What would your superpower be? We’ve all played that game, but did you know that you already have one? In fact, it’s a power that we all have. The power of the instant reframe. It can turn toxic negativity into positivity and allow us to get “unstuck” in an instant.
What is this witchcraft you ask?
It all starts with Self Awareness.
Self awareness is the absolute foundation to creating a life that runs on your terms. If you are not aware of what you want, what you don’t, how you react, your limiting beliefs, the words you do and don’t want to hear, and the behaviour of your inner critic - then how can you be the creator of an electrified life that truly works for you?
Yeah, but how the heck do I get that?
- Identify and explore your moments of self doubt. Where are you when they happen? What time of day? What have you done leading up to that moment? Who else is around or are you alone? Identify themes and patterns - does a certain person continually come up? A particular place such as the mirror or a colleagues office? What can you learn from this? Be curious of your own behaviour.
- Get to know yourself. It’s time to get real with yourself. Spend some time getting to know your traits, values and beliefs. And then question them. Do you have a tendency to over analyze, avoid conflict, blame others? What really matters to you to live a happy life? What values are non-negotiable? What beliefs do you hold? Are they truly your beliefs, or are they the expectations of others, something you feel you “should” believe, or a limiting story you’ve just told yourself over and over? Take 30 minutes to explore these questions and perhaps journal your answers.
- Truly listen to other people. Listen deeply to the other person in discussions and in moments of conflict. What assumptions are you making? What judgement are you passing? Do these tell you something about yourself? In moments of conflict, try not to get the boxing gloves on and instead challenge yourself to ask what you’d expect if you were in their shoes.
- Mindfulness. By this I do not mean meditation (though that can help too!). Live in mindfulness. When you eat, walk, drive, greet your friends and family, sit down to complete a task. Notice the environment, the smells, tastes, sounds, sensations in your body and thoughts in your mind rather than run on autopilot.
Now you’ve unlocked access to the instant reframe. You can apply self awareness to instantly change your mindset and turn a less-than-ideal scenario around.
- Treat situations as fleeting moments. Every reaction, thought, emotion, and behaviour we have towards a particular situation is a choice. One choice that we have the power to make, own and change. So if that choice is making you feel shit - change it! You have the power to choose instantly and mindfully. A situation does not have to define the quality of the rest of your day, only your reaction to the immediate moment does.
- Catch your negative self in the act. Once you know your patterns and triggers for negativity, you’ll be able to identify them and send them packing. Catch yourself in a self critical thought and choose to be kind instead. For me, I now catch myself in moments of body shaming to look in the mirror, give myself a hug (yes I physically do this) and say something kind to my body. Within moments, that ugly person I thought loathed is replaced with "what the f**k Kris, what were you looking at before?! You look amazing!"
- Question your initial reaction. It’s not easy to admit when we might have overreacted or been impulsive, but try questioning your initial reactions and ask - is this really how I want to play this?
For example, I am aware that I have a negative relationship to money. I am always worrying that there will not be enough. So when I missed out by 2 weeks on a legislation change that could have saved my husband and I $25,000 on our first home? My initial reaction was that I had been cheated, it was unfair, and was always unlucky. In recognising my pattern, I pulled back and reframed. No one was cheating me of anything. We had budgeted to pay that $25,000 so nothing was actually different. That legislation may never have come through, or it may change tomorrow. Yes it was unfortunate to miss out, but the reality was I was no worse off than when I started except for my “sore loser” mindset!
- Pay attention to the small stuff. The small stuff is where you’ll find the most frequent and immediate impact. We live in a time of short fuses, where the small stuff wears a mask of being really big and important!
Fuming because a client cancels on you? Reframe. Reschedule and be grateful that you can now use that time for something else.
So nervous about that presentation that you feel sick? Reframe. You are nervous because you care, not because you are not capable or not good enough. Remove yourself, take some deep breaths, and visualise how you want to come across during that presentation - confident and assured, not sweaty palmed, slightly green and stammering. You have the power to choose.
Phone ran out of battery? Reframe. Enjoy being disconnected until you can reach a charger and borrow someone’s phone to make any important call.
You have the power to choose. You just have to want to. So choose the road more joyful.
Share how this superpower has changed your day in the comments below!