I have used this sentence with both my therapy/coaching clients and for my webinars/courses for a long time, and for good reasons:
Our focus shapes our experience, and our experience shapes our focus.
If we focus on approval of others being our biggest source of feeling worthy, we will always chase it. And never feel worthy in the end.
If we focus on what makes us different and not “belong”, it is all we will see. And we will never feel as if we belong.
If we focus on our weakness and the negative (even if the goal is to eliminate it), it will become all that matters. And we will never see our strengths and the positive.
What we focus on expands. If we focus on everything that hurts and haunts us, we will stay stuck in that hurt, and it will keep on haunting us.
I am not saying that shifting the focus is easy, because it isn’t
I am also not saying that we should pretend these thoughts and feelings don’t exist, because they do, and that’s okay.
What I am saying, however, is that language shapes, sometimes even creates, our reality. If our language focuses on everything we don’t like, don’t want and what makes us different, it will become our reality.
It is possible to shift the focus to the things we want, our strengths, what makes us belong. We are unique – some might think that’s the same as different, but it’s not. “Being unique” means there’s only one you – that doesn’t mean you don’t belong. “Being different” focuses on what separates you from others – and it’s much harder to belong that way.
Shifting the focus is hard work, because our brain likes established neural pathways
Walking a well trodden path is always much easier than cutting through the weeds and carving out a new one. And sometimes, there are reasons why carving out that new path doesn’t work, we need support and can’t do it alone.
If you do one little thing today, make it watching the way you talk to yourself, about yourself, and how you talk about your relationship to others. Because that will become your reality.
What you focus on expands…