Have you ever noticed how it’s not just the picture, it’s the frame around it? That even a mediocre image can be lifted, made better by a good frame? Life too.
No matter how positive you are, bad things can still happen. Sometimes the picture that life presents you with is not so pretty. The key question is how do you respond when that happens; the true test of positive thinking is whether you can apply it when you need it. Put simply, when you see a picture that you don’t like, what sort of frame do you put around it?
Experiences are largely subjective. Not just what happens but also how we choose to view what happens. This is where the technique of reframing can be used. Maybe you know someone who always finds the down side to every situation? If you won the lottery, they would say, Yes, but money doesn’t bring you happiness? If you started a new business, they would talk about how many new ventures fail in the first 12 months. This person is great at reframing, but they’re coming from a ‘think negative’ position. All you need to do is reverse their tactics and place your frame around the positive elements in the picture.
So, here are three positive reframing steps that you can take the next time you’re faced with a huge credit card bill, an unexpected repair to the car or a cancelled flight:

  • Establish the truth – What are you telling yourself about the situation? What are the real facts and what negative assumptions are you making?
  • Check your reaction – How much of what you’re feeling about the situation relates to the truth and how much is actually how you felt about similar circumstances in the past. Are you just resurrecting those feelings a second time?
  • Ask yourself the right questions – If you ask yourself, Why does this always happen to me? then you’re automatically telling yourself that you cannot control the situation and are condemned to repeat the past. Whereas if you ask, How can I stop this happening again? you are empowering yourself to take control and influence your future. The wrong questions instruct the subconscious bits of your mind to keep you feeling bad; the right questions put them to work on solutions.

Your life is often more subjective than you think. Things happen, but whether they are “good” or “bad”, “positive” or “negative” largely depends on how you choose to view them. And it is a choice. Positive reframing techniques can genuinely boost your think positive approach to life when you most need it.
It’s the classic question: is the glass half-full or half-empty? Either way, the glass has the same amount of water in it, but your answer will transform your everyday approach to life.