Last year I was fired. It was the first time I had ever been let go from a job and it was emotionally devastating. I questioned my self-worth, but I was also extremely angry with the company.
The thing is, losing my job (and essentially being blackballed in the community) meant that I had a lot of free time, and a little bit of money (from unemployment). I took the summer to visit friends and rethink my options.
What I discovered was that even though I am good with numbers, they are not my passion. Working in corporate America was sucking my soul. My passion was encouraging people. Offering suggestions, bolstering confidence, and sharing what I’ve learned in my 52 years of life. And that is what I do now. By thinking it through, I reframed a negative situation and created something positive from it.
What Is Reframing?
Have you ever noticed how putting a favorite photo, picture, or painting in a new frame can bring out certain colors in the piece? The right frame can give it a whole new look, and even change the overall energy or style of the room where it’s displayed.
The same is true for your attitude in life. You can’t always control what circumstances happen to you or what actions other people take that impact you. But you can control your attitude and adjust it so that you can turn a situation into a beautiful advantage.
Why Does Reframing Matter?
Reframing allows you to take back your power. When you’re not focused on actively reframing situations through a positive attitude, you can become a victim in your own life story. But with reframing, you shift from the victim to the one in the driver’s seat.
It’s true you don’t always get a choice in what happens to you, but you do get to choose which lens you view your life through. If you want to, you can choose to view it from a positive standpoint and look for the good. This can open up new opportunities and show you possibilities that you may have only dreamed of before.
What Situations Do You Need to Reframe?
It’s time to take a hard look at your life—both personally and professionally. What’s going on that you’ve been dragging a negative attitude into? Where have you been accepting an outlook of discouragement and defeat?
If you’re struggling to know which situations you need to reframe, think about the ones that you keep bringing up to your friends. Every time you get together for drinks with your girls or when you call your best friend, this is what you complain about. You analyze it repeatedly, pointing out how you were wronged. Maybe you were maligned. Maybe you did deserve better. Maybe they really were out to get you.
But the deeper question here is: are you going to let these situations define you or are you going to find a way to reframe and rise above them? Because the truth is you can let yourself be a whiner or a warrior—it’s all in how you frame it.
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