Have you noticed how people often fail to take best advantage of the opportunities they have in life because they are fearful of the consequences? Or rather, they are fearful of what they think the consequences might possibly be in some kind of worst case scenario, that they create in their heads.

I know I've done that from time to time, and I'm fairly certain that you have too.

Taking that thought, and continuing from the ideas that I was talking about on Saturday, I want to probe a little more into our human preference for the familiar, relating it to the ongoing political manoeuvrings.

I am astounded by the apparently limitless blows to life as we know it that are about to be rained down on our fair land by that most feared of all pestilences, the  dreaded Hung Parliament!

According to articles and comment I have come across, the Hung Parliament (which has seemingly taken on a life of it's own in some publications) is now marauding across the country like some rapacious hell hound, slavering and flashing its teeth as it prepares to wreak havoc on all that we hold dear. I have seen it variously held responsible for the imminent:

  • Collapse of the housing market
  • Collapse of "the markets" in general
  • Collapse of the pound
  • Collapse of all international faith in the UK
  • Destruction of any form of strong government (which, apparently can only be provided by a single party imposing their will unchallenged by any other views)
  • Destruction of the "fragile" economic recovery
  • Destruction of vast swathes of our valued traditions
  • Destruction of almost everything that makes Britain great
  • Ceding all our power to the EU
  • Instant and disastrous membership of the Euro

And, of course, turning the UK into Italy - which had 32 governments between 1970 and 2000 (although only 1 for the last ten years).

Now if you choose to look at things through a certain lens, then that may well be the future you foresee. In the same way that if an individual looks at their own future through a lens created from all the things that could go wrong in their life, they are likely to be very resistant to take any action that might cause a change from their present state.

There is a simple technique I use when coaching which is called reframing. Essentially it involves looking at your life, and instead of viewing it through all the negative stuff, reframing it (or to extend my earlier metaphor, changing the lens) so that a different view of what is possible becomes available.

So, for example, if we were to reframe the current political situation in the UK, we might start by choosing Germany rather than Italy as our frame of reference. In Germany, coalition governments have been the norm since 1949 when self government was first returned after the war.

Now, I think most people would agree that Germany today is one of the strongest and most successful economies in Europe. And it has achieved this with a continuing succession of "Hung" Parliaments.

Keeping it simple, let's use that as the frame for the current situation in the UK.

Looking through that frame, then:

  • What might be possible for our future?
  • How likely are all the outcomes listed earlier to occur?
  • What positive results might be produced?

Are you starting to see what I mean about reframing?

So now, here's the bit for you -

  1. Take an area of your life or business, where you are currently having difficulty.
  2. Consider what frame you are looking at it through.
  3. How does that frame affect your view?
  4. What different frame could you use that would give you fresh and more powerful choices?
  5. What becomes possible with your new frame?
  6. Invent three actions you can take as a result of your reframe that will positively impact your situation.
  7. Start taking those actions now.
  8. Let me know how you get on by commenting here.
  9. Relax and enjoy!
  10. Apply to another area of life or business.
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