Studies show that people who can change their situation gain less from changing their mindset than those who have no control over their situation.
If you have a loved one who has cancer – you have no control over that situation. Changing the way you think and your emotional reaction may help you cope with the stress.
On the other side, if you have control over your situation reframing the situation to make it seem less negative makes you less inclined to change the situation. (Seems like common sense doesn’t it?)
After all it’s really not that bad, it could be worse!
Let’s look at a specific example. Stuck in a job you hate? I was and the whole time I reframed the situation – It pays well. I get a ton of vacation days. I am good at what I do. I can’t leave my co-workers, I like them. Starting over is too hard, I will just stop complaining. I am grateful to have a job .I get a week off at Christmas.
When you make these types of statements you reframe a negative situation and turn it into a more palatable situation. You feel much better right? Problem is if it’s a situation you have control over but hate, is re-framing it the best course of action?
“Well.” You say. “That job of yours sure looks like a good deal to me. What are you complaining about?”
To me it was soul-sucking, boring, zapped me of any creative spark I hoped to have while there and bled over onto all aspects of my life. That’s what I was complaining about.
The real kicker? All that reframing of a situation I hated, kept me in a situation I hated for far, far too long. I talked myself into believing it was all good.
If you are going to change anything, you may have to change the situation you are in.
“But I can’t do that. I can’t quit my job or leave my spouse or move to Colorado or throw all my junk food away!”
Perhaps not this minute – but what are some steps you can take to get there?
Stop reframing the situations you have true control over. Start moving toward the places you want to be. Take some action.
- Seek help if you need, from a therapist or life coach. Have a friend who tells you like it is? Buy them coffee and have a chit-chat.
- What do you really want to change? Having an honest conversation with yourself is vital.
- Make a plan to move out of the bad situation. List all your resources, tangible and non-tangible. How can you use these to find a new job, leave a toxic relationship, start your own business, or move somewhere sunny and warm?
- Find a mentor. Someone who has made the changes you want to make.
- Stop telling yourself all is well, if it isn’t. Start telling yourself that you want, need and deserve better.
I promise you, when you start implementing steps to make the changes you want, your whole world will open up to new ideas, people, situations, learning opportunities and this will only give you fuel for your change. Getting out of the same old same old rut you hate, provides you with a whole new world to explore.
Shelly Drymon – a Damsel no longer in distress has gone through her own amazing transformation. She is the founder of The Rescue Yourself Project – where she helps women in mid-life transitions pursue their passion and purpose and to be their own knights in shining armor. You can read her story on her website – The Rescue Yourself Project.