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  • Writer's pictureJeff Johnston

Do You Need A New Frame?

A great frame can enhance any picture or photograph. Even a Rembrandt or Van Gogh can visually improve with a quality frame enhancing the natural beauty of what lies from within.

Perhaps we can benefit as well with a new “frame?” Can a new frame improve what lies within us? I think so.

Stoicism is an ancient Greek philosophy that has had a tremendous influence in my life. Especially in dealing with the daily struggles, traumatic events, and normal stress and anxiety we all endure. I won’t make this a book report on stoicism, rather I want to spend time on the concept of “framing” which they were so interested in and taught regularly.

Framing is the idea of taking an event or situation and looking at it “from a different perspective.” The phrase “turning lemons into lemonade” is a perfect example. It’s more than just being optimistic or positive, although that always helps!

To be honest there is an overabundance of life coaches and motivational speakers touting all sorts of antidotes for obtaining a healthier and more enjoyable life. “You’ll get through this” or “tough it out” are common phrases and tend to desensitize us to actually learning valuable coping mechanisms.

Reframing is a strategy that is used to help control internal emotional reactions when external ones seem out of your control. Think of how many people have committed suicide or resorted to anger and alcohol simply due to an inability to see things differently? I have had so many opportunities to practice reframing in my life. Let me provide you with a recent example.

Many of you following my story are aware of some very personal situations I have had that made me become more aware of the importance of looking at things differently. A while back as I was in the middle of writing my book, This One's For You: An Inspirational Journey Through Addiction, Death, and Meaning I had a desire to pull the plug, give up on the project completely. I was getting to a point where I was concerned no one would read it and at times I was obsessively focused on the final result. Would it really make a difference? A classic example of trying to do too much for too many.

It was becoming more and more about me and less about the “why.” The “why” of course was to honor our son, Seth who had died on 10/4/16 from a heroin overdose. I was comparing other books written on the topic and on other stories that were being told that were similar to mine. Quitting wasn’t really an option and at some point, I decided to make this 100% about Seth. The moment I let go of the selfishness of this project was the moment I springboarded into an amazing journey that now has been a guide for many looking for help in these areas. By reframing the dilemma I was in I began to write effortlessly and with authenticity. Same book, just a different lens to view from. This also led me to begin The Living Undeterred Project.

A simple “change of perspective” on this afforded me the opportunity to really focus on the ultimate goal, to help others so this doesn’t have to happen again. My book was published on 9/25/20, Seth’s 27th birthday and to this day I have never once checked to see how many books I have sold. Not once and never will. Next time you are in a rut or have stress and anxiety consider a new frame. You’ll be surprised how much this can make a difference.

Live Undeterred!

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