The Power Of Framing

Change Your Language To Change How You Feel



What Is Framing?

Framing is about communication and how you create meaning in your communications. This can be in your communications with others, and more importantly in your internal communication with yourself.

Framing is about how you define context, make associations, establish reference points and emotional touch points all designed and positioned to convey the sense and meaning that you want to convey.

A public example of this could be how a political party or pressure group asks people if they would approve of extreme right wing groups being allowed to hold public events.

Framed in neutral terms the response may likely be against such approval.

However, if the same question was framed in the context of upholding free speech the response may likely shift towards a greater level of approval.






Framing And The Stoics Challenge



In the "The Stoic Challenge" William Irvine observes:

"...the Stoics’ contribution to psychology is particularly impressive; indeed, the Stoic test strategy is based on their appreciation of a phenomenon that has been rediscovered by modern psychologists, who christened it the framing effect:

How you mentally characterize a situation has a profound impact on how you respond to it emotionally.

The Stoics realized that we have considerable flexibility in how we frame the situations we experience.

They discovered, more precisely, that by thinking of setbacks as tests of our character, we can dramatically alter our emotional response to them."


As we have already observed, changing your dominant emotional or energetic state has a profound effect on the positive creations and results that you experience, so any change to the way you frame a situation is going to have a significant impact on those creations and results.


Professor William Irvine on Framing - extract from Stoicism & Framing







The Effect Of Framing In Your Self Talk



Positive self talk is the inner narrative that we run in the back of our mind that is affirming and runs counter to the ingrained negative self talk that we all experience.

Self talk is the generic term used to describe the inner voices and scripts that run in the background of our minds and that have a frightening degree of control over what we think, say and do.

The choices of words that you use have power because of the underlying emotional associations that they invoke and the actions that result from those associations.

This applies as much to your inner dialogue as it does to the words we use in everyday speech.

This is also applies to
the unconscious nature of the vast majority of these emotional/energetic associations.

What we are talking about here is the causal link between inner states and external events. We are energetic beings living in an energetic universe and it's not neutral, it is also a participative universe.

The inner (conscious and unconscious) associations that you make and the meanings that ou ascribe to those associations are all energy based.

By changing the words you use in our self talk to frame an event, a situation or an experience, you change the underlying energetic state.

This change in energetic state changes the results that you create.

So there is a direct causal link between how you think about a situation, the words you use to articulate those thoughts, the energetic state associated with those words, and the results you create.



    Change Your Language To Change Your Results







How To Find Your Unconscious Negative Self Talk



It can be very unsettling to discover, as I did a few years ago, that despite doing lots of work on yourself, and getting involved in personal development and self improvement activities, that there are often still deeply buried beliefs expressed in unconscious self talk that still have a significant influence over your choices.

Follow your resistance

The very best clue that you have some unhelpful and unresourceful self-talk going on inside your head and outside your conscious awareness is to look closely at your resistance to things.

Think of something that you want to have, do or be. Why don’t you have it? If you say anything other than honest “I know it’s on the way to me” you probably aren’t clear inside with what you want.

Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.

A sobering realisation

In the course of undertaking another "goal setting" process some years ago, I was amazed to discover a ghost in my machine (or brain). I discovered that I had a quite deep resistance to the idea of achieving financial success easily, and I had a deep resistance to the idea that anyone actually listens to me.

For an "old-hand" at personal development, this was a sobering realisation that despite literally years of active involvement in personal growth there were still deep seated areas of resistance in me that were whispering deeply corrosive and damaging self talk within me.






Examples Of The Power of Framing


A personal experience

About 20 years ago I got into some serious financial difficulties with my business which eventually led to me going bankrupt.

As you might expect this was a tough time but I made it far harder on myself than I needed to because the word "bankruptcy" had such negative connotations and associations to me - deep powerful associations of failure and shame.

Given the amount of files and documentation involved in filing for bankruptcy I had many physical and electronic files and folders with the heading "Bankruptcy".

So every time I accessed one of these files I saw the dreaded, horrible, repulsive and loathsome word "bankruptcy".

Given that I had need to access these files many times a day I was constantly exposed to these extreme negative reactions.

Eventually it occurred to me to reframe the naming of these folders and files to "Debt Freedom" - words which were loaded with positive and uplifting energy.

The effect on my psychological and emotional state was massively liberating!

Framing our experiences of Covid-19

As I wrote in an article on coping with coronavirus :

"The meaning, point and purpose of your experience of current times is entirely what you choose it to be.

You can allow this time to weaken you and diminish and disempower yourself, OR you can choose to create your own meaning and purpose and use this time to strengthen, refresh and empower yourself!"


How we choose to frame this experience and the words we associate with it can have a major bearing on we deal with it, and the effect it has on us.

When is a lockdown not a lockdown?

Answer: When the Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong addressed the nation on Tuesday (Apr 21 2020), giving an update on the COVID-19 situation in Singapore and refers to what every other country is referring to as "lockdown" as the "circuit breaker".

This is an great example of a positive framing of what otherwise is felt by all the rest of us as a negative experience.

Here in the UK, in common with most countries, we refer to it as the lockdown.

However, the term "lockdown" has associations of prison and prison life and lack of individual control; whereas in contrast, the term "circuit-breaker" implies positive group participation in a collective action to break the grip of the virus and this sounds, and feels, rather more empowering!








    Change The Way You Look At Things And The Things You Look At Change.







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