Week 6- Reframing & Examining the Stories We Tell Ourselves

AFS EducationAFS Education Administrator, Moderator, Practitioner admin

Happy Monday & Happy Holiday AFS Fit Family-

We've made it to the second to last week in the No Cave November Challenge.. time has really flown by. I know this will be a busy week for many of us with the holiday, but we sincerely hope you will take a little bit of time to explore this weeks video and content.

This week we are talking about REFRAMING.

We all tell ourselves countless stories everyday. These stories are based on our perception of our environment, our actions, and the things that happen to us or around us. Sometimes these stories are helpful... sometimes they are harmless... sometimes however, the stories we tell ourselves in our heads, and the beliefs we build up around them, can be incredibly damaging, painful, and limiting to our success and potential as a human being. When it comes to these types of stories, the skill of reframing becomes incredibly important.

Check out Devin & Nate's thoughts on reframing in the video below, and we HIGHLY encourage you all to share your reframing stories in the comments below this week.

Have a very Happy Holiday.


Your AFS Fit Family



  • Angela JohnsonAngela Johnson Member Rank ✭6✭

    The reframing I'm most grateful for in 2019:

    • Trusting that it's safe to fly on airplanes.
    • Trusting that I can take 'phone breaks' (leave my phone at home) for an extended period of time and all will be well.

    Even as I typed the above, I had a bit of fast-thinking "oof, now when I get on a plane it's going to crash," "well, it could be the case that someone I love would be in danger" and I had to talk myself through those thoughts. Reframing became a necessity in order for me to travel for work, and provide appropriate attention to friends and family.

    What helped with flying (have been on 18+ planes since July; huzzah) -

    • Sensory support: I ask for ice when I get on a plane to chew, and I squeeze a heart shaped hacky sak (always get checked by security).
    • I've educated myself about the routine sounds airplanes make :-) so as not to create a false narrative in my head.
    • I try not to seek outside affirmation from others that 'my flight will be okay'; helps me think through what my concern may be/factors for it.

    What helped me with phone breaks -

    • Admitting to myself that I was indeed compromising the quality of my relationships by being routinely attached to my phone.
    • Admitting to myself that at times I sought my phone to get me out of socially interacting, and it's more healthy for me to examine why I sought to do that, than choose a comfortable behavior (great points, @Nate Langley in the video re: self admittance/leveling-up).

    Recommended reading that discusses reframing: Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman; Nobel Prize winner in Economic Sciences.

  • Beth ManoogianBeth Manoogian Member Rank ✭7✭

    I have succeeded in my goal of 6 workouts/week except for last week I missed one of my Peloton workouts because my legs were a disaster after FSX squattastrophe. I reframed that not as a failure but as a necessary time to focus on recovery, and to focus on the quality of my workouts over quantity. I have repeatedly proven to myself that I get a better workout in when I am adequately rested and my legs aren’t sore so I took an unplanned rest day and came back to crush my next three workouts. Today I will miss an FSX class Bc AFS isn’t open but rather than blame you guys having lives for me failing at my goal I will do an extra Peloton class and lift at home so as not to miss my workout today! 😂 And I plan to put in a rare bonus appearance in FS class this week. Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah AFS friends! 🎄🎅🏻🏋🏻‍♀️

  • Mike StackMike Stack Member, Administrator, Moderator, Practitioner, AFS Staff admin

    I'm a huge fan or reframing, I think it is such a critical life skill to examine the stories we tell ourselves. One thing that I think is so important to consider with the concept of reframing is awareness. I think you have to be opened to the stories you're even telling yourself first before you even begin to reframe. So many of us walk around unaware of the stories we tell ourselves and the voices that are in our head. How often to you stop to listen to that seemingly pointless mind-chatter? If you stop and listen you might find it's not all that pointless at all. In fact, it can give you tremendous insight into the stories you're telling yourself.

    I know for me personally, I used to be under the illusion that I didn't tell myself any unproductive stories (doesn't that sound like the picture of lack of awareness). I was under this illusion simply because I never took the time to check in on what I was actually telling myself and what I was actually, truly, experiencing. I would go through life not very aware of the thoughts, mind-chatter, and emotions I was feeling throughout my day. Consequently whenever anyone asked how I was feeling, my response would reflexively be "fine" or "good" when in fact there were many times I was anything but fine or good (@Devin Tarrant and @Nate Langley have been always very good at pointing out to me when I say I'm fine/good when in fact, I'm probably not - thanks for that guys).

    My point is this, before you dive deep into reframing, I've found you need to know what you are in most need of reframing. A lot of us are completely unaware. I can say this with confidence because I was completely unaware for the longest time (yet I convinced myself I was aware...it's funny how your self-protective brain tries to keep you away from painful things - isn't it). Once I took the time to get comfortable (with being uncomfortable) and listen to inner-self (through mindfulness/meditation, reflection, and slowing down) I found a whole series of things flying through my mind that could use some reframing.

    As we enter into the holiday season, when things hopefully slow a little bit for many of us (at least with work and professional responsibilities) hopefully this gives each of a chance to sit back and listen to our internal dialogue with ourselves. These are some of the most important conversations we have, but quite often we don't even realize they're going on. Give yourself the amazing Christmas of self-reflection and self-awareness. Take the time to notice your thoughts and question why they exist (don't get caught too much in this process initially, as it can become uncomfortable and maybe even a little painful). Take the time to notice your emotions and try to understand what's cause those to manifest themselves. Again, be cautious about diving too deep initially, but at least start to lean into these thoughts and emotions. Remember as you explore them, you can't control them or make them go away, you can - however - choose how you react and respond to them. One of those responses may be reframing, but it all begins with awareness. Indeed, if the frame has no picture in it in the first place there's nothing to "reframe." Find the picture first, understand it, and then begin the highly positive and productive process of reframing.

    Michael E. Stack, BS CFP CSCS*D CPS
    AGENT OF CHANGE, CEO, & Exercise Physiologist

  • Sawyer Paull-BairdSawyer Paull-Baird Administrator, Moderator, Practitioner, AFS Staff admin

    That's awesome to hear Trish. Thank you for being such an awesome contributor to the support here as well!

    Sawyer Paull-Baird BS CSCS ACSM-EP PN-Lvl1
    Agent of Change / Fitness Innovation & Education Coordinator
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