We’re all familiar with the term, “think positive”, also known as reframing. Cognitive restructuring is a newer term used primarily by mental health professionals, and therapists, but put simply, it means to change your experience by changing your thoughts.https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTCS_81.htm
Cognitive restructuring is just another more clinical term for a technique for countering negative moods and it’s basically the same as mindset, reframing and positive thinking. However, all of these are so much more than the mere words convey.
Restructuring your thoughts, transforms your life.
~LeAura Alderson, creator iCreateDaily.com®
Table of Contents
- Audio Article – Cognitive Restructuring of the Learner’s Mind
- “I Know, But…”
- The Curse of Knowledge – AKA Hindsight Bias
- The Failing of Familiarity
- Cognitive Restructuring Refreshes and Regenerates
- How to Reframe
- Cognitive Restructuring
- You Are the Average of the Five People…
- Find Friends Who Will Help You Grow
- Reframing Trains Your Mind
- The Neurogenesis of Success
- Mindset is Everything
- Community Member Comments
- Yes, You Can Grow New Brain Cells
Audio Article – Cognitive Restructuring of the Learner’s Mind:
“I Know, But…“
We’ve all grown up hearing about positive thinking at some point or another. Most of us tend to embrace the concept, until… the phrase is tossed our way over something we’re struggling with. Proffered advice, especially the unasked for kind, tends to elicit responses that sound something like this:
“Yeah, right. I know but…”
“My problem with that [solution offered], is…”
“I’ve tried everything, and nothing works.”
The Curse of Knowledge – AKA Hindsight Bias
The problem with many social memes and sayings we’ve heard all our lives is that we’ve heard them all our lives. We think we know it so well that we don’t even think of it. Hear the term, and you’re likely to say, “I know… I know.” Because, well you do… theoretically.
The “I know” mentality, is another angle of the “curse of knowledge” concept originally coined by Colin Farrell Camerer in an article in the 1989 issue of Journal of Political Economy.https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Colin_Camererhttps://www.researchgate.net/publication/275436553_They_must_have_seen_it_all_along_Hindsight_bias_in_inter-personal_cognition_via_visual_priminghttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curse_of_knowledge
We all know what “positive thinking” means in the same way we all know what regular exercise means for our bodies. As with fitness, knowing what to do and employing that knowing regularly are often two strangers that never meet in reality.
Beyond that, when we think we know, we stop inquiring, asking and discovering new and expanded aspects. Whether it’s our profession, our relationships or anything else, we are best served to maintain the fresh and open perspective of a beginner’s mind.
This is reminiscent of a quote attributed to multiple authors and variations:
“We are getting to know more and more about less and less.”|
~William Warde Fowler, English historian and ornithologist, 1847-1921
NOTE: this quote and variations attributed to multiple authors; origin traced to William Warde Fowler.
The difference between knowing versus doing what you know to do, is the difference in the level of success you’ll achieve.
~LeAura Alderson, writer, editor, creator iCreateDaily.com®
The Failing of Familiarity
Like the road well traveled on your daily route… sometimes you don’t notice the scenery or even remember the name of the street because you know it so well. Or think you do. Subsequently, with familiarity, we can be lulled into thinking we know all about something, and in so doing, there’s much we can miss.
If you want more success in your life and business, it’s time to take another look at the restorative and transformative power of reframing.
Reframing cultivates the wonder of “The Learner’s Mind”.
~LeAura Alderson, writer, editor, creator iCreateDaily.com®
Cognitive Restructuring Refreshes and Regenerates
Whenever you’re struggling with something, how you phrase your questions and comments, and where you place the emphasis can make all the difference. If you’re perceiving as a victim of circumstance, that is a powerless position.
A student of life, is an empowered position.
Here are two sentences, that are examples of sentences that say the same thing, but depending on the emphasis can mean something entirely different. E.g.:
“How do you HANDLE this???”
“HOW do you handle this?”
Naturally, these can vary in interpretation, depending on the tonality with which these are read or thought. However, in general, based on the emphasis alone, the first question places emphasis on the issue that implies difficulty or overwhelm, I.e., “How can you even…HANDLE” kind of thing.
The second approach is more of a “how to” inquiry, summed up more as “Hmmm… HOW do you handle this” is more of an inquiry, where the emphasis is on the “how” as in a learning mode, rather than an emphasis on the word that transforms this sentence into a more victim statement.”
These are two VERY SUBTLE differences, yet they add up to perceptions that can influence our attitudes. Just as it’s the little things that make a positive difference, so too can the little things make a negative difference that’s not so little over time.
To perceive as a victim of circumstance, is a powerless position.
A student of life, is an empowered position.
~LeAura Alderson, iCreateDaily.com®
How to Reframe
Imagine a day where you’ve shifted all of the disempowered language to empowered language.
From the helpless, overwhelmed victim thoughts to the confident, stoic, peaceful thoughts of a learner’s mind settled into being a lifelong student of life.
And then there’s the simple method of tweaking our sentences also known as reframing.
Positive Restructuring Examples
“You can handle this!” or “I can handle this!”
“You’ve got this!” or “I’ve got this!”
“You can do this!” or “I can do this!”
“I grow through the hard stuff.”
“When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”
“An obstacle is an opportunity.”
Reframing is your mind gym, and if you do it regularly, your mind—and emotions—get more fit.
~LeAura Alderson, Cofounder-iCreateDaily.com
The Reframe Game
Reframing—like most personal development… like the gym or weight loss—is easier said than done.
So make it a mental game… a puzzle to solve. Tune into your speech, what you say and how you say it. Then, when you catch yourself in negative words or speech, make a game out of changing it.
Here are some examples of reframing. You will be able to add your list to this. In fact, send us an email with your reframes. We’d love to see them!
Comment: It’s hot/cold today.
Reframe: So grateful for air conditioning/heating!
Comment: I didn’t sleep well last night.
Reframe: I’m grateful for the sleep I got.
Comment: I’m not satisfied with my painting.
Reframe: What can I add to this to make it better, (now or in future)?
Comment: After all my hard work, my book isn’t selling.
Reframe: How can I sell more books? Who can I talk to? What are other successful authors doing?
Comment: I was on tech support for hours.
Reframe: So grateful for the privilege of first world problems that have support systems available.
Comment: Ugh… I’ve got so much to do and laundry to fold.
Reframe: So grateful for the convenience of a washer and dryer, and for clean clothes to wear.
Reframe: So grateful for this era of abundant opportunities!
Reframing is Just a Habit… a Very Good One!
So is positivity. Positivity is just a habit but it’s a habit that makes all the difference to your life.
As you can see, cognitive reconstruction, is not a difficult concept at all and is a practice that can be applied to any area of life. You’ve heard the “glass half empty/half full”, concept. That phrase, like the term “think positive”, has been used so much, that like a longtime spouse or friend, we can tend to take it for granted.
We’ve all counseled a friend with such sayings and sage advice. Yet the moment our next obstacle, conflict or challenge occurs, most people are conditioned to slide down the slippery slope of negativity, as if this moment in time is different than all the others to which ageless wisdom applies.
Reframing is just a habit, and like any other habit, takes a little time and consistency. It begins there and picks up positive speed.
Refresh and reframe your thoughts and you will refresh and reframe your life.
Positivity compounds with interest. Invest in it.~LeAura Alderson, Cofounder-iCreateDaily.com
You Are the Average of the Five People…
Why are we covering relationships in an article on cognitive restructuring?
Because you are your associations. Environment is more powerful than will, and who and what we associate with makes a world of difference in our state of mind and being.
If your friends and relatives rail at your new positive endeavor, that’s normal. It’s typically because of how “change” in a loved one threatens their own habits and comfort zone which can cause them to face their own issues before they’re ready to. We’ve all been there.
Consider something you might be working on, such as needing to lose weight. Which, by the way, applies to about 80% of the US population today, while an average of 27%* are categorized as obese at more than 20% over their ideal weight.
*Based on an average percentage of the four highest categories between 20-38% overweight from this US obesity map by state.https://www.stateofobesity.org/adult-obesity/
Let’s say you’re meeting a friend for lunch at a favorite restaurant with your favorite “treat” meal or dessert, and you’re looking forward to that experience. But when you sit down and open the menu in anticipation, your friend informs you that she’s going to eat light because she’s dieting.
Ah man!! How can you now fully enjoy your treat meal under these circumstances? So you don’t. Whereas if you were enjoying a lunch with friends and associates who were overweight, and they ordered those fried potato skin appetizers and cheesecake dessert, chances are you would too.
“Environment is more powerful than willpower.”Paramahansa Yogananda, Indian yogi, teacher, founder-Self Realization Fellowship
The Struggle of Uneven Growth
Adolescents are known to be awkward, clumsy and volatile, not only because of hormones, but also because of uneven growth. The same thing can happen in relationships.
Many marriages struggle from this concept. One person is ready for a growth spurt, but the other isn’t, and subsequently resists, and sometimes even sabotages, the growth-ready spouse’s efforts. Same thing in friendships.
Your friends who aren’t ready to grow, may find it hard to fully and enthusiastically support you when you’re ready to, because they feel their own lack. Yet they’re typically there to commiserate and console if you falter.
It’s like the overweight friend encouraging you to enjoy that dessert as he orders his. While our friends do care, they’re also protecting themselves and their habits by encouraging us to join them.
They’re not likely consciously thinking that they don’t want whats best for you… after all, they are your friend! However, they are likely unconsciously protecting the rapport in your relationship and your ability to relate with each other. They’re also protecting their comfort in keeping their own status quo intact.
Change is uncomfortable by definition, because it moves from the security of the familiar and places us outside our comfort zone.
If your friends and family members aren’t ready to change, respect and understand that they will come to their own decisions in their own time. They may not be ready. Until then, love and understand them, but do not let them drag you down or dissuade you from your resolve to transform any stinking thinking.
Loved ones are more likely to consider taking the leap you’re taking if you continue to be positive and loving with them, without being annoying. But you’ll also need to be sure to associate with those who uplift and challenge you to raise your bar further.
Don’t let relationships get in the way of your own growth. To stop growth is to stop what you’re here to do.
“Be positive without being annoying. They may not be ready.“~LeAura Alderson, Cofounder-iCreateDaily.com
Find Friends Who Will Help You Grow
If we are lucky, we have friends and loved ones who are eager to grow with us, as well as to celebrate our growth and wins. If you don’t yet have that mentality amongst your relations, find new friends and networks who can help you grow more fully into all that you can be.
At each spiral of life, grow into new relationships that keep challenging you to rise ever more fully into yourSELF.
We grow stronger through ascending. Take the stairs. Rise into your vision of yourself.~LeAura Alderson, Cofounder-iCreateDaily.com
Reframing Trains Your Mind
Reframing, is another habit that moves you closer toward personal excellence by training your mind to support your dreams. A powerful side effect of this reconstructive surgery to your mental processes is in how it increases self awareness. As you begin to tune in to your own thoughts and listen to your own words, you are also expanding your awareness.
Reframe your frustrations into learnings and your earnings will grow.
~LeAura Alderson, Cofounder-iCreateDaily.com
The Neurogenesis of Success
If you love to learn about deeper cause and effect you may enjoy this interview with Dr. Steven Gundry by Tom Bilyeu on Impact Theory. This touches on the relationship between the foods you eat, your gut biome and your health and mental wellbeing.
This clip is time-stamped to go to the place where Dr. Gundry speaks to the foods to eat to help your gut, and moves from there to how exercise, meditation, yoga… and yes… your associations, can actually change your gut microbiome, your brain and subsequently, your overall wellbeing!! We recommend the entire interview, but if you only have a few minutes, you can start near the end where this link above picks up.
Success mindset, can keep your mind agile and growing, even as you age. This process of generating new nerve tissue, neurons and brain cells is called neurogenesis.”
Keep Your Brain Young and Agile
It’s really not surprising… basically it’s common sense, but the simplest remedies are often overlooked. Diet and exercise make a tremendous difference in your mood, alleviate depression and reduce anxiety.
More than improve your mentality, movement and a healthy lifestyle actually generates new brain cells and minimizes the effects of aging. So cognitive restructuring of the learner’s mind begins with the most basic care and maintenance of the body.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2775886/
Neurogenesis—new brain cells—increase by:~Sandrine Thuret, Ph.D Neuroscience, King’s College Head
📚 Learning new things
🏃🏻♀️ Running, exercising & activity
🥗 Eating healthy foods
“Reframing trains your mind to support your dreams.”
~LeAura Alderson, cofounder – iCreateDaily.com®
Mindset is Everything
The one person singularly responsible for proliferating the concept of “growth mindset”—which has everything to do with reframing—into our societal mass consciousness, is Carol Dweck, author of Mindset – the New Psychology of Success. If you haven’t yet read Mindset, we highly recommend it. For an introduction, you might also enjoy this article.
Sign up to be a lifelong student in the curriculum of life.~LeAura Alderson, Cofounder-iCreateDaily.com
What you emphasize in your life makes all the difference. Of one thing I am certain: If you grow your capacity to reframe negatives into positives through cognitive restructuring, your life will improve and you will never regret it.
Put on a learner’s mind when you get dressed each day and your life will change for the better.
~LeAura Alderson, Cofounder-iCreateDaily.com®
Community Member Comments
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Lynda Suzanne Wright: “I’ve (we’ve) tried everything, and nothing works.” Yep, used to hear this one all the time. How about it’s corollary “I (we) tried that once, but it didn’t work!” I know you are writing about learners, but this is also great advice for leaders. One of my favorite administrators used to say, “if the system you are using is not producing the results you want, you must change the system. Powerful. Thank you!”
Our Reply: YES, Lynda!! Excellent points! Definitely also for “leaders” because the best leaders remain ever learners! Thank YOU! 💜
For more on cognitive restructuring and reframing, learn from the master of that via this article and Dr. Joe Dispenza Quotes.
Yes, You Can Grow New Brain Cells
This is a brief but very Interesting TED talk by neuroscientist, Sandrine Thuret, who elaborates on some of what we’ve shared above. Just tuning into this to learn helps your cognitive functions, so enjoy!
Seth Godin on Impact Theory
This is a wonderfully inspiring Impact Theory with host, Tom Bilyeu interviewing legendary teacher, Seth Godin.
You’ll want to view this entire interview, for the gems there. However, this clip below will take you directly to the timestamp where Seth shares about how CBT – Cognitive Behavior Therapy – helped him.
You may also enjoy our article on mental programming.
Hello! I’m LeAura, a philosopher, generalist, autodidactic, personal development advocate, entrepreneur, writer, editor, author, ideator, media publisher, and podcaster, passionate about helping others achieve their best possible life! We’re a media publishing company run by our small family of entrepreneurs, writers, and creators around topics we enjoy, such as gardening, health and fitness, creativity and pets, with more to come.
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