Reframing: The Excellent Tool for Personal Change*


*This is part 5 of the series: The Journey for Change

When we do something, and it turns out to be bad, we draw conclusions about that experience. Those conclusions will have their negative influences on our unconscious mind. We begin to create different meanings for a certain experience or situation. Any meaning has an emotion attached to it. If you think the meaning of a slim body is that you are healthy, that meaning will create a positive feeling inside you. If a slim body means that you are too poor, as it is in some old cultures, then you would feel negative about yourself.

One very effective tool for change is reframing which means changing the meaning or the context.

We interpret reality according to our frame of reference which gives us a particular meaning. We can change the meaning of something by the reframing technique. Reframing is like changing the frame of something. It is like changing our viewing lens. Reframing is one of the most effective tools for behavioral change in therapy work. With reframing, you can change your point of view about something, and thus change its meaning to you. Examples:

1-Problems: problems create negative feelings. You can see another meaning for a certain problem, like you see an opportunity within that problem. A problem thus becomes an opportunity.One classical example of effective reframing about problems was told by Henry Ford, as he said this "Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently."

2-Unkindness: a person who treats you unkindly can be looked as if he/she lacks understanding. Anthony Robbins had this quote about understanding, which is another excellent reframing quote "I've come to believe that all my past failure and frustrations were actually laying the foundation for the understandings that have created the new level of living I now enjoy."

3-Weakness: a weak response by you, can actually be a strong behavior if viewed within a different context.

Reframing is very good for changing your self-image. Many persons have negative beliefs about themselves and they end up with low self-esteem and lack of confidence. Challenging and changing negative self-thinking can change the personality. In their book: Reframing: "NLP and the Transformation of Meaning," John Grinder & Richard Bandler,  provide many examples about the success of this tool.

In business negotiations, reframing with chunk up is used to bypass possible resistance.

Personal change is about changing those meanings that you give to yourself and the outside world. The meaning can be empowering or the opposite, and according to that emotion, you would react accordingly.

Before you start changing your behavior about anything, it is better to change first the meaning that is attached to that behavior. If you smoke because smoking means to you stress relief, then change that meaning and think of it as a hazard to your health, and that hazard will create more stress by its nature.

If you eat a lot of desserts and sweets because you think you would get more energy out of them, stop and remember that excessive sugar in the blood will actually deplete your energy once you develop diabetes because of them.

Remember that changing the meaning is a gradual process. It takes some conscious effort, but it is something you can do.

Jimmy Carter, the ex US president, said this "You can do what you have to do, and sometimes you can do it even better than you think you can."




When you understand what you are doing, it becomes easier to do what you want.

What you want to do is about intention and desire. Intentions are in the heart. Let your heart guide you for long lasting change.



Please follow the series for personal change.

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