Re-framing: building resilience, acceptance and gratitude?
I have been quite tested lately. Losing use, albeit temporarily, of my dominant hand, resulted in me being unable to drive, write or type for 5 weeks. It was as my lovely friend eloquently described it, “Another Growth Opportunity” or AFGO.
But as I started to accept what had happened, I shifted from complete upset to a much better place, by using a very simple reframing tool, courtesy of Jill Badonsky of KMCC. Re-framing is not a new thing. We often do it informally “look at the bright side” “every cloud has a silver lining” and in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Coaching, it’s a core tool.
But it’s the easiest, simplest techniques that work best for me and my clients.
Here’s how I used the “I get to” tool during my recent opportunity for growthJ
I placed the words “I get to” in front of my to do list. E.g.
“I get to learn how to use a new piece of software ( which is going to help me greatly in my business)”
“I get to write a letter to my solicitor (which will take a weight off my mind)”
“I get to coach a great person (who I love working with and who is doing great things in the world)”
“I get to organise my accounts (which means I feel calmer and more in control)”
Already sounds better. I also used this when I found myself saying “oh yes, it’s dreadful, I can’t drive for 5 weeks” (note to self about self absorption and conditioned sob story response). The “I get to’s” that came after this were:
“I get to save about £100 in petrol at least”
“I get to walk more often and keep fit (a little)
“I get to learn about the local buses”
“I get to cancel things I wish I hadn’t planned (oh the joy)”
“I get to slow down and think”
“I get to practice being a one car family, which would be good”
“I get to show my children that driving every where is not essential”
“I get to pull my bright pink shopping trolley everywhere!”
“I get to read a book on the bus” (see book review)
“I get to be more present for my daughter who is struggling”
I could go on and on. Just writing that was enjoyable. It’s so powerful making this perceptual shift to seeing the joy in different circumstances. I’m not being glib. Of course this was a temporary functional restriction and others have permanent things to transition into, but using this an opportunity to practice seeing and doing differently was a gift. Here’s some more:
“oh no, I can’t cook and clean and look after the house” (you are allowed to laugh at this point) but:
“I get to teach my eldest daughter some life skills……”
“I get to teach my husband some life skills……”
“I get to fail at teaching my youngest daughter some life skills…”
“I get to set how much I usually do round the house”
“I get to use the tumble drier without guilt”
“I get to revel in being even more scruffy and unkempt than usual”
“I get to eat a lot of ready meals guilt free”
…do I need to say more?
This may seem a little simple, and it’s not a big and cleaver and sexy tool, but just try it when you feel frustrated. Shift the perspective, see the new opportunities and energy shifts.