Written for Latin Buisness Today
One of my greatest mentors, Napoleon Hill, often said, “Every adversity, every failure, every heartbreak carries with it the seed of equal or greater benefit”; so there is a seed of opportunity that comes from seemingly negative events.
I’m sure you have heard the saying “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade (or margaritas!).” When we are going through tough situations our thoughts tend to focus on repeating to ourselves that we are going through the situation. What that does is create a victim mentality in which we are focusing on the problem, and restating that there is a problem, but not allowing the space for solutions.
This is all about our mindset and our approach to life.
A person that has a victim mentality tends to spend time making excuses and justifying their problems. A person with a creator mentality does not waste energy making excuses, instead, they strive to find alternate outcomes to their current situations.
It’s important to metaphorically take a step back so that we can ask ourselves these five questions:
- What are potential solutions to this situation?
- What good could come out of this?
- What part am I playing to create or prolongate the situation?
- What part can I play to improve the situation?
- Is worrying about it serving me or helping to address the situation?
By attempting to view the situation in a different light we find ourselves activating other parts of the brain, feeling our emotions turn around, and even finding hope, by shifting our focus from the problem itself towards looking for or creating potential solutions.
When reframing the way we approach life, we can educate ourselves on cognitive reframing, so we can better understand how thinking works and realize how to apply tools to elevate your thought patterns.
Cognitive reframing is a tool that can aid you in becoming more positive and resilient in the face of life’s never-ending challenges. According to Amy Morin from Very Well Mind, cognitive reframing is a technique that can be used to alter your mindset so you can start to look situations, people, or relationships from a different viewpoint. Although cognitive reframing is often used in therapy to aid people experiencing mental health conditions and addictions, it can be helpful in improving overall mental well-being as well.
How Does Cognitive Reframing Work?
The fundamental idea behind cognitive reframing is that a person’s point of view is determined by the frame in which they observe a situation, and when that frame is altered, the thinking patterns and actions that follow are frequently altered as well.
When addressing cognitive distortions, it is important to consider whether it’s best to address these on your own, or to hire a professional to help identify the patterns and aid you in developing proper coping strategies.
If you decide you are ready to try cognitive reframing for yourself, you can begin by observing your thought patterns (pay close attention to negative or biased thinking patterns that may come up). Next, come up with and evaluate evidence that may support, contradict, or dispute these thoughts or interpretations.
As you go through this process, remember to be compassionate to yourself as you notice the mental patterns that are not serving you, and know that there are two proven methods that you can apply to shift into a more positive mindset today.
Two proven methods to shift into a more positive mindset:
- Use encouraging self-talk
- Practice daily gratitude
Check out my other articles for more information on how gratitude and mindset shifts can change your day, your week, or your life!