26 Sep 3 Examples of How Reframing can Allow you to Make the Most of Anything
Happy Wednesday Legends,
I recently completed a training here in London to become a barre teacher. The training was 6 weeks long requiring 20+ hours/week of my time. I wrote a post about how I almost talked myself out of it a few weeks back. But, the first day in, and especially now that it is behind me, I am so very glad that I didn’t!
Part of the reason I was going to limit myself from this opportunity is because the fear of change is natural. Our minds are wired differently than what often serves us, so even if you know some sort of change will be good for you, it is still in our nature to have some level of fear or uncertainty around it.
My mind was reminding me that I do have this business to run, and at the time 6 weeks seemed like a long time to step aside from it. But thankfully I have adopted a belief that has served me greatly: We are always trading something for another…
If I am not putting energy into one thing, I am putting it into something else. There is no wasted energy. It’s a matter of what I prioritize at any given time. Sometimes I prioritize creating a lot, other times I prioritize taking in information to get inspiration. But whatever I lose in one thing, I gain something else with the other.
And given all the time I have spent becoming my own self-expert, I know that I have a much better balance when I split my time doing things I love with people in person (teaching) and doing things I love on my own (my work at LYL). I have had periods of imbalance between these two, and it has left me out of alignment, feeling burnt out, wanting to give up, etc. So, in a way, I saw my decision to join the training as a short term ‘sacrifice’ for long-term fulfillment. Though in reality it wasn’t a sacrifice at all because it was loads of fun and even though I was outputting more hours than normal to balance the two, it was only for a short amount of time.
So, that’s the backstory, but today’s topic is all about how you can use reframing (put simply, the act of looking at the same situation from another perspective) to make the most of anything!
Prior to joining this training, I had spent 10 years teaching in San Francisco. Not only was I a teacher but I was a Master Teacher Trainer, meaning I trained all the teachers back home. So, given my experience, I could have gone into the training seeing it as something I already knew. I could have likely offered to bypass the training and ‘test out’ right away. And while I hate to admit it, if I am honest, my younger self might have approached it that way! But experience has taught me that when you learn to check your ego at the door, you can always become more than you are.
So I brought my focus to the fact that just because I had learned something one way, didn’t mean it was the ‘right’ way! More often than not, we adopt beliefs based on our surroundings, and then never think to challenge those beliefs. Our conditions, upbringing, geography, etc. create our beliefs (and our beliefs often dictate our lives!) but many of them we never actually came up with ourselves! Rather, they came as a result of where we happened to be at a certain time in our lives. How crazy is that?!
Instead, I went into the training by reframing my mindset. Rather than thinking I already knew the content and it was a waste of time, I decided to approach the training as an opportunity to rewire my brain. Anytime a topic or question would come up, my mind had a natural answer to that question. I mean, I was the person answering similar questions for many years! But…
Just because I had been taught something one way, didn’t mean it was the only way…
So I used this process as a way to notice what was happening within. I would have a natural reaction to a question or topic, but this allowed me an opportunity to notice my natural reactions, and choose new responses. It was so much fun and such a cool process to witness when I thought of it that way! I also learned a lot from the content as well because, I obviously have a different perspective and level of experience than I did the first time I learned this sort of material, which allowed me to understand it at a deeper level.
Funny enough, I did end up testing out to teach after only two weeks of training but I still showed up every single day for the entire 6 weeks because this was an opportunity to listen, to learn, to grow. Because, we do naturally have reactions to the things around us: an automatic answer, fear, anger, pain, etc. However, while those reactions may happen automatically, how you respond to those reactions is in your control. I reframed the training as an opportunity to be practice being less reactionary and a more mindful version of myself, and I enjoyed every minute of it because I likely never would have set out that much time to do that.
So, here are a few ways to reframe things to make the most of anything!
1. Turn Everything into a Mindfulness Practice
Do you have to do things you don’t want to do, or be around people you don’t want to be around? Yeah we all do, it’s part of life. But use these opportunities as ways to be more mindful. Notice your reactionary responses to things. Get curious about your thoughts. Take this time to listen or practice pausing before you react to something. And then decide, do I want this to be my reaction or not? If you don’t, this is the opportunity in front of you to start training your mind to have a different reaction to the same stimuli.
2. Think of Things as a Game
I have been working on getting a book published for quite some time now (thank god I wasn’t attached to a timeline!). There was a point where I felt burnt out by the whole thing. I wanted to give up completely. But then I realized it was because I was taking it so dang seriously.
Once I realized that it was up to me and me only to have fun throughout the process, I decided to think of it as a game. If I am playing a video game, it isn’t a life or death scenario. Which, ahem, may be the approach I previously had with this book.
In any game, if I make it to the next level, awesome, and if it is still enjoyable, I will carry on. If not I won’t.
I still refer back to this all the time as I am seeing friends who have published books out there doing what they need to do to sell them. There’s a part of me that wants to stop now as I see them going through the promotion process, but once again I check myself. How can I possibly make a decision now for a future version of myself?
I have no idea how I will feel about promoting a book if I get one published (ideally it will be the book I think everyone needs to read, right?!) so why on earth would I talk myself out of something now, given I have no idea how I will feel if I ever make it to that level.
We play games because they are fun, they stimulate us and bring us enjoyment. And we do so until they no longer do that. This same approach can be taken with life…
3. Always be a Student
We don’t walk into organic chemistry class in university assuming we know everything, or thinking that we should know everything—we go there to learn! Yet, for some reason, when we get into adulthood we magically think we are supposed to know how to do things, and difficult things at that like navigating challenges, managing relationships, or building businesses and careers. We get down on ourselves if we feel lost and frustrated when we can seem to figure it out.
But, what if we approached these things the way we did when we were students. By remembering that experience is the only way to gain expertise. How many chemistry problems did you get right without first learning the process of how to solve them? And even once you learned that process, you probably still got some wrong…
Learning new skills, and adapting to change can be fun if we can stop beating ourselves up for not already knowing the answers to everything. It is natural to fail at first, and that is actually a sign of progress! So whenever something is challenging you, remind yourself that you are simply a student exploring the process.
And if all else fails, come back to your why…
I was recently working with a mastermind student that is taking a course. He really wants to do it but it’s hard work. He is learning new skills, which can make us feel like crap, (because, as I said above, usually we aren’t that good at it right away!) but no one likes to feel like crap.
When I asked him why he was taking the course, it came down to the fact that it would allow him to be more efficient at his job and therefore spend more time with his family. Valid reason!
But it is easy to forget about the big picture when all you see right in front of you is feeling like crap. So, sometimes we need to remind ourselves to get out of our own way so we can actually remember why we are doing the things we are doing. And one of the simplest ways I know how to do so, is to reframe the things we know are going to better us in the long run as things we are doing for the people we love. We will do more for others than for ourselves so I advised him to call the course by his child’s name rather than the name of the actual course, because that’s really the reason he was doing it anyway…
We will see how it works but I know thinking of the bigger picture has helped me navigate the hurdles in front of me time and time again.
I would love to hear examples from you guys of how you have reframed scenarios or situations that could have otherwise been frustrating/boring/miserable and turned them around to make the most of them.
Let me know in the comments below!
Otherwise, here’s to reshaping your world by making the most of any situation,
– Chelsea Dinsmore
P.S. Last week we announced that we created a book in Scott’s name, a dream he had always hoped to accomplish. We launched a version to LYL members only as once we create an Amazon version the price will go up. So if you want to guarantee yourself a copy at the insiders only price (which expires September 30th), check out the full details here!