Reframe Your Story to Reframe Our Future

Watch comedian Michael Jr. illustrate how to reframe

Before the pandemic we all did things in a certain way. You, me, everyone on the planet has an inner script directing our lives. Often, that’s helpful. From an evolutionary perspective it means we don’t have to think too much (tiring the brain); it creates stability. 

In a matter of weeks this script has been torn up. 

It’s the lack of apparent individual control combined with the collective shared experience that makes this time in our lives so pivotal. Many of the normal things we took for granted: going to school, commuting to work, visiting our loved ones, have been disrupted.

Normally, our lives are punctuated by stress/health/financial issues individually.

But now, we’re sharing a common experience: beyond family, society, country. Globally, we are being given an insight experiencein real time. Usually it is only in hindsight that we gain learnings, now, as we’re easing out of lockdown, we have an opportunity to reset, to question and to re-examine this script. 

This is important both from an individual and collective perspective. After all, the future is simply not written for us. We co-create reality, every moment, every day. All of us together.

Some politicians and business leaders think we can flip the switch, go back to “normal” — whatever that was. 

But that would be to ignore the insight experience many of us are having. Adam, a photographer, puts it well: “We need to reframe normal. It’s not about striving for the minimal level of comfort, it’s striving for excellence. It’s about being a good agent for change and making intelligent decisions.”

Reframing your WHY 

In the video clip (above) Michael Jr., takes an improv moment at his live comedy show to illustrate the difference between singing Amazing Gracewith talent, to singing the same song, “as if your uncle’s been shot, ya’ know, the ‘hood version…”  Michael Jr. crystallises how to reframe something. He asks the singer to come from a different place within himself and choose a different frame. By going deeper, and understanding his motivation — his WHY — transformation happens.

The same concept can be applied for us at this time.

Revising your inner script 

Right now, it’s too soon for clear answers. We’re just not there yet. 

But it’s a good time to reflect on how you might want to reset or revise your inner script. A 2012 study by Adam Grant and Jane Dutton discovered that even making small story edits has a big impact on our lives. 

The story you choose to tell yourself exerts a powerful influence over how well you captivate people — and how successful you are as a leader. Some of our beliefs limit our potential… and many of our collective beliefs limit what sort of world we believe is possible.  So, as we question WHAT we normally do, we can better understand WHY we do it and then HOW we can do things differently.  

5 ways to rewrite your inner script 

  1. Observe the story you tell yourself and you tell others. 
  2. Reflect: do parts of the story need editing, updating or simply chucking out all together? 
  3. Pay attention to the (often conditioned) beliefs you have about yourself. Be kind. Be curious. 
  4. Experiment reframing your beliefs.
  5. Lastly, think about what you thought your life/our future would look like pre-Covid19. How has this changed?   

I would love to know your thoughts.