Reframing is a soft skill that enables you to shift your perspective of a situation to be whatever you want it to be.
Reframing relies on the belief that you are in full control over your perception of reality, and can interpret any situation in whatever way you choose.
Reframing is not merely “thinking positively,” it allows you to take the facts in front of you and rearrange them to create opportunities that would have been impossible to see otherwise. For example, consider a situation where you get fired. Your interpretation of the situation could be any or all of the following:
- “I got fired, and now no one will ever hire me again.”
- “I just had the worst possible thing happen to my professional career.”
- “I’m out of work now and have no way to pay my bills and am going to lose my house.”
- “None of the people I worked with are ever going to want to talk to me again.”
- “I just lost one of the best jobs I ever had and am ever going to get.”
These statements are not objective statements based on facts but subjective assessments based on your interpretation of the situation. No one else is providing these thoughts to you – you are generating them yourself in your own mind. As you are creating them, you can change them if you so choose. If you want to see the opportunity in getting fired, you can reframe the situation in several ways that allow you to consider new opportunities that didn’t exist before:
- “I now have an opportunity to find a better job.”
- “I now have an opportunity to take my career in a new direction if I so choose.”
- “I can now find a job that makes more money, so I don’t have to worry about bills so much.”
- “I’ll now get to form deeper relationships with people I used to work with who still want to remain friends with me.”
- “I’m glad I had the experience of working for the company, and now can gain entirely new skills working for someone else.”
Many people might say that seeing the opportunity in getting fired would make you delusional, but consider the alternative: becoming depressed and feeling like you have no options. There is no advantage in putting yourself in a mental state where you are less able to see opportunities and capitalize on them. You are your most valuable asset, and deliberately crippling yourself when you have the option not to serves no purpose whatsoever.