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Wellbeing & Personal Development

How to reframe your thoughts

Positivity not postponement
Published: April 19, 2023
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By Impact CEO and founder, David Williams.

I woke up this morning at 4.00am thinking about work. It’s a regular thing for me and always has been. One thought that grabbed my attention, causing me to jolt out of my slumber was “today is the day I have to write my company wide weekly update!”  

I love writing, but I hate routine… 

I am sure that for many of you, doing the things you have to do, on a regular basis, can sometimes feel like hard work. I understand the importance of having a good routine, but at the same time, I hate being tied to it.  

For those of you who live alone, I guess you will have the same pattern of jobs that have to be done as me. Washing my clothes, cooking a meal, watering the plants, feeding the birds, cleaning the car etc. They can all seem like chores, and if there is a choice of doing something interesting over something I have to do, I will happily postpone. For those of you who live with others, the same jobs need to be done, but you have the added excitement of arguing over who should do them! 

I love writing but I hate routine. When I think about having to do something, I can resent it. I often find other things to do that feed my curiosity, entertain me, or take my mind away from what I should be doing. So, imagine how pleasantly surprised I was, when looking for other things to do this morning, to come across an article written by Amantha Imber, a psychologist that revealed: 

The simple phrase that will motivate you to do the things you don’t want to do

Imber shared the story of Turia Pitt. A woman who suffered serious burns after being caught in a grassfire whilst competing in a 100km ultramarathon in 2011 – and who went on to become an author, two-time Ironman and a mother. Imber writes: 

“After becoming a mother, Pitt became aware of her own self-talk around feeling as if she had to do certain things. 

‘I have to clean his room, or I have to prepare his food, or have to wash his clothes. When you tell yourself you have to do things, it’s really easy for you to resent them and for them to feel like an obligation and something you don’t actually want to do.” 

After reflecting on the impact that her inner voice was having, Pitt made a simple change. She started saying: “I get to.” 

“I get to pick up my son, I get to play with him, I get to watch him as he grows up. For me, just changing my language suddenly reminded me that it was an opportunity. It was a choice, and it was something that I got to be really grateful for.”

(Taken from Secrets of the most productive people – Fast Company)

How to reframe your thoughts 

Well, I can relate to all of that! Whilst I don’t usually use “get to” as part of my own language, it’s an effective strategy for reframing an activity from being something I am trying to postpone, to being something I am looking forward to doing.  

As CEO I get to shape a lot of my day. Nobody who works for me demands that I write a weekly update! It is something I want to do and I feel honoured to be able to write to my colleagues on a regular basis. We employ over 250 people worldwide, the audience is diverse, and people respond differently to the things I write. In my weekly messages I try to vary my contributions from data-based, factual presentations, through ideas and innovations, to thoughts, feelings and sharing inspirations. It may not all resonate, not everyone will read every message, but I get to choose what I write, and I like that. 

As CEO there are also plenty of things that fill my day that I didn’t consider when I set up Impact over 40 years ago. Today I choose to realign every task. To be grateful that I get to check some budget spreadsheets, that I get to join a conference call when most people are sleeping and that I get to walk and talk with a colleague who needs some support, even though it takes up my scheduled admin time. 

Introducing: “Everything you need” 

We launched our new brand last month. And today we’re sharing a new film with you. It’s about the core of what we believe at Impact. That we have everything we need within. It’s human nature to consider giving up when we fail. To lose hope. But in that exact moment, lies our greatest opportunity to learn. To adapt and do things differently. To change. Helping people and their organisations to reach these pivotal moments is something I’m deeply honoured Impact get to be a part of. Change is a deeply human learning process. But it isn’t always easy. It takes courage and it takes perseverance, and it takes appreciating that we get to make a choice.  

I hope you enjoy it. I’d love to hear what you think.