The Tool Therapists Use
“I’ll never get ahead.” “Nobody finds me attractive.” ” Money is the root of all evil.” Do any of these sound familiar? Studies show that as much as 77% of our thoughts are negative. False truths and self-limiting beliefs place unnecessary limitations on our fulfillment. Here’s how reframing improves your mindset.
What is Reframing, and Why Should I Practice it?
Cognitive reframing allows you to look at people, relationships, and yourself from a different perspective. Shifting your point of view enables you to assign a different meaning to a situation. Nothing enters your conscious and subconscious mind without affecting you. Even conversations you overhear can create undesirable limiting beliefs.
Chatting with your girlfriends about how hard it is to find a good guy reinforces false truths and limiting beliefs about relationships and men. Joining coworkers complaining about how much your job and boss suck reinforce limiting beliefs about your job and career path.
Masterful reframing can turn a source of self-sabotage into a strength. It can take you from feeling like a victim of fate to being proactive and in control. Reframing has profound effects on your mindset. It conditions you to move away from negative perceptions to positive ones.
Reframing Cheating in a Relationship
My eleven-year relationship with my high school boyfriend was classic narcissist abuse. I’d blame his cheating on my perceived inadequacies. “I’m not interesting enough, or pretty enough,” are thoughts I’d often torture myself with.
Eventually, I noticed that despite his outward confidence and ability to attract all sorts of people with his good looks, intelligence, and sharp wit, he was incredibly insecure. Circumstances of his upbringing left him feeling inferior, always having to prove his worth.
Reframing that relationship allowed me to realize his shortcomings were the issue, not mine. I looked at his need for constant ego-stroking and attention as pitiful. Suddenly the power shifted in that relationship. His weakness amplified my strength. That realization positively impacted my self-awareness forever. Reframing improves your mindset, even in troubling relationships.
Reframing False Truths
We all buy into certain false truths. They lack supporting evidence, but so many people agree with them that we treat them as facts. For this reason, they indirectly impact your mindset and actions. Believing that the system works against you, for example, entirely ignores every success story that exists.
This exact sentiment plagued me at the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey. I believed that the government would harshly punish every mistake, which scared me into inaction. Reframing sounds like “It’s not an easy path, but nothing worth having is.” Reframing that false truth can also be finding examples of success stories to inspire and prove the false truth to be nothing more than an opinion.
Reframing a false truth like “the system works against you,” removes the impenetrable wall between you and your goals. You allow yourself to approach a situation in a growth mindset, dramatically increasing your chances of success.
Reframing Self-Limiting Beliefs
While false truths are lies we buy into about the world, self-limiting beliefs are false narratives we create or learn about ourselves. Self-limiting beliefs directly impact your mindset and actions, hitting home in a way that false truths don’t. There can be many reasons for one self-limiting belief. It can be a single incident or an ongoing situation creating and cementing one self-limiting belief.
“I’m no good enough” is a common limiting belief. It can stem from bullying by classmates and not meeting the expectations of parents. Overhearing people insult people you relate to are single incidences that can profoundly affect you. For me, it was a combination of merciless teasing in school, and years of being cheated on.
Reframing “I’m not good enough” can sound like “I am good enough for the right people.” “I continue to grow and improve every day.” Reframing may look like coming up with a list of achievements, even small incremental bits of progress you make daily. Once again, just like with false truths, you’re looking for proof to the contrary. Reframing improves your mindset despite nagging false truths and self-limiting beliefs.
The Life-Changing Benefit of Reframing
Reframing liberates you from your mind’s entrapments, flipping the switch from a fixed to a growth mindset. It accomplishes this by strengthening your positive self-talk and starving your negative self-talk.
Because your self-talk becomes your thoughts, your thoughts become actions (or inaction), and your actions are what get the results you want, learning how to reframe the flow of information coming through your conscious and subconscious mind is critical.
Through neuroplasticity, you can retrain your brain. Your brain can reorganize and form synaptic connections in response to learning something new. You can use reframing to create an unshakeable growth mindset that rockets you toward your goals!
What false truths and self-limiting beliefs are you currently facing? How can reframing improve your mindset?