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Do you have an internal or external frame of reference?

An external frame of reference might mean ‘No ice cream’

It affects your confidence levels and happiness

Let me explain how an external point of reference sparks your insecurities and undermines your confidence.

External frame of reference

If you have an external frame of reference you are seeking approval from an external source, another person. You want to do the right thing, you are looking for positive feedback and you believe others know better than you do.

The child who is asked: ‘Do you want an ice cream?’ is looking to its mum for approval before answering the question. It doesn’t have the confidence to give a straight answer as it is worried that it will be told off.

The mum who is asked about organizing an evening out can’t make up her mind about where to go as she is trying to please all 6 participants. She doesn’t have the confidence to decide as she is worried that she will ‘get it wrong’.

If you live aiming to please others and acting in a way that they will approve of, you are actually neglecting your own opinions and maybe even your own values. You are walking on eggshells and nervous about feedback. As you can’t look into the mind of others you never know if you are doing something right. You are constantly waiting to hear. And will feel a sense of relief when you get that positive feedback.

Have you got an external frame of reference?

  1. Do you value other people’s opinions more than your own?
  2. Are you quick to think ‘I got it wrong’?
  3. Do you go ‘with the flow’ and easily adapt to others wishes?
  4. Are you often changing your mind?
  5. Can you hear yourself say ‘I am not sure’ a lot?
  6. Do you find it hard to make choices?

These are all signals that you have an external frame of reference, which is not helpful for confidence and happiness. Let’s talk about it and let me help you to develop an internal frame of reference and give you more control over your life and your relationships. Click here to book.

Internal frame of reference

If you have an internal frame of reference you listen to yourself, consider your values and opinions as the ‘right’ ones. If you know that your intention is positive and your action is responsible, then you are not interested in what other people think of it.

The child who is asked: ‘Do you want an ice cream?’ will beam and enthusiastically say yes. It speaks its own mind.

The mum who is asked about organizing an evening out will go through the options and decide to book a certain venue before communicating it to the group. Knowing this venue would work, she is confident that she has made a good decision. And she’ll think ‘I can’t please everyone, but this should be okay’.

If you live from an internal frame of reference you are confident about your decisions. You will accept you can’t please everyone, but you will be pretty relaxed about it. Any negative feedback won’t be taken personally. You will just shrug your shoulders and get on with it.

Have you got an internal frame of reference?

  1. Do you value your own opinion?
  2. Are you open to other people’s opinions, without straight away thinking that they are right?
  3. Do you think through your opinions?
  4. Are you open to change your mind?
  5. Can you hear yourself say ‘I am right’ a lot?
  6. Do you find it easy to make choices?

These are all signals that you have an internal frame of reference, which is usually helpful for confidence and happiness. However, it is important to stay open to other people’s opinions and ideas.

 

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Posted in Anxiety, Confidence, Stress
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