How can you reframe challenging situations in your life?
I’ve started playing soccer again this year. It’s been a bit of a shock to the system after so long without any kind of sport but I’m loving it. It’s been a challenge in more respects than just the physical though. I’ve joined a team that’s in a division that’s split. Over half the teams are experienced and have been together for years, and the other half have been together only a short time, or have new players who are still trying to figure out how to kick a ball straight. We’re at the lower end of the bottom half of those teams, and we’ve been beaten pretty significantly more than once. Indeed, I didn’t know of any teams who had been beaten 16-0 until a few weeks ago, (we weren’t on the winning side by the way), and our opposition teams have had scores in the double figures several times now. This has presented me with some interesting questions. How do I want to be when we’re being solidly beaten? How do I stay positive when that’s the case? How do I help my team stay positive when goals are being scored against us every few minutes?
The great news is I have figured out how to stay positive, using my NLP skills to help me. I’m getting really good at noticing the positive in our team and encouraging my team by pointing out those positives. I choose to let the negatives go, and when I make a mistake (this happens regularly), I choose amusement rather than frustration. I have successfully reframed these losses into a really good opportunity to practice the skills I teach so often, and even when we lose badly, I keep my head held high and encourage others to do the same.
So many things that are usually framed as problems can be reframed as opportunities. Having a colleague who regularly overreacts when something goes wrong can be a great opportunity to practice diffusing situations and helping them to step back and gain perspective. A break up can be an excellent opportunity to rediscover ourselves, reconnect with old friends and try out a new hobby. Being made redundant can be a fabulous opportunity to reconnect with what’s really important to us and find an even better job, or to start the business we always wanted to.
Reframing things in this way doesn’t necessarily make the situation easy, but does help us change our focus, and that’s useful. Focussing on what we can do, and how we want to respond to a given situation gives us control where otherwise we might feel powerless. It gives us direction and a place to focus our energies, and that helps us come out on top, feeling pleased and proud of how we successful dealt with a difficult situation.