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Reframe the Sweat

You may remember I recently mentioned beginning a new exercise program: 80 Day Obsession.

Let me just say… it is not for the faint at heart.

I’m challenged daily!

As I was leaving it all on the floor a few days ago (as in pool of sweat) the instructor, Autumn, said something that grabbed my attention.

“Grab a towel…. just don’t throw it in.”

That actually inspired me to hang in through 8 rounds of “cardio flow” because I really wanted to do the hard work and finish.

Less than an hour later another mentor of mine, Mark Cole, inspired me as he explained insanely practical steps for dealing with people who you may perceive “don’t like you.”

And in essence… he said the same thing, “Grab a towel… just don’t throw it in.”

More specifics on that in a minute.

Both of those events triggered a memory of words in Bonnie St. John’s book, Micro-Resilience.

I know this feels disjointed right now, but I promise… the connection’s coming!

In a nutshell; reframing.

Allow me to unpack….

Bonnie lays out the power of the ABCDE reframing technique, pioneered by psychologist Albert Ellis.

My simplified explanation:

· Someone says or does something (called A for action)

· The consequences we feel (C) seem to be caused by that

· Our leap over B (our beliefs about the action) actually shape the consequences we feel

It happened to me in my work out!

Autumn told us we’d be doing 8 rounds of something I’d only done 6 times before (action).

I was shocked at how quickly my mind said, “Oh no you can’t! That is going to be too hard. Just do the six and call it good.” (Consequence would be to quit early.)

Maybe you’ve had this experience…. a person said something to you that left you feeling upset or disappointed.

Here’s where the D comes in.

The model encourages you to dispute your beliefs (argue with yourself) to change your point of view.

“They said that to hurt me,” shifts to, “They were bothered by something else and directed that toward me.”

The E stands for “energizing new beliefs with actions that will lead to favorable consequences.”

Sounds so simple.

Not always...

But, this is where Mark’s insanely practical actions gave me hope and encouragement.

I’ll admit, uncomfortable, awkward, or even heated exchanges with other people can do a number on our minds and our emotions.

Depending on how WE are wired the potential for that to derail our work and our demeanor can be disastrous.

And when it happens over time there can be a tendency for us to NOT respond well.

We may:

· Hide (avoid them at all costs but not realize we’re expending energy hiding)

· Hinder (become passive-aggressive and less cooperative; which hurts the whole team)

· Harm (try to punish the person; causing us to lose integrity)

How do we reframe that?

It’s how we approach D and E, disputing all of our “seemingly justified reasons for feeling the way we do” and putting our energy into taking the high road.

And here is where we have to resist throwing in the towel and instead grab one… believing, “I may have to sweat to get through this but it’s worth it in the long run.”

To do that Mark said:

· Process our emotions (feel them, work through them and move on)

· Look for common ground (find and focus on some point of agreement with the person)

· Be consistently pleasant (yep… kill them with kindness)

“Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of strength and resolution.” ~ Kahil Gibran

· Solve problems (add value by implementing solutions, it might soften their attitude toward you)

· Go the extra mile (do your job… and then some)

Now, I acknowledge that focusing energy on doing ALL of that work may not change the other person… but it WILL change you.

Whether your work out is strictly physical or all emotional and mental… throwing in the towel takes a LOT less effort.

But grabbing a towel after a successful finish?

That strengthens you and reframes the sweat as “totally worth it.”

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