By: Molly Majors
Byron Katie shares in her book, A Thousand Names for Joy, “Life is simple. Everything happens for you, not to you. Everything happens at exactly the right moment, neither too soon nor too late. You don’t have to like it… it’s just easier if you do”.
This is important to remember, especially when facing the tough obstacle life tends to throw. You have little to no control of your failures, but total control of your attitude towards the situation. Reframing your perspective on life to a more positive one, sets people on the path to success.
What does it mean to reframe your thinking?
Reframing is the idea of shifting your mindset from a negative one to a more positive one. When something happens to you which would most likely be deemed negative, try to look at the positives instead. This may seem easier said that done, but here are some examples for you:
Failing a Class or an Exam
Especially with the end of the semester approaching, try not to beat yourself up if you don’t get the grade you really wanted. Even if you fail… it’s okay. Try to turn the situation into a learning experience and see what you would do differently next time. Maybe study differently or don’t wait until the last minute to prepare.
Getting a Speeding Ticket
Getting pulled over for speeding unfortunately happens to the best of us, maybe rushing to work or school. But instead of getting angry at yourself, look at it as a sign to slow down on the road. You speeding could have very well put someone in danger, so be thankful no one was hurt by your actions, but instead just a ticket. Look at the ticket as a reminder to focus on driving safely.
These tiny mistakes, like a spill, can often bring negativity with the thought of having to bend over and take time out of your day to clean up your mess. Instead, re-frame your thinking to enjoy picking up the mess. Sounds silly, but look at it as break from whatever you were working on at the time, throw on a song and take your time cleaning up. You can also be thankful your body has the strength and ability to actually clean the mess.
Not Getting the Job You Really Wanted
Maybe the universe has something better in-store. I know this is hard to think about in the midst of feeling let down, but you have to remember everything happens for a reason. Possibly you’ll land your ultimate dream job a few months later… but you never would have applied if you had received that original position.
Passing of a Pet
Losing a pet can be one of the hardest things to deal with. As difficult as it can be, reframing your thoughts to more positive ones can make the grieving/healing process slightly less painful. Instead of being sad your pet is gone, be thankful you were able to provide it will the best life possible and for all of the time you two spent together.
These are just a few of the many unfortunate situations we tend to deal with in life. Often times you really need to dig deep to find the positives in a situation and really stretch your thinking. It’s also important to first feel your emotions before going through the process of reframing. Whether it be anger, mourning or another strong emotion, remember to allow your mind to first relax. Having a clear mind will allow you to better see how the situation happened for you not to you.
You don’t have the power to control certain situations, however you do have the power to control how you react and respond. Next time you fail at something or make a mistake, whether small or big, try to reframe your thinking to turn your losses into wins.
If you have yet to read our last blog post, “My COVID College Experience: A Latinx Perspective” by Angelina Rodriguez, check it out here.