#DailyWritingChallenge Day 27: Perspective

noun. a particular attitude towards or way of regarding something; a point of view.

Reframing is a technique used in therapy to help create a different way of looking at a situation, person, or relationship by changing its meaning. Also referred to as cognitive reframing, it’s a strategy therapists often used to help clients look at situations from a slightly different perspective.

Perspectives have shifted, will shift and need to shift. We are experiencing a shift in everything we know, and everything we thought was constant. So how we see things, how we think and feel about things need to change too.

This storm has come to disrupt our lives, to teach us a lesson about humanity, it is clearing a path for us. We need to listen to and learn from this experience.

I am not someone who feels fear very often, things do not tend to hold me back, but I am afraid that humanity will just go back to how it was, that we will resume our lives as they were BC (before Covid) when PC (Post Covid) could be a very different world.

If we reframe how we view the current crisis, we can then consciously reset it. In the last few weeks, we as humans have gone back to ‘factory settings’ so to speak. We have removed all of the apps, all of the notifications and we have removed the white noise from our lives.

If we change the way we look at things, then the things we look at change.

We are not being punished, we are receiving a gift.

We have been given an opportunity – an opportunity to do things differently, an opportunity to be different.

I am a cup half-full rather than a cup half-empty person. My cup is filling up with Time, Stillness, Slowness, Space – the things I do not prioritise in my normally busy, fast, full life.

I don’t know how or when I started to reframe things as a habit, perhaps as a friend said this week it is because I have been involved in a lot of coaching conversations throughout my career. It is a technique we use to shift how we see things. We go below the surface and delve deep into what is really going on, rather than what we think is going on.

Through coaching I have identified, articulated and strengthened my core values and my sense of self. I have found that authentic sweet spot.

I don’t allow negative self-talk to affect me, I am secure in who I am. I no longer allow negative external talk to affect me either as I used to take it personally. Especially when the criticism seemed unjust.

As a young leader I was given a pearl of wisdom in my formative years by a line manager:

You receive a lot of criticism from your peers because you are a disruptor, you are challenging the equilibrium. You are ruffling their feathers and (unintentionally) showing them up, so they are criticising you. You are prepared to put your head above the parapet, so you will get more shots aimed at you. Reframe the criticism as praise, each time they criticise you, they are celebrating the change you are leading.

This was a game changer for me. A penny suddenly dropped. This advice also became my shield, my protective outer layer.

Reframing – what we think… what we feel… what we say… is a powerful process. It empowers us to take control back.

Consider some of these reframes and see if there are negative statements you hear yourself saying or thinking which you can consciously reframe through a more positive lens:

  • I can’t do it – I can’t do it, yet.
  • I am a mess – I am human.
  • I am a failure – I am a work in progress.
  • Why is this happening? – What is this teaching me?
  • I’m scared – I’m scared but I will try.
  • This is too much – One thing at a time.
  • I can’t handle this – I don’t have to do this alone.

A positive, can-do attitude is powerful. I have worked with many colleagues who preach a growth mindset approach for our children, but they do not practise it for themselves.

A good way to start feeling more positive is to actively celebrate each night everything you have achieved that day, everything you are grateful for, instead of punishing yourself for everything you have not done. This gratitude practice will serve you better.

Another healthy daily ritual is a morning affirmation, a mantra that you repeat to yourself in the mirror to frame your day.

We also need to find our #SilverLinings in each situation we experience, we need to find the joy in those micro moments and hold on to our #RainbowsOfHope. I have mentioned in earlier blogs that I have reframed the pain of gardening leave, as my once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel in South America for 2 months, in term time, on a salary.

To be happy, we either need to change our situation, or we need to change our mindset about our situation – which links us back to our theme of Change yesterday.

Things I am consciously reframing in lockdown:

  • What brings me Joy?
  • How will I serve my Purpose?
  • What nourishes my Soul?
  • Who has been there for me?
  • How much money do I actually need to survive?
  • Am I a Teacher or an Educator?
  • What impact can I have from outside rather within the system?

Consider the intentions you will you put out to the Universe moving forwards. Consider how you will hold yourself, and others able and accountable.

Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.

Marcus Aurelis

Published by Ethical Leader

Leadership Development Consultant, Facilitator, Coach, Speaker and Writer. Experience of teaching schools, initial teacher education, mentoring & coaching, diversity and equality. Passionate about integrity, ethics and values.

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