Reframing: An Introduction

To elevate our intellectual and interpersonal self to self-authorship, one of the highest levels of knowing and being, we must reframe the way that we think about many of the pain points in our lives.

Reframing your thinking to become a better version of you.

The word reframe has two standard definitions. One definition is “placing a picture in a new frame.” The other definition is “to express words or concepts differently.” I hope teach you more about definition two, with one caution. The goal of my version of reframing is to help you reframe ideas differently for yourself. Once you reframe your own thoughts, you can start to reframe others’ thoughts too.

Reframing is a form of self-help, and I will differentiate between how I will coach you and how a mental health professional would. It is important to understand the difference because the type of conflict coaching that I do, the writing, the teaching, and the one-on-one coaching, is a form of internal conflict resolution. If you need a licensed therapist to help you manage your issues, check out psychology today. This post is a primer for what is to come. I hope you enjoy learning about how to reframe.

It starts with education

I am an educator. An educator gives people tools to solve problems. I will use this idea of reframing as the tool to solve the problems that you are dealing with. You can often solve problems by creating a healthy inner dialogue by thinking differently about your external issues. Once you become an advanced reframer, you can journey towards becoming a self-author. 

The foundation is self authorship

Self authorship is “an internal personal identity.” (Kegan, 1994). Originally, Kegan used the self authorship’s framework to test children’s cognitive development. More recently, Marcia Baxter Magolda (2007) adopted and applied self-authorship to college and adult students. I will extend self authorship’s definition further, to all adults, regardless of their educational status. Anyone can venture on a journey to self authorship. The goals of self-authorship are three-fold:

  1. to develop a grounded internal belief system (how do I know?)
  2. to develop a grounded internal sense of self (who am I?)
  3. and to share a relationship with someone else (how do I construct relationships?)

These three dimensions of self authorship are pillars to reframing and personal development, but I believe there is one more important missing piece: conflict resolution. 

Add in a little conflict resolution

I define reframing as:

a method of changing the meaning of a perspective

While simple on the surface, once you dig deeper, you soon realize that reframing is a skill and art form that is hard to master. You can learn many of the reframing techniques through basic conflict resolution training. Conflict resolution trainers provide reframing skills on Day 1. Reframing is a huge part of conflict resolution because we often hear what we want to hear, regardless of speaker’s intent. I want to help you learn how to reframe your own thinking to change your own mind about problems that exist in your life. This will lead to an ability to reframe what others are thinking and saying, helping them as well. But, you have to help yourself first. 

Sprinkle in a touch of coaching

It sounds nice to work, alone, towards self authorship and reframing. Unfortunately, it is rare that someone can do this on his or her own. That’s why I am here. I will coach you on reframing to develop your sense of identity, which will lead to problem solving. It will take time and effort, and it is absolutely worth it.

Pull a healthier mind out of the oven

It might take three hours. It might take three years. You might never be able to reframe your thinking and elevate to self authorship. That’s okay. The process is what is important, not the result. I am unable to reframe all of my negative thoughts, all the time. I know that I am close to self authorship, and I acknowledge that I need to keep growing.

What’s Next?

Next week, I’ll take a look at conflict.

Or, if you’re done reading and want to start reframing the way you think about conflict and yourself, schedule an appointment.