How we pre-frame our expectations for our life’s outcomes and goals makes a tremendous difference in the results we receive. Positively pre-framing our expectations, thinking “I can do it!” about our goals, will have a tremendous effect on our emotional condition, or feelings, of motivation. Of course, how we feel about our goals will directly affect the results we receive – success or failure.
There are two major conditions that motivate us through emotion, fear and desire. Fear makes us afraid of making mistakes, keeping us from achieving anything great. It forces us to focus on our past failures. Desire, on the other hand, frees us to use more and more of our abilities. It helps us to see ourselves already achieving our goals and dreams.
We can choose to use fear or desire for motivation. Pre-framing is just choosing one or the other of these two types of emotional influences. Trying to avoid losing, when you are motivated by fear, can be described as failure avoidance. Expecting to win, when you are motivated by desire, can be described as positive pre-framing.
An example of positive pre-framing versus failure avoidance can be easily seen through sports illustrations. If a receiver is trying not to drop the ball to keep from being benched, he is using failure avoidance. If he is trying to catch the ball to win the game he is using positive pre-framing. If a volleyball player is trying not to hit the ball into the net to lose a point, she is using failure avoidance. If she is trying to spike the ball so her team can regain the serve, she is using positive pre-framing. If a Taekwondo student is preparing to break a board and is worrying about getting hurt, they are using failure avoidance. If they focus on driving the strike or kick through the board, they are using pre-framing.
Using positive pre-framing is a more useful way to achieve your goals. In fact, using failure avoidance only sets you up to fail at your goals. When you tell yourself, “I sure hope I don’t blow this presentation.” you’re putting negative expectations into your mind. You’ve set yourself up for failure. When you tell yourself “I’m sure excited about giving this presentation” your letting yourself think successfully. You’re using your emotions to propel you toward a successful outcome. You’re positively pre-framing your mind for success!