Reframing Your Way to Creative Success
“It all depends on how we look at things, and not how they are in themselves.” That’s a famous quote by psychologist Carl Jung that really encapsulates the idea of reframing. It is such a valuable technique for professional creatives, and really, for everyone else too. I love this quote because the ‘it” that starts it off, can be anything. “It” could be how much money you will earn or how many works of art you can sell. Using the word, “it” is really perfect because the “it” doesn’t need to be named directly. “It” doesn’t really matter. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that your earning potential is important to you. What I mean is that regardless of what the challenge/goal/situation is, your true attention should be given to the next part of the quote: “how we look at things’.
I can hear your eyes rolling. I know , I know. We can often find ourselves irritated when we run into overly positive people telling us to “choose your attitude” or “look on the bright side.” The thing is, they are definitely onto something. That’s why others view them as positive. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather feel positive than negative and the only reason “sunshine people” can sometimes irritate us is because we are not feeling positive ourselves. When a positive person meets another positive person, they just rev each other up. When a “negative” person encounters a positive person, they are usually annoyed or exasperated. In extreme cases, we can even find ourselves feeling angry. Mirrors can definitely be challenging to look into sometimes.
When it comes to creativity, reframing is an invaluable tool. There seem to be two issues in adopting and applying the reframing technique:
1. people don’t really understand the concrete ways in which reframing can help. They don’t believe it has value.
2. If someone does see the value, they don’t know how to reframe effectively.
In this episode, I lay down some definitions of reframing and also give you five ways in which this tool can help with your creative growth. I even give examples (within different disciplines) of real life reframing opportunities and solutions that you can employ to get past blocks that are keeping you from pursuing your artistic life. Have a listen!
Here is the long definition of reframing that I recited in the episode and it comes from changingminds.org:
A frame, or frame of reference is a complex schema of unquestioned beliefs, values and so on that we use when inferring meaning. If any part of that frame is changed (hence ‘reframing’), then the meaning that is inferred may change. To reframe, step back from what is being said and done and consider the frame, or ‘lens’ through which this reality is being created. Understand the unspoken assumptions, including beliefs and schema that are being used. Then consider alternative lenses, effectively saying ‘Let’s look at it another way.’ Challenge the beliefs or other aspects of the frame. Stand in another frame and describe what you see. Change attributes of the frame to reverse meaning. Select and ignore aspects of words, actions and frame to emphasize and downplay various elements.