One of my best reframing examples is how I reframed fatigue as a way to build resilience.
Last year, I overexercised myself and felt fatigued.
Even trivial tasks such as climbing the stairs became difficult.
But I kept telling this to myself:
I’m strengthening patience and all these challenges will seem easier when my fatigue goes away.
This reframing helped me change how I felt.
Here’s how you can use reframing to love your challenges instead of hating them.
Check out the companion podcast episode if you don’t want to read:
Before we get started, let’s look at the theory behind reframing.
Reframing is part of neuro-associative conditioning (NAC).
It’s a critical tool for managing our behavior and how we feel.
The creator of NAC Tony Robbins said:
When we take control of NAC, we take control of our lives.
NAC relies on associating pain and pleasure with what we want and don’t want, respectively.
More specifically, reframing is replacing negative beliefs with positive ones by:
- Linking pleasure to new, positive beliefs.
- Linking pain to old, negative beliefs.
With this tool, we can replace any beliefs that don’t serve us anymore.
Here are examples of reframes I used to shape how I feel about challenges.
Exposing myself to cold and hypoxia
Some time ago, I started to use the Wim Hof method—exposing myself to cold and hypoxia.
That was difficult, especially because I have little body fat to protect me from cold.
Yet, I knew I was making my immune system stronger.
That’ll help me be healthy and avoid doctors.
So here’s how I replaced my belief about it:
Original belief: I’m suffering because of cold and hypoxia right now.
Replacement belief: I’m doing this to be healthier and reduce my medical costs.
Note how important it is to get leverage on yourself—a big reason why you want to change that belief.
In my case, it was avoiding the pain of seeing doctors.
Waking up early
I wake up at 4 am.
It’s never easy, though, because sleeping is a pleasure.
But I get up anyway because if I sleep in, I hate myself the whole day.
I’ve used it as leverage on myself to build this reframe:
Original belief: Waking up early is painful.
Replacement belief: Waking up early makes everything else enjoyable during the day.
When my alarm clock goes off, I start playing this thought in my mind.
As a result, getting up gets easier.
I used to be selfish about love.
For example, I demanded too much of my ex-wife instead of loving her.
And I got what most people get when they try to change their partner:
I ruined my marriage.
Later on, I realized that love was within me.
I feel it when I give it—as Stephen Covey taught:
Love is a verb. Love—the feeling—is the fruit of love the verb or our loving actions.
I used the pain of losing my marriage as leverage to rethink love:
Original belief: I want love from my romantic partner.
Replacement belief: Love is within me and I feel it when I give it.
Concentrating on work single-mindedly
I postpone pleasurable activities until the end of the day.
I found it worked best for me.
When I don’t allow myself any distractions, I’m more productive.
But it’s not easy.
For example, I eat one meal a day to avoid getting distracted by food.
But dealing with hunger is a challenge.
I reframed it using the dopamine fasting idea.
Original belief: I need distractions to feel better while working.
Replacement belief: Keeping dopamine low makes me crave distractions less.
I used to have a sweet tooth and love junk food.
On especially busy days, I would survive on coffee, chocolate, and cake.
But I saw how destructive my eating habit was for my health.
Then, I used this reframe based on what Brian Tracy and Tony Robbins teach:
Original belief: Junk food tastes great and is easily available.
Replacement belief: Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels.
I already mentioned resilience at the beginning of the article.
Whenever something feels difficult because I don’t have the energy to do it, I feel excited.
I reframe it as an opportunity to exercise my patience muscle.
Original belief: It feels so difficult, I hate it.
Replacement belief: If I do it now, on low energy, it’ll feel easier when I’m back to my normal energy level.
Setting an example: a universal reframe
Another leverage that helps me change my beliefs almost about anything is this:
- I want to set an example for my loved ones.
- As a life coach in Toronto, I also need to set an example for my clients.
Let me illustrate with being present in the moment.
Original belief: I regret past mistakes or worry about the future.
Replacement belief: I’m 100% present in the moment because I want to cheer others up.
Reframe negative beliefs with coaching
If you need help reframing challenges, check out my coaching services.
Together, we’ll find reframes to help you think about challenges positively.
You’ll feel happier as a result.
And when you’re happy, people around you feel great as well, making you even happier.