I'm not old; I'm vintage
And other fun with reframing
🎂 Happy Birthday to me! 🎂
(Well, technically, it was yesterday—April 24th—but the birthday judges have ruled in my favor and will allow extended celebrations.)
While I’m no spring chicken* (oh, gawd—just realized that reference makes me sound ancient!), I’d like to think that I possess a youthful exuberance and enthusiasm for life that belies my 53 years.
It all comes down to my perspective, mindset, and internal dialogue. While some people lament aging and stress about their birthdays, I’m grateful for each lap around the sun, choosing to embrace the opportunity to celebrate and reflect.
This is called “reframing,” and it’s a helpful technique when dealing with a trying time, whether it’s an anxiety-inducing birthday or a career-related event.
Here’s how to reframe future scenarios so you can thrive:
When you add the word “yet” after a negative statement, it transforms it into a more positive one, implies that there will be a future solution and that the current situation is only temporary.
Swap “have to” with “get to”
When you swap out an “I have to” with “I get to,” everything changes. Having to do something feels like a chore; getting to do something feels like a reward.
Turn “Yes, but...” into “Yes, and...”
When you’re stressed, your reaction to a suggestion might be, “Yes, but...” which shuts things down. Instead, try saying, “Yes, and…” which invites collaboration and builds on ideas.
Find the good
When you find yourself dwelling on a tough situation, try responding by saying to yourself, “This is good because...” and then list all the ways why there might be a positive angle to the current scenario.
Shift from “I’m going through this” to “I’m growing through this”
Going through something is deflating and passive, whereas growing through something is action-oriented, positive, and empowering.
One of the best parts of getting older? Gaining wisdom.
(See how I reframed that? 😉)
Wisdom is the ability to think and act using knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, and insight.
But it transforms into something truly powerful when it is shared.
Because all the wisdom in the world is meaningless without application.
I talk about the benefits of sharing your wisdom in this video:
After all, why gain loads of wisdom if you can’t use it to help others?
In my latest and most EPIC Forbes article (seriously, it’s nearly 4200 juicy words!), I share the 53 lessons I wished I learned (and embraced) earlier in my career.
Consider it my birthday gift to you, my coruscant friend.
And before I go, tell me: What’s the best piece of wisdom you’ve amassed thus far? Please share it in the comments.
P.S. Now that we’re inbox-exclusive, you might want to follow my musings across the interwebs on Forbes, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Clubhouse.
P.P.S. When I’m not writing this newsletter or celebrating my birthday, I’m a social media ghostwriter. (Yep, that’s a thing). I help founders, entrepreneurs, and CXOs craft their stories to communicate and connect better by magnifying their reach and impact. (Think personal branding and thought leadership.) Learn more here.
P.P.P.S. One more thing: You have great taste in newsletters—thanks for subscribing! Be sure to check out the archives to catch up on previous issues, and feel free to share this one with your friends. Or better yet, invite them to join our Illuminate Me tribe!
*Fun fact: The origin of the phrase “no spring chicken” actually comes from its literal meaning. In the early 1700s, farmers found that chickens born in the spring brought better prices than ‘old’ ones that had gone through the winter. When farmers tried to sell the old birds as ‘new spring-born,’ buyers complained that they were ‘no spring chicken’. It wasn’t until 1906 that some clever soul would use its figurative meaning. And no, I’m not that old...err, I mean vintage!
Thank you, Amy! Awesome thoughts...happy birthday 🎂!
Thanks Amy for these insights about moving from a victim mentality ("Have to..." "going through...") to an abundance mentality ("Growing through...). As far as 53, compared to me at 70, 53 is barely middle aged. Best to you from Dale Young.