Two weeks, I challenged you to a 45 day exercise that will transform your life. After fourteen days are you still focusing on what is working?
Most Succeed On Purpose followers have heard the story of “You Get What You Focus On” however, this post is not about the lesson itself. This is about how to apply that lesson and make it work. We all know that we get what we focus on, but how can we actually change what we focus on?
I’ve noticed that people struggle to not only to adjust focus, but also to maintain that change.
3 Techniques for Changing Focus
There are three techniques to equip you to actually change your focus:
- Evaluate What Shows Up
- Deal with the Difficult, but Don’t Focus on It
- Realign Focus to What is Working
We have previously focused on Technique 1. This week we are going to focus on Technique 2.
Technique 2: Deal with the Difficult, but Don’t Focus on It
It took a few more years
(okay, more like ten) to learn this technique. In spite of how I evaluated what
showed up, which certainly assisted in my ability to change my focus…difficult
stuff still happened.
that difficult stuff showed up (illness, career issues, money issues,
relationship issues) invariably, I’d lose focus on what was working and move it
to those pesky little issues that had shown up. For a long time, I rationalized
that I didn’t have a choice in the situation. What was I to do, avoid the
difficult stuff or focus on it? Of course, I had to focus on those issues in
order to deal with them, I argued. Makes sense, right?
grandfather’s words of wisdom repeating themselves in my head (You Get What You
Focus On), when life’s challenges showed up, I saw no alternative but to focus
on them. Again, I rationalized that I had to focus in order to overcome them. The
little Rocky Balboa – Eye of the Tiger spirit inside me enjoyed overcoming
issues. After all, I was good at it.
a friend gets a divorce. I need to support her, and I need to tell everyone I
know that I am supporting her (insert focus). Oh, my relationship fell apart,
so I have to take time out to address this matter and to talk to others about
it (insert focus). Oh, I hate my boss and/or my job, so I complain about it all
the time (insert focus).
To deal with
stuff, I thought I had to focus on that stuff. Boy, was I wrong.
happens, period. It’s how we look at that stuff which determines its value
(good or bad). So learn to deal with it, but don’t focus on it.
difference? How can we deal with the bad stuff that happens in our life without
focusing on it? I have two tips.
Don’t talk about bad stuff to anyone who isn’t involved
How many times has
someone told you his or her problems even though you couldn’t help and had
nothing to do with it? How many times have you told people your problems even
though they couldn’t help and had nothing to do with it? How many times do we
complain about the weather? Too many, right? Me too.
When we talk
about issues, especially to people who can’t help or others who are not
involved, we give those issues focus. And when we give issues focus, guess what
we’re focused on, and guess what we get? More issues.
This will be
an extreme example, but it’s important to the lesson. My mom’s health is
rapidly declining. I am worried and know that her days are numbered. I haven’t
told anyone other than my very close friends. I haven’t told people, not
because I don’t care, and not because I don’t want people to know. I don’t talk
about it because most people really can’t do anything about it. Unless I
specifically need their support, or it’s relevant to something we’re working
on, I just don’t talk about it.
that may seem odd. But know that because I’ve learned how to get what I focus
on, that I have also learned not to talk about anything to anyone unless they
can specifically do something about it.
cases, what we talk about are all the little things that are wrong with our
lives. The IRS did this, the government did that, my husband did this and my
boss did that.
these issues to anyone who will listen. What we don’t realize is that every
time we retell a story, we’re changing our focus to that negative story.
ABOUT ISSUES! Stop telling stories about them. Deal with them, but stop talking
Stop making drama an excuse for bad choices
I used to have an issue
with being on time. (Okay, my Controller would still say that is true, but
that’s a blog post for another day!) I had good reasons for being late: A
customer called a fire drill and pulled me away from my schedule. My car broke
down or I had a flat tire. An employee was having marital issue and needed
consoling. You get the picture. All very good reasons.
The truth is
that those are also really good excuses. The truth is that I over-scheduled
myself (because of my need to be busy) so much that I didn’t leave time in my
day for the normal “fire drills” that just naturally came up. The truth is that
this didn’t happen occasionally, it was a pattern of behavior. And, the hardest
part to accept was that I was choosing to repeat this pattern.
pattern repeats itself in our lives — it’s actually a choice, and believe it or
not, we do have complete control to make new choices. However, we allow
ourselves to use daily drama as an excuse for a poor choice, which means we’re
actually refocusing on the drama. And when we focus on the drama, and use it as
an excuse, we’re actually creating more drama because “we get what we focus
on.” That’s right. By using drama as an excuse, and retelling the drama, we are
unconsciously creating more drama.
on the drama and accept responsibility for poor choices.
Are you continuing to focus on negative aspects of situations? Remember to deal with the difficult, but don’t focus on it!