We are meaning-making machines. As human beings, we are continually making meanings from situations, circumstances and interactions we have. To effectively manage yourself, you must learn how to manage your meaning.
What I mean by “meaning” is the label or the conclusion that you come to about yourself and your situation. For example, you may have a conversation with your manager and the meaning you create from it is that you are failing and you’re going to get fired. I know this is an extreme example, but so often we create extreme meanings in our heads. But from your manager’s perspective, they were simply giving you some feedback because they are under pressure from the CEO to get a key project across the line.
Your meanings are like Play-Doh. We can mold and shape them based around our own beliefs. The truth is that in every situation, you create your own meaning. From a behavioural perspective, they say that nothing has meaning other than the meaning you give it.
I’m curious, are you creating meanings that are serving and supporting your development?
A good way to reframe your meaning is to ask yourself a good quality question.
Here are three good quality questions you can ask yourself to create good meanings:
1. What is great about this?
2. What can I learn?
3. What if there was no such thing as failure but simply feedback? How would I feel?