It is generally known that the quality of optimism can significantly affect one’s quality of well-being and personal effectiveness. Optimists are very good at what NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) calls Reframing. They develop the habit of talking to themselves in constructive ways. Whenever they experience an adversity, they immediately describe it to themselves in such a way that it loses its ability to trigger negative emotions and feelings of helplessness. This attitude inevitably leads to creating predominant frame of mind, hence the chances of succeeding are much greater.
The ability to reframe any event productively is a skill that everybody can learn. It is simply taking different viewpoint on the situation, generating healthier and more productive response. Here are examples of some great reframes. Read through them and notice the difference in what you feel…
1. There is no failure, only feedback.
Pessimists are afraid of failure. Optimists know that there is no failure, only feedback. They learn from every time they have not succeeded and find a different strategy for getting what they want. Some people say that it took almost one thousand experiments for Mr. Edison to finally invent a light bulb. Edison was interviewed by one French reporter who gave him a tricky question: “Mr. Edison, how does it feel to fail 999 time?” Mr. Edison smiled and answered: “Young man, I have not failed 999 times. I only found 999 ways of how not to do a light bulb.” If Thomas Edison allowed himself to be discouraged by what some people call ‘failure’ he certainly would not be able to establish General Electric empire!
2. There are no problems. There are only challenges and opportunities for growth.
Pessimists do not like problems. Optimists know that there are no problems, there are only challenges they need to overcome. They know that every challenge is an opportunity for them to grow and achieve great things. They are able to see themselves in the future and feel great after they grasped this opportunity and moved a step forward.
3. There are no permanent problems. There are only temporary set-backs.
Pessimists think of their set-backs as permanent. Optimists know that any unfortunate event, such as losing sale or having trouble with a cash flow, as a temporary event, something that is limited in time and that has no real impact on the future. They never say: “I am poor.” They see themselves instead as rich, only temporarily broke.
4. You are more than your mistakes.
Pessimists have tendency to take everything personally. For example, if they are criticised, they usually get defensive.
Optimists have ability to see all events as external events. For example, if they are criticised, they are able to thank the other person for criticism, knowing that every feedback is their opportunity to get even better.
5. For every challenge there is a solution.
Pessimists tend to focus on problems. Optimists tend to focus on solutions. Focusing on problems and worrying about them takes away heaps of much needed energy for their solutions. Everybody has a choice to re-focus on solutions. This can be done by simply asking ourselves: “How can I solve this?”
6. You have all you need to get what you want.
Pessimists tend to blame others if they do not feel great and are not achieving what they want. They blame other people, economy, the way they were brought up and other external conditions. Optimists know that there is no blame, only responsibility. They accept full responsibility for their feelings, thinking, actions and results. This acceptance of full responsibility allows them to choose where they will be tomorrow.
7. There is no truth. There is only our own perception of truth.
Pessimists argue that they are right. Optimists know that there are no facts or truth, only interpretations of the truth. They are able to accept other person’s ‘model of the world’ and lead meaningful and highly productive conversation with them.
Ponder on these seven ways of looking at things. If you choose to adopt them as your personal ‘truths’ you may find a much greater sense of optimism and happiness.