critical follow-up.

Negative self talk: Nothing is ever good enough for her – I’m such a disappointment, why do I even bother?
Positive self talk: Mom didn’t like it. Oh well, I like it. I did it for me and my voice is the voice that matters.

I am not saying everybody’s mother is critical, you know me better than that. But mothers, sisters, female family members and close friends have the ability to give those compliments that don’t really feel like compliments. After you hear them, you’re not sure if you should say thank you, or buzz off.

Scene 5:  You find out a group of friends got together for coffee and didn’t invite you.

Negative self talk: They hate me! I wonder what I did to make them mad at me?
Positive self talk: I bet they had a nice visit. Who would I like to spend more quality time with?

Scene 6:  You have worked really hard exercising regularly and eating healthy. You weigh in and find out you gained two pounds.

Negative self talk: I quit! Allegra out! Why do I even bother exercising and eating healthy? Clearly it’s not working because I gained instead of lost.
Positive self talk: Alright, the scale is taking a bit to catch up with my changes, but I feel great, i’m sleeping like a baby and I like the new nutritious healthy food I’m feeding my body.

Scene 7:  You spent hours & lots of time & energy creating a new product to offer to your audience.  The launch is a ‘flop’ and you only sold one copy of your product.

Negative self talk: I knew it – I’m a failure at this. Nothing I do is working. I might as well throw in the towel.
Positive self talk: hey, I put a product together and released it. I did it. I stepped out of my comfort zone and did it. So what only one person bought it so far? That just means I need to market it more and get some people to help me promote it.

Negativity breeds negativity

Now that you’ve looked at these 7 scenes, what did you observe about negative self talk? Did it make you feel much worse? That’s what happens! Negativity breeds negativity.

On the other hand, when you looked at the positive self talk for each situation, didn’t it make you feel empowered, peaceful and better about yourself?

There’s the magic, we found our unicorn! It’s crucial to our health and emotional stability that we begin to reframe negative situations and use more positive self talk. I hope you kept the receipt, because we are returning the negative junk!

It’s not always easy to take a moment and reframe the situation, but every time you catch yourself playing the negative track, stop and switch to a positive one instead, you get better at it. Stronger and stronger. How excited are you about that?

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