What Is NLP Reframing?
NLP Reframing gives a different meaning to the same event or experience. The change in meaning makes you feel different and act different. Seeing the same event or experience from a different frame changes your perspective.
NLP reframing is a popular hypnosis and NLP technique. We all know what a frame is, right? There is actually one right behind me. There is my diploma there. If around it I put a brown frame vs. a blue frame vs. a red frame, the diploma looks different, right? The same thing happens with your experiences. If you put a certain frame around your experiences, you will feel different and you will behave differently. For example, if you put an empowering frame around your experiences, you will see the world through an empowering lens.
It might seem like a little change, but it has a huge impact on your present and future life. It changes your identity as well as the way you relate to everything in your life. We have all heard the common one question about whether the glass is half full or hall empty. It could be both. It depends on which frame you put around it.
Examples of NLP Reframing
For instance, you may think that you are “shy”. Another way to look at it is “I am calm and observant”. The difference between the two meanings is living a life where you are habitually scared to one where you feel calm and in control. So does the frame you put around it make a little difference or a big difference? We know that even a slight change in your identity changes the way you relate to people, how you perform in job interviews as well as at school.
Sometimes we see those hyper-active kids who break the rules and seem to always be out of control. Some doctors even diagnose them with limiting labels such as ADHD or that they have a learning disability. I am not advocating to break the rules. What I am saying is that some people call these kids “rebels”. Another way to look at these same kids is that they are “trend setters” and “innovators”. The way the kid identifies with themself can be the difference between spending their life in jail with low self-esteem vs. designing the newest and coolest fashions, the most innovative technology and helping change the world.
As another example, some poor people look at a guy who is rich and say “that guy is rich, what a bastard!'”. Others say “that guy is rich. What a role model!”. The “bastard rich guy” frame will causes the person to always be poor, even if consciously they want to be rich. Consciously they will take one step forward. Unconsciously they will take two steps back. In other words, they will self-sabotage. They teach themselves that having money is bad, and in fact that having money will equal no love. I talk about this more in my article ‘Change Our Beliefs‘.
How Our Perspective Changes Our Reality
The single frame of bastard vs. role model could be the difference between being poor or being rich, and it is only a couple of words. This sight difference in language has a big impact on your physical reality.
Here is another one: “This girl cheated on me”. Okay, I’m not trying to be Mr. Positive here and pretend it didn’t happen. It happened. However here is the difference: she “hurt” vs. she ‘”helped” me. I could focus on how she hurt me, or I can put a “helped”‘ frame around it. Putting a “helped” frame will make me feel empowered. I would be helped by the fact that she showed me her true colours before we got further into the relationship, she taught me about myself and helped me make a better choice next time around about the kind of girl I want to date. So “hurt” or “helped”? Which frame makes you feel more empowered? Click here to learn more about Where Focus Goes, Energy Flows.
Real Life Example of NLP Reframing
I will also give you a real example from my own life. When I used to tutor English, I always thought that our lessons should have been be fun and informative. One day it seemed like my student was not having fun. I got nervous and a little stressed. I started thinking something was wrong and maybe something was wrong with me, or at least my teaching. I’m sure we could all relate to blowing up stories at times in our lives.
Then I stopped and reframed it. With more information, I learned that she is acting calm because she feels so comfortable with me, which is definitely something positive and something that I value.
I felt so much better and the lesson went a lot better. I later learned that it was true that she felt totally comfortable to me, even to the point that she started speaking to me in her own language without even noticing! So “I’m doing something wrong” vs. “she feels comfortable with me” changed my self-esteem, my outlook, the lesson, and our relationship.