Manifest Yourself, LLC founder, Kimberly Cummings is a woman you should familiarize yourself with if you haven’t already. In a mission to coach professionals to create a dynamic career and lifestyle, Cummings has done just that! When asked to describe her work, she said, “I want to see women and people of color WIN in the workforce; that’s really all. So many of us feel overlooked, undervalued, and underpaid, but in my opinion, a lot of that is due to being underprepared and not having a clear strategy for career growth. And that’s where I come in.” If that doesn’t draw you into this interview, we don’t know what will. Join in on our exclusive interview with Kimberly Cummings as she drops a couple gems for our SHEEN audience.

Why is reframing your thoughts important?

Many times we underestimate the power of our own thoughts. Not to get all woo-woo, but manifestation is all about reframing your thought patterns. The mantra for my business is “You must believe in yourself and your vision. When you do this, you will manifest the life you desire.” I say this because it’s what has worked for me and my clients over time. When you reframe your thoughts, you begin to change your actions which also changes your outcomes.

Now I don’t believe that you can sit cross-legged under a big willow tree and simply manifest your hearts desire; but if you take intentional steps to reframe your thoughts and support that with new, supportive actions – you’ll begin to see changes in your life.

If someone is just now learning about reframing their thoughts, what is the first step?

The first step is acknowledging your current thoughts and affirmations. We all have consistent phrases that we tell ourselves that support or detract from our goals; those are affirmations. “I really don’t think that’s possible for me because….”, “My parents always said that….”, “I just don’t trust that…”, “My experience has always been…” – these are all normal thoughts that we reaffirm every day. It’s like playing your favorite playlist all day, but it doesn’t make you feel good and you can’t bring yourself to shut it off.

I used to move right into sharing positive affirmations, but I find that it’s more helpful to reframe your own thought first. My therapist actually shared a process with me that I now love to share with clients before introducing new affirmations. First you identify the automatic thought that you have, then state how it makes you feel. Next, you rate that thought on a scale of 1-10 with 1 being terrible and 10 being amazing. Then you reframe the automatic thought, state the new feeling, and rate the new feeling. For example:

Automatic thought: I’m not good enough to ask for a higher salary or go after my new job.

Feeling: I feel overlooked and undervalued.

Rate: 3

New thought: I am worthy of going after a new job, higher salary, and finally being happy at work.

Feeling: I feel empowered

Rate: 7

Make sense? It takes a little bit of time to get this down, but this is the first step that I share with my clients looking to overcome negative thought patterns that don’t support their goals.

So your clients work on reframing their thoughts, but what happens after that? How does it start to “work”?

You’ve got to commit to reinforcing the reframing process to truly change your mindset. It’s not enough to simply go through this reframing process and then “poof!” you’ll feel better. It’s a daily process that has to be repeated; especially when you may be feeling frustrated and not aligned with the reframed thoughts.

I also created a set of affirmation cards, 20 Affirmations to Manifest More In Your Life, so my clients can have little reminders throughout the day. I recommend that they flip through the affirmations daily, place their favorites on their desk at work or bathroom mirror, rewrite the ones that resonate with them most in a journal; it’s an active process. When you consistently begin to reframe the thoughts and reinforce them with new positive affirmations, over time the reframed thoughts and affirmations will become the natural thoughts. And that’s where all of the magic happens.

When does the action come in? We’ve reframed our thoughts, recited affirmations, but what everyone is really seeking is change or success on their own terms.

Very true! And probably one of the most important pieces. When you’re crystal clear on your objective or goal, it’s important to start taking action to support that. Many times we simply work on improving our thoughts, but we never improve our actions.

For example, if the goal is to have an influential role in your company and you’ve reframed your thoughts to say something like “I deserve a seat at the table and I have an important skill set that supports the goals of the company”, but you still play small in the workplace; you won’t see much change.

I’m a big believer that we all know what we need to do deep down, so saying “I don’t know what to do” is more of a copout response versus the reality of the situation. Using the same scenario above, this employee probably knows that s/he has never asked their boss what they would need to do to be eligible for a higher level role. Making that ask would be the first step, and then following through with the recommendations. If you’re really unclear, then it may be time to start investing time in finding mentors, teachers or coaches to help you navigate what the actionable steps need to be so you can finally start creating changes in your life.

If you have a clear idea but need a process to outline and plan to take action, I generally share my Stop Dreaming & Start Planning workbook or workshop to provide clarity and a plan to any goal.

Any final advice? 

Commit to making the changes that will bring you closer to your personal definition of success. Success is relative, so what may be good for me, may not be what you define as success and visa versa. And most importantly, do the work. Affirmations, reframing your thoughts, and creating a plan won’t get you to where you want to be; it’s the combination of all 3 AND your actions.

Kimberly B. Cummings is the founder of Manifest Yourself, LLC, a career and leadership development company created to help women and people of color navigate the world of work, make more money and become industry leaders.

For more on Kimberly Cummings, follow her on Instagram, & Twitter.

Featured Image by Shanel Smith Photography