4 Steps to Reframe Your Lies into Truth

By now I’m sure you’re aware that we’re into the final quarter of 2018. Kinda crazy, huh?

There’s been lots of chatter in the online world about planning your last 90 days of 2018 instead of thinking “It’s too late. The year’s almost over. I’ll just wait for January 1.” We still have 3 whole months to accomplish some of those big goals from January. Don’t quit yet!

How we approach the final quarter (or any season, for that matter) has a lot to do with one thing. Oftentimes we have to REFRAME the story! The stories we tell ourselves influence how we approach the time and opportunities in front of us. Remember when you were little and perhaps someone chided you for “telling stories”? Used in that context, “telling stories” really means “telling lies,” and isn’t that what many of our stories have become? They’re lies. Lies that keep us stuck or eat away at our confidence and self-worth. It’s time to call it what it is and reframe those lies into truth.

If you’re wondering what that looks like or how you can possibly do that, stick with me. 2018 has been dubbed my "year of reframing," a habit that I hope to carry into 2019 and beyond. It’s not something I planned to do. It happened slowly over many months, through journaling, through prayer, through conversations with friends, through being fed up with lies of I can’t, I don’t, or I’m not – stories that weren’t serving me well or moving me forward.

Just as feeding your body crap every day will never make you healthy, feeding your mind and soul crappy thoughts will never make you healthy where it really matters. So if, like me, you’re tired of telling yourself the same messed up stories, here’s your call to reframe it. 

I've boiled it down to 4 steps and I'll share exactly how I used those steps to reframe my 3 biggies this year. (And please know that for these 3 there are at least 3 more that are still “in process.” That’s for another day…)

4 steps to reframe your story from lies into truth, by Michelle Clayton

4 Steps to Reframe your Lies into Truth:

  1. What's the lie? What are you telling yourself and, more importantly, is it true? It may be a seemingly inconsequential thought until you stop to analyze it.

  2. Why do you think that? What’s the reason behind your thoughts? What circumstances, people, events, etc. caused you to come to that conclusion?

  3. What’s the truth? What’s the reality about the story you’re telling yourself? You can’t just exchange one lie for another. 

  4. What’s the reframe and can you believe it? The reframe has to be believable for YOU, otherwise you’ll be back at Step 1.

Using this framework, here are 3 lies I’ve reframed this year.

Lie #1 | I don’t run (unless I’m being chased by a bear or axe murderer).

This is one that has stuck around my entire life. I don’t even know how young I was when I started believing it.

Why do I think that?

Because every time I tried running, it hurt. Badly. My joints couldn’t seem to take it so I figured some people were meant to run and some were not. Then one day late last Spring I got this hair-brained idea – what if I COULD run? It happened around the time our daughter’s school had their annual 5K fundraiser so I’m sure that had something to do with it. What if I could run this 5K next year instead of walking most of it?

What’s the truth?

I never learned HOW to run, and the experts tell me there are good ways and not-so-good ways to learn, depending on the individual. The way my well-intentioned, marathon-running friend tried to teach me in June was not-so-good for me and left me with injuries to recover from. Once I healed and consulted with my doctor, I started on a very slow progression of a 9-week “Couch to 5K” program where you progress through walking and running intervals until you reach the 5K goal. I emphasize that it’s a 9-week program because by now I’m approximately 16 weeks into it and I’m not running anything near 5K. In fact I only ever got up to Week 4 (which was exciting because at this point the intervals are more running than walking) until another injury sidelined me (injury not due to running this time). So I went back to Week 2. And now I’m at Week 3. It’s been a very slow journey.

My doctor also informed me that people with my build (long, small bones) are more prone to running injuries, so this may not be in my long-term future. But I’m still giving it a cautious try with other supporting exercises. The biggest surprise is that I really enjoy it. Who knew?

What’s the reframe and can I believe it?

Technically right now I DO run even if it’s only in short intervals. Down the road, maybe I’ll reach my goal or maybe I’ll find it isn’t the best form of exercise for me. It’s ok to go at my own pace. Was I running 5K in 9 weeks? Nope. Does it matter? Nope. Knowing that I was sitting at my desk for way too many hours got me motivated to get off my butt. Knowing we’re headed into cold, dark, snowy winter has me asking whether this is sustainable. I thought I’d have September and October to make some more progress, but we’re buried in snow already. I don’t have a lot of answers. I just know I’ve found something I enjoy and the answers will come.

If you’re curious, I use 2 free tools for running: the handy little podcast NHS Couch to 5K coaches me through my running sessions so I don’t have to watch the clock, and the app Runkeeper tracks my jaunts and tosses virtual confetti when I hit a new milestone!

Lie #2 – I’m not a good cook. 

I have to preface this by telling you that we've hosted literally hundreds of people in our homes over the past 20+ years of marriage. Many times that was 40 guests for Christmas dinner. Sometimes that was one person for 5 weeks straight. And everything in between. For us, hosting always includes cooking. Some of you have shared those meals with us. Yet it dawned on me that I’ve convinced myself that I’m a bad cook which is kinda ridiculous.

Why do I think that? 

Over the years I’ve allowed the idea that I really don’t LIKE to cook to mean that I CAN’T cook. And they’re not the same thing at all. I think it has had a lot to do with motherhood and feeling responsible to cook for our family. It doesn’t come natural or easy to me. I don’t love to be in the kitchen dreaming up new concoctions. It’s messy. It takes time. I usually have to follow a recipe. Add to that a celiac diagnosis for myself and our youngest daughter and a recent dairy intolerance for our oldest daughter, and meals end up feeling like a lot like work.

What’s the truth? 

I don’t enjoy cooking. I don’t enjoy the time, planning, and shopping it requires. I despise crowded grocery stores. I don’t like working around our family’s food issues. I’d rather spend my time doing other things.

What’s the reframe and can I believe it? 

I’m a good cook; it just isn’t something I really enjoy. And that’s ok. However, my family needs to eat, so what can I do to make it more enjoyable and less hassle? There are several available tactics (including recruiting help from the rest of my family, making double batches so we have left overs, and choosing simple, repeatable recipes), but I’ve learned that I do best when I take time to meal plan, even if I don’t always do it perfectly or consistently.

I use a combo of printed recipes in a binder and a great little app called Plan To Eat where I can upload my own recipes or add them from the internet with their handy web clipper. The best feature is that I can make a weekly plan online (and save and reuse it again later), and it will generate my grocery list. And when I’m super organized, I can even do most of my grocery shopping online which saves one more of those dislikable steps. Plan To Eat is $39 annually but they always run a Black Friday weekend sale for 50% off. Totally worth $20, in my opinion! If this is a struggle area for you too, you can try the referral link here.

Lie #3 – I’m not a good writer.

I can only justify this one based on the feedback from my “writer friends” who tell me this isn’t true. So I started wondering why I believed this so deeply.

Why do I think that?

Because writing is HAAARD! And, like cooking, I convinced myself that if something was hard it meant I wasn’t good at it. Wrong!

What’s the truth?

Writing is time- and energy-consuming. I’ll probably never be someone who can sit down and crank out a blog post in 2 hours. And if I have to do a lot of writing, it’s completely draining, as are most things that don’t come naturally. I have really good grammar, thanks to my high school English teacher, but it’s taken a while to transition from stuffy, grammar-police style writing to finding my own voice.

What’s the reframe and can I believe it?

I’m a decent writer (I still don’t honestly say “good writer” – I’m working on that), but I have to allow myself more time than most to do a good job. And it is quite literally exhausting. I can design for 12 hours straight and be so pumped at the end that I can hardly fall asleep. After 12 hours of writing I’m usually a sobbing mess, as evidenced by that first fateful night of my rebrand journey. I also have to remind myself that I’ve been designing for 25 years. I’ve been writing for only 2-1/2. So it stands to reason that one of these is going to feel much harder than the other. Have I grown and improved over the past few years? Absolutely. Do I still have a ways to go? Yup. Is it getting easier over time? Again yes.

I’ve also learned that sometimes you gotta call in the troops. When I rebranded, I knew my entire website needed to be rewritten and that thought left me paralyzed. So I hired help. Ericka was my weapon of choice. She’s a talented copywriter and, more than that, she was able to capture my words and thoughts and write them in a way that sounded just like me. If it hadn’t been for her, I’d still be crying in my coffee. Sometimes you have to know what your time and sanity are worth, and choose to make the investment in order to save both. If you’re in need of an awesome copywriter who’s also a pure delight to work with, you can read more about Ericka here. 

So what lies are you telling yourself?

Have you stopped long enough to hear the negative thoughts that are pulling you down?

What reframe do you need in these last 90 days of 2018 to finish strong and healthy (mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually)? I’d love to know.