A frame can be thought of as a way of looking at the world (often, in a particular context). Frames are driven by beliefs or constellations of beliefs. We use our frames to make sense of and to navigate the world. Our frames control how we interpret information and how we feel about what happens.
They can control what resources we have available and how resourcefully we respond.
For example: Someone could have a ‘poverty consciousness’ about the possibility of getting a job. Through that frame, the person might feel defeated when they try job hunting, might not be as thorough in their job search because, ‘there are no good jobs out there anyway,’ and might lack confidence in an interview.
Another person might view a job hunt through a ‘I am looking for a job that fits my needs’ lens. They might also have an ‘I only need one job’ attitude. To them, it might be less material how many jobs are available overall.
Frames Are Not Just About Positive Thinking
A frame can be more encompassing than positive thinking. A woman who has an, ‘all men are pigs’ frame, looking at the glass as half full might lead her to think “At least I’ll have plenty of bacon.”
A woman who has an ‘there are good men and not so good men’ might be an optimist and think, “I’m going to make sure I find one of the good ones!”
And a woman who has a belief that all men are wonderful might not perceive a bad guy as bad at all.
Frames Are Large And Small
We have large frames (life is good) and small frames (high school basketball is more interesting than pro ball). The large ones (of course) affect wide swaths of our lives.
Are Our Frames Serving Us?
It’s useful to examine our frames from time-to-time and question whether or not they’re the best frames for us. One measure–are we experiencing the results we want? If not, we might consider changing our frame.
While most view beliefs as facts, if you think about it, it’s probably not true. You used to believe in the tooth fairy, right? Beliefs change over time. I like to think of them in terms of their usefulness rather than their truthfulness.
Accuracy has its place, of course. The more accurate model of the world you have, the more you understand how things work and that can help you get things done!
It’s a good idea to examine the results you’re getting in the major areas of your life; spiritual, financial/career, health and relationships. Ask yourself, are you getting the results you want? If not, think of someone who is doing like you’d like to do. Examine their frames in that context.
You can use a belief change process to shift your beliefs to be more similar to theirs.
More about frames…