Keeping your own frame: Whose life are you living?

A concept that I’ve found helpful is the idea of frame, the idea of how we frame ourselves and what’s going on in our lives.
And I’ve talked about a related idea with the idea of are you in your story or are you in somebody else’s story? And it’s kind of like that.
It’s like your perspective of how you see your own life.
Are you judging yourself based on what other people think about you? Are you sort of imagining their lives and thinking about how you fit in, how you might be a part of their story, their frame, their perspective? That’s the idea of being in somebody else’s frame.
If we really focus on pleasing somebody, we could say, you know, hoping that somebody else will like us and approve of us, and so we’re thinking about “How do they see the world?” and you know, “How do I appear to them?” And it’s so easy to fall into that, and learning how to be centered in our own frame and developing and training this as a habit seems like it can be a very powerful tool.
We all start life in, you could say, the frame of our parents, because we begin entirely dependent on our parents, and so we sort of see ourselves as fitting into their world, the world that they have created for us, and it becomes, of course, very important to know how we fit with them, and they show us how to interpret the world and what’s good, what’s bad, what’s important, what’s irrelevant.
We’re all absorbing that from our environment.
And when we get a bit older, maybe it becomes the world of the peers, the group of other kids our age, and they have all these standards about, you know, what is good and bad and important and irrelevant, and we are influenced by that.
And we want to fit in with this group of peers, and so we kind of think about their frame and the way that they see the world.
We get older, maybe if we have some kind of a romantic attraction, we can become focused on pleasing the other person, and does this person like me or does this person not like me? And if I do this, will the person like me more or less? Focused on that frame.
And as adults, even fitting into society, we get this frame about what does it mean to be a good person, a correct person, the right kind of person, the kind of person that will be loved and appreciated, admired, accepted? What do we need to believe? What do we need to do in order to be correct, to be approved of? So all these things are valuable parts of our development.
I mean, we learn through feedback from other people around us.
And it’s certainly not entirely negative to have some sense of what other people think of us, and you know, we can get some corrective feedback.
If, you know, if we’re somebody that goes around punching people and then picking our nose, you know, we get to learn “OK, we’re getting some negative feedback here.
This is not making me popular.” And you know, so at least something that you can note and say “OK, maybe there’s something I’m doing wrong here that is leading to me not being accepted and approved of and loved.” So definitely this kind of feedback can be very valuable.
But if we take it too far, and we become too focused on that, especially as we become more mature, we become kind of dependent on other people’s approval.
We become increasingly focused on, you know, “Oh, how can I please them? How can I do things that will give me a good reaction from other people?” And it becomes very externally focused.
And it’s very unreliable too, because people’s opinions can change for all kinds of reasons and like oh, you know, “I used to be a certain way, and that got a lot of good reactions, but now I’m doing the same thing and people don’t like me anymore.” And it can lead to all kinds of self-doubt, because you know, we just we have this great unknown of like “I’m just trying to do the right thing but I’m not getting the approval I want, so what’s wrong?” And so it can be very limiting if we take this too far.
So the idea of taking back frame is this change from being focused on what others think about me to what I think about me, what you think about you.
What is your idea of what a good person is, and what is the right way to be? Becoming centered in yourself, rather than living in somebody else’s frame, trying to imagine how you can fit into this other picture, you have your own picture of what you like and think is good, and now you place yourself within that picture and you can judge yourself based on how you live up to your own values.
So I’d be curious to hear what you think about this idea.
Is this the right way to be, where we focus entirely on our own frame? Or is it still important to feel like we’re part of another frame as well? And how do we balance these ideas?

#frame #yourstory #keepframe

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