I do find it funny sometimes that we as individuals can easily identify negative people. However, we often do not identify the negativity displayed by us. Such negative behavior can be presented both overtly and subtlety, verbally, and non-verbally. We focus so much on negativity. How often do we focus on being positive?
“Be fanatically positive and militantly optimistic. If something is not to your liking, change your liking.”
~ Rick Steves, Author
The truth about positivity – it’s really easy once you get the hang of it. It’s not about political correctness, it’s about listening, processing and reframing.
During a team building exercise at work a couple of years ago, a young social worker introduced the concept of reframing. While I was no stranger to the concept, I was unaware that there was a term known as Reframing. I loved the input shared. While reframing is rewording something a different way, I prefer to refer to it as Positive Reframing. We can always reframe something but it is important to be aware that when presented with a problem, there is always a different way to look at it. The different perspective should be positive, attempting to gain a sense of understanding and problem solving. This technique can be addictive once you get the hang of it.
“The purpose of our life needs to be positive. We weren’t born with the purpose of causing trouble, harming others. For our life to be of value, I think we must develop basic good human qualities—warmth, kindness, compassion. Then our life becomes meaningful and more peaceful—happier.” ~ Dalai Lama XIV, The Art of Happiness
Positive Reframing Examples
|It’s a problem.||It’s a challenge that we can learn from. It is an opportunity.|
|We have already tried that.||Terrific. Now we know what doesn’t seem to work. How can we approach it differently?|
|This has been a failure.||There are often many unsuccessful attempts needed in order to achieve success. What should we try differently?|
|This will set us back.||It’s an experience that will help us grow. Let’s try a different approach.|
|This didn’t go as planned.||It’s something that may be part of a much bigger and more important plan. How can we use this opportunity to move forward? That’s okay, not everything goes as planned, but let’s keep working trying.|
|We don’t have time for that.||How can we be flexible while determining what might need to be adjusted in order to identify more time? Let’s figure out a way everything can fit.|
|I don’t see the positives.||The glass is half full – not half empty. I see the positives. Let’s work together to find them.|
|Ignore them. They are always seeking attention.||I wonder what the child/person is trying to communicate to us that we aren’t getting? What do we need to do in order to better understand them? Let’s listen and share ideas.|
|There are too many limitations.||I don’t see limits here. I see opportunities.|
|There is so much to learn.||We are learning everyday. I am so excited for new learning opportunities. There are many new ideas and experiences to gain perspectives from.|
|They are difficult people.||What makes them feel difficult to you? What are their expectations? What are your expectations? Everyone is entitled to share their opinion and I have learned better how to respond and be accepting.|
|I’m freaking out.||How else could we respond to this? I have so much going on (or so much on my mind) and I am going to work to accomplish my goals to the best of my ability.|
|So much is going on.||It is a sign of positive change and growth. A lot is happening and I think it is cool and I am going to embrace it and take it as an opportunity.|
|Life is hard.||Life is about joy and learning. It may feel like a hard day but let’s embrace the challenge.|
|I don’t understand why this happened.||This situation or experience will show you something about yourself. I am excited to learn what the lesson is. Let’s look for the silver-lining.|
|They aren’t interested in getting involved.||I wonder if they feel there are barriers that may be intimidating them from participating? How might we approach them next time? Let’s respect their decision and extend an invitation to another/others.|
|I don’t think I can do it.||You are strong and your strength will guide you. You can do it. Feeling unsure is okay, I would like to see you try because I have confidence in you.|
|I need help.||I am so glad you shared that. You may have everything you need right here. Let’s look at your available resources. Let’s seek out additional tools to help.|
|This first day is not going well.||Day one: So lucky to be here. What can you do to make day two better? Day one is always the hardest, let’s find ways to embrace day two with an open mind and have fun too.|
|No one seems welcoming or friendly.||Amazing how much spirit and excitement is in one place. What can I do to meet new people? It’s hard to figure out people from the outside, introduce yourself and get to know them.|
“One great thing about a life of positivity is that it comes with no regrets.”
~ Edmond Mbiaka, Author
What I love most about positive reframing is that it allows us to not only see things differently but it permits us to learn more about ourselves and to deal with things more effectively. It causes us to seek out alternatives and recreate the scene enabling real positive action that results in very real success.
Positive Reframing can at first feel silly, but it is ultimately a powerful exercise that will change the atmosphere at work and at home. The goal is to change the “meaning” of an issue, not changing the issue itself. If there is a real challenge, then meet it head on! This provides you the opportunity to view this issue by educating and inspiring.
Start now by challenging yourself and others to reframe situations, ideas, concepts and emotions with positive alternatives. In fact, consider sharing the Positive Reframing Chart Exercise (PDF) as an activity providing family members or coworkers an opportunity to fill in their own positive responses.
“When you are joyful, when you say yes to life and have fun and project positivity all around you, you become a sun in the center of every constellation, and people want to be near you.”
~ Shannon L. Alder, Author
© 2016, michelefried.com