A coaching colleague recently passed along a reframing technique from Blue Ocean Brain. The technique involves creating “Truth Statements,” which helps reprogram our brains from ruminating on negative thoughts to reflecting on positive thoughts.
One example of a Truth Statement offered by Blue Ocean Brain is this:
“After making a mistake at work you can reframe the situation by saying, ‘I make mistakes because I am constantly experimenting in order to make things better. I learn faster because of my mistakes.’”
Because one of my StrengthsFinder strengths is Maximizer, I couldn’t help but think about tweaking this powerful technique to wring out as much brain-friendly juice as possible. Try on these tweaks:
1. Swap out neutral languaging for any “sad” words. In this case, the word “mistake” may elicit negative emotions such as sadness, frustration, shame, guilt. Replace the sad word with something neutral, such as “this circumstance.”
2. Incorporate your strengths. For example, identify one or two strengths that could be at play, such as creativity or innovation or strategy.
3. Next, add a positive emotion to the statement. For example, gratitude, as in “I’m grateful that…”
4. Experience it. Cue your body to feel the positive emotion. Add the word “feeling” to the statement. Pause to access and experience the feeling as deeply as you can.
Putting these four tweaks in place, the statement now reads (color-coded from the steps above):
I’m feeling grateful that this situation is allowing me
to see how my creativity, innovation, and willingness to experiment
(aka bravery) allows me to learn even more quickly.
Your turn. Think of a negative thought you tell yourself and apply the above ideas. Enjoy!