How Would You Like to Reframe That....?


How Would You Like to Reframe That....?

January 21, 2024


Nikola Tesla, the genius and visionary who lived from 1856-1943 once said, 

                         "If you want to understand the Universe
                          think in terms of
                          energy, frequency, and vibration."

Do you believe the power of words -- both spoken and unspoken -- may be because they carry positive or negative energy, frequency, and vibration? I do, from personal experience, and there is research to back this up. 

  • Positive words will raise your energy and vibrational frequency.
  • Negative words will lower your energy and vibrational frequency. 

It really is that simple. Words matter because they impact our energy and shape our lens of perception -- how we see the world.

Or as Hafiz so poetically puts it:  

"The words we speak become the house we live in."  

Let's start with how we talk to ourselves, our Self-Talk. What is Self-Talk? It is the way we talk to ourselves. What we say out loud. What we say inside our minds. It is our inner voice that combines our conscious thoughts with our subconscious or inbuilt beliefs. 

My go-to Self-Talk hack is to ask myself the question: "How would you like to reframe that....?", referring to something I just said or thought. I have learned to ask this question with kindness, curiosity, and a smile. This is intended to be a gentle question, without judgment. 

Over the years, becoming more and more aware of of my inner voice, I am highly attuned to words which carry negative energy -- words that are angry, frustrated, worried, judgmental, and phrases that surface limiting beliefs, a sense of 'not good enough,' of not being worthy. Yes, I have been there. We all have, at some time or another. 

The first step is always awareness. The work is to first identify the words or phrases that are running through our heads on a recurrent basis. I started to create my list of negative energy words over 10 years ago. The most important point, however, is for each person to create our own list of words and phrases. We are all unique, with diverse experiences,  and our lists are usually quite different. 

Once we are aware of words and patterns of speech that carry negative energy, then we move on to the important question,

                      How would I like to reframe that …. ?

For example, this past year I have caught myself saying, "I am soooo tired." I have consistently started to catch myself and reframe the thought to "I feel so tired." Big difference!

Allow me to explain. It is important to acknowledge negative emotions. From time-to-time we may all feel tired, overwhelmed, and behind the curve. However, we also want to be aware of any phrase which starts with "I am," because "I AM" is a powerful phrase that, in our subconscious mind, defines who we are.

The process of reframing is NOT about suppressing or repressing negative emotions. The emotions are real.  Honoring the emotions is important. The process is about learning to release the negative emotions, engage our curiosity, and reframe our thinking, our Self-Talk, without judgment.  My favorite way is to say, "UH! Where did that come from? What's really going on here?" I become the observer of my thought, rather than identifying with the thought. Then I can move on to reframing the way I want to think and act to address the challenge and find a solution or explore the choices I have. Why would I choose to define myself as tired or overwhelmed? I am not always tired. I will not be tired forever -- being tired is NOT an intrinsic state of being, it is a feeling. So, I reframe my Self-Talk to say, "Gosh, I feel tired and I will get some rest. I am resilient -- and I will tackle the challenge with renewed energy tomorrow." 

The person in the best position to reframe our thoughts is --- US! It is best when we create the new way to talk to ourselves about a challenging situation or experience or project or person …. because then it makes sense to us, to who we really are. If someone is stuck and asks for ideas, I am happy to offer suggestions. Usually, it helps my client or friend get unstuck -- and then they successfully come up with their own words or phrases. 

Working on our Self-Talk is more than listening to or reading Positive Affirmations. Please understand that I embrace the power of meditations with positive affirmations. I listen to these types of meditations all the time on Insight Timer. This practice is valuable and helpful. Sometimes we may not believe an affirmation we read or hear. Yet, the more we hear it -- the more we can start to believe it could be true. As Denis Waitley observes, "Relentless, repetitive self-talk is what changes our self-image."

As we get deeper and deeper into Self-Talk and the science behind neuro-linguistic programing, NLP, there is so much more to learn about the mind-body connection. For example, NLP teaches us that the real meaning of communication is the response we get, that there is no failure, only feedback. Deep work on our Self-Talk helps us build courage, curiosity, and resilience to promote healing, self-discovery, growth, and fulfillment. 

Let's recap the 3 step exercise to learn the art of moving our Self-Talk from negative words and limiting beliefs to words and beliefs and actions which have a higher level of positive vibration and energy: 

  1. Be Aware: The first step is awareness. Choose 3 words or phrases you often use that reflect negative energy. Write your words in your journal or on your note pad. Just 3 words -- Keep It Super Simple. Did you notice how I reframed the KISS anacronym to be positive -- Keep It Super Simple, rather than to more often quoted negative anacronym of Keep It Simple Stupid. Same KISS --yet,  our mind-body feels a different energy and response.

    I invite you to pause and write down your words. -- make a commitment to hear and be aware every time you use these words. Another option is to ask a good friend to be your accountability coach. It can be fun -- and you will probably laugh a lot. 
  2. Reframe: Consistently reframe your negative words and answer the question: How would I like to reframe that...? Every time you catch yourself using one of your key negative words or phrases, hit the PAUSE button. Be kind, we are always learning and growing -- and it is great to bring curiosity and humor to this exercise. Make it fun -- make it a game! You will always be the 'winner' in this game, because you are learning and growing and, hopefully laughing, too. 

  3. Create: Create your list of 3 words or phrases for the start of each new day. This is your personal mantra. Maybe it will change, maybe it won't. Your choice!   Many of you know that I passionately believe:

 How you start your day is 
 How you live your day, and 
 How you live your day is 
 How you live your life! 

 A great exercise is to come up with your unique list of 25 Personal I AM Affirmations. Try it!  These 'I AM' words empower you. These are your aspirational words to support you in raising your   vibrational energy. This list will help you with the daily practice of choosing an intention or mantra for your day ahead. 

In closing, here are a few ideas from my personal journey of practicing Self-Talk on a consistent basis every day.  

Words and phrases that have been on my list of negative energy words and limiting beliefs: 

  1. But: I replace “but” with “and,” because it helps build bridges and is more respectful of others. 
  1. Hate: I never use the word “hate,” because I can feel the negative emotion in my body every time I use this word. For example, I no longer say, “I hate to write.” I have reframed the thought, “It is my purpose to give and there is great joy in sharing and writing my stories.” 
  1. Struggle, Tough, Difficult: I catch and correct myself every time I use these words because I now understand that whatever I say and think becomes my reality. I consistently focus on what I want,  rather than what I don't want. My go-to word is challenge, because the word challenge opens up choices and opportunities. I know I have, and I can, and I … will rise to every challenge. The choice is always ours, in our words: will we choose positive energy or negative energy?  We all now the answer to this question -- it just takes some practice to make it a habit. And, we are always learning from new experiences.  
  1. I am trying: I notice and correct, most of the time, that starting a sentence with “I am trying” usually means I am tense and forcing something or someone or myself. For example, “I am trying so hard to make you understand,” or, “I am trying so hard to make sure that my dear Aunt Mary has the proper care in her assisted living apartment.” Can you feel the tension? Can you sense how I am “trying” to control people, their behavior or the outcome? I realize it is very important to stop pressing and forcing -- stressing!  This is also another lesson in reframing: rather than saying "I am trying," I say "I am doing my very best." Big difference, right? Do you feel the difference? It always feels great to acknowledge that I am doing the best I can. And, this is a wonderful way to support family and friends, too. Give friends a gift -- "I know you are doing the very best you can!"
  1. You make me feel: I stop, or at least catch myself, when I think or say, “You make me feel,” because I understand my emotions are my choice.  No one can make me feel sad. I may feel sad … and I have a choice. The only person who can hurt me, is me. This I believe. 
  1.  Complaining: I stop complaining, for the most part. If I said I was going to do something, it is my choice. No one made me commit to a project or an event. I made a commitment or volunteered because I believed I could make a contribution. So stop complaining. In the future, I may learn and set more boundaries on what and who I commit to, however. Always learning. 

Now for my fun words and affirmations. 

When I first started my list of "25 Personal  Affirmations" I got to about # fifteen and had to pause. "I can't do this!" I guess I really did not have all that many words to give myself self-confidence and self-love.  And yet, I persevered. [Side note: The word 'Yet' is a great work hack if you catch yourself saying "I can't... ", or your child or co-worker saying "I can't..." Simply add the word 'Yet'" at the end of the sentence and possibilities open up.] I now have a list of "25 Personal Affirmations" which I update at the start of every New Year. A lot of the affirmations stay the same -- and a few things change. Always learning and growing. 

My personal favorite word is SPLENDIFEROUS: At least once a week, I intentionally find an opportunity to use this word. It's just a fun word, it peaks people's curiosity.  I love it because it resonates with my feeling of the joy of living. “Have a splendiferous day!” is infectious in spreading the joy and awe of life to my family and friends. I smile and, invariably, they smile as well. It is my word, my world. And, of course, it is a great word, a real word, for everyone.          

My personal mantra, which I have stayed with now for over 10 years is: I deserve all JOY! I say this affirmation often because it is powerful, loving and reinforces the new respect I have for myself.  I write this as the closing line in my daily gratitude journal. This is the affirmation that came to me spontaneously one evening on the deck of the Hay House “I Can Do It!” cruise. I will always remember the moment. I had been in classes for eight hours and I was walking the top deck. The sun was setting, the sky was brilliant with oranges and yellows, and the Caribbean breeze was soft and warm. I breathed deeply, and there it was: “I deserve all joy!” Indeed, every one deserves joy -- and it is always there inside of each one of us. This is a beautiful example of how, with practice, our Self-Talk can and will change how we see our world! 

Whenever I say this affirmation, I smile and feel the joy and love of being me. Try it on for size and say this to yourself. I hope you smile, too.  Put YOUR name in this picture below. 



Have a splendiferous day!    

May you be happy now and always,  Alison 





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