Reframing – a Positive Thinking technique



Is your self-talk (that voice in the head) performance limiting or performance enhancing? It can determine how we experience any event, which in turn affects how we feel about the situation and can shape our subsequent actions.  We can trip ourselves up by focussing on the negatives and being highly self-critical.  And we can do the same for others when we use overly critical or negative terms.


By reframing situations we can create a ‘reward state’ rather than a ‘threat state’. This frees up our cognitive resources and we are more likely to spot potential solutions, – rather than spiral into defensiveness – or hopelessness!

Reframing Examples

  • Recognise when your frame of reference is an unhelpful one e.g. “he is useless at making sense of the data” or “my boss doesn’t have any confidence in me” – usually the emotional charge that accompanies it will tell you if it’s helpful or not
  • Consider how someone, whose opinion you respect, would phrase it instead: “we forget that not everyone is an economist; let’s think about how we can present the data in a more accessible way”. “My boss hasn’t seen my full capabilities yet; I can use this opportunity to demonstrate my strengths”
  • Proactively identify a new frame just as a picture you’ve stopped noticing becomes transformed when you place it in a different frame or location, you can also transform your thinking!

“I have not failed……I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

American inventor, Thomas Edison