In working with clients in therapy and in coaching, I have found that there are themes that pop up. I will have multiple clients struggling with the same type of hurdle and needing to shift their habits simliar ways. When I recognize this pattern, I do two things: 1.) I take heed of the universe’s hint that if this is affecting a few of my clients, it most likely is affecting many others. 2.) I look at my own life and patterns to see how this is something that I need to work on myself.
The theme that has popped up this week is one of focusing on what we do want rather than what we don’t want.
The problem grows as we get caught up in funneling our energy and attention toward what we don’t want rather than using our efforts to grow what we do want instead. And we have been trained into this pattern based on our society’s influence. For example, the years and years of energy poured into the War on Drugs has not eradicated the availability of illegal drugs. The more recent war against guns has led to more people having more guns and more high-powered weapons than ever before.
History has shown that when we pour time, energy, money, and effort into what we don’t want, it does not effectively work to stamp out the issue.
As I work with others on this issue in their own lives, I see how easy it can be to get caught up in thinking about what we don’t want be it phyiscal pain, stress at work, turmoil in a relationship, the extra 20 pounds, etc. These things are uncomfortable and it’s natural to want to be free of them. However, when we are constantly thinking about and focusing on the thing we don’t want, it only gives it more power in our lives. We can become obsessed with the one thing we want to be free of.
So, we must funnel our efforts into focusing on what we do want instead. When we take the time and energy to work toward what we want in our thoughts, actions, and especially feelings, we can get there much more quickly and find the things we don’t want falling away. It is also very helpful to find others who are also working toward the same or similar goals like an accountability partner, support group, or a tribe of people going in the desired direction.
As we are careening toward a new year and a time of reassessing and goal setting, I would like to encourage you to focus on what you do want in your life. How do you want to feel? How do you want to think? Who do you want to be? Determine these things and then find one way today to act as if you are that person. When we act on what we do want, we get more of it.
Give it a try and see how it feels. Yes, you will still focus on what you don’t want at times, but when you notice yourself doing that, try to shift your attention to what you want in its place.
Reach out and we will chat about it. We can make a plan together to help you get where you want to go. I would be happy to help.
And I will be practicing right along with you.
Chat again soon,