Re-Ignite Your Inner Light

Seeing Things Differently

Seeing Things Differently

“Re-framing means that you look at a situation and change your view of it. You change your perspective and sense of the past, which results in finding strength where you didn’t know strength existed.”

You are never without choice. Although we can’t always control the circumstances of our lives, we can always choose our response to those circumstances. You have free will to decide how you want to look at your life situation and how you want to frame it in your mind.

Unfortunately, our minds often get stuck with old perspectives and old stories, even if they don’t serve us anymore. Re-framing is about seeing things differently as a way of creating new possibilities that do serve us. Then we are free to choose between those options.

One way to challenge old perspectives and stories is simply by asking questions. It sounds too simple, but it’s true. Asking a question requires having a certain degree of openness—it means not judging things absolutely. As a result, asking questions is a very powerful way to re-frame a situation and begin seeing things differently.
Another great way to re-frame situations is to repeat affirmations that support the perspective(s) you wish to adopt. Through repetition of positive framing statements, we re-mind ourselves of how to re-frame our world view for the better.

To put this into practice, develop two lists to use for these exercises. In the first list, write down at least 10 questions you can think of that will help you challenge your world view in helpful ways. Sample questions might include: What is the lesson here? What other choices exist that I’m not seeing right now? What’s the gift in this? Do I want to be right or be happy? Is the story I’m telling myself right now really true? Etc.

In the second list, write down at least 10 positive framing statements that support you in seeing things differently. Examples might include: I choose to be happy. Nothing and nobody can ruin this day for me. I am not my situation. This is only a test. On the other side of this pain lie my power and purpose.

Copy three to five of the most powerful questions and statements onto a small piece of paper that you can carry around with you this week, perhaps in your pocket or wallet. Whenever you get stuck facing a difficult situation, refer to your sheet to help you get unstuck and re-frame the situation.

Eventually, you’ll train yourself to re-frame things automatically as soon as you begin feeling any resistance, but for now you may need to remind yourself to refer to your list whenever you get stuck. Believe me, you probably won’t want to whip out your list and read it over when you’re in the middle of feeling a lot of resistance! So you might need to ask yourself in that moment: Do I want to refer to my list and re-frame this situation, or do I want to stay stuck and unhappy?

Keep track of the number of times you refer to your list each day, and record how you felt afterwards when you used it. Before you know it, you’ll be seeing things differently.

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