What comes first???
Posted on 2nd August 2023 at 07:18
Clients often ask us why they don’t seem to be getting the results they desire, particularly where they’ve been putting a lot of time and energy into personal development and it doesn’t seem to be bearing fruit. While it’s very simple in theory – just keep your focus on the direction you wish to go and what you desire – as so often is the case, there are many different variables to take into account.
And, "no, we're not going to ask one of those "chicken and egg" questions, we just couldn't resist the picture!
Anyway, going back to the variables, it’s all too easy for one – or more (!) – to trip people up, without them ever realising it. From there, it’s a very short step to becoming completely disillusioned with the whole process and giving up completely. This is such a shame as, often, only a small “tweak” – or two (!) – is needed to get them back on track and for the first small signs that things are starting to move in the way they desire to appear.
If we were to talk about all the variables, this would be a very long blog post. More like a tome – a large, heavy scholarly book, although probably not the “scholarly” bit (!) – which would be far too much for all concerned, not least us…
So, rather than looking at some of the variables, we’re going to look at more of a background – or consistency – issue. While it may seem very simple – and obvious – once pointed out, we’ve noticed how often it seems to trip people up. This is particularly so when they’re trying to take their lives in a completely new – so unknown – direction.
If you stop and think about it, everything starts in our heads with a thought. “I’d like that” or, just as often, “I don’t want that.” We begin to mull over whatever it is and add our own particular details or spin on it. It’s the creative process in action, although we don’t usually realise what we’re doing – or how powerful it is.
As the thought starts to grow, it soaks up more and more of our attention and energy. It literally starts taking on a life of its own.
We talk about it – words – perhaps to ourselves – yes, we all do it (!) – or with other people. Often surprised by how many things – or people – related to whatever it is start to appear in our lives to help us on our way. However, with all the energy we’re putting into it, this really shouldn’t be a surprise. After all, whatever we focus on grows (!).
Then, finally, all the impetus generated takes us on to the final step in the process. Deeds. We put our thoughts and words into action. The last step of the creative process in achieving whatever it is.
So, why is it that such a simple process – thoughts, words and deeds – so often trips people up?
Well, it’s really all down to us not understanding the process and how we’re using it. And that’s the number one reason why things don’t quite go to plan. We simply don’t know – or forget – that it’s a process, with each step leading on to the next. It all starts with a thought which, in turn, leads on to words – talking about it (!) – and finally on to deeds. Putting it all into action. Each part is equally important, helping to build energy and momentum towards the desired end result.
Unfortunately, all too often, we put most of our energy and focus into the last part of the process. Deeds. Become focussed on action and the need “to do something”. However, if we haven’t done the preparatory work first – becoming clear on exactly what we do desire (thoughts) and then putting that energy out into the world (words) – then we’re making life much more difficult for ourselves. If whatever it is does appear, it usually fails to live up to our rather sketchy thoughts. More likely, it simply fails to appear and all our efforts seem to have been in vain.
Which brings us neatly on to the other simple way we trip ourselves up. And this is where consistency comes in. When we’re focussing on something new and so unknown, it’s easy for the Little Monster in our Heads to undermine our efforts.
Why? Because, to him, anything new is inherently dangerous and best avoided. Put another way, “Here be dragons.” So, he uses the fact that something new is ALWAYS an unknown to stir up all our fears and concerns. These may range from the newness of whatever it is, to our own abilities and what we imagine other people may say / think – as well as everything in between.
Not surprisingly, this internal negative commentary often brings us to a grinding halt before we’ve really started. And, if we do manage to get going, the ongoing internal commentary of “Can we / Can’t we” means we quickly lose our focus.
This internal confusion then ripples out into what we say about it – “Yes, I can, No I can’t” – creating yet more uncertainty and inconsistency. Which makes it no surprise that, when we do take any action, it’s rarely leads to the end result we desire.
We’ve talked before about why nothing in life is to be feared, only understood, and the post can be found here.
The good news is that, once we’re aware of these potential traps, it’s easy to avoid them.
How? By relaxing and enjoying the process. Thinking and imagining whatever it is. Then, sending the energy out to the world as we talk about it, whether to ourselves (!) or others. Finally, putting our words and thoughts into action. Remembering that anything new is always going to feel “different” but this doesn’t automatically mean it’s going to be frightening or dangerous. Exhilarating, yes, frightening, no.
Which is why taking time to mull things over – thought – and doing a little research is so important. And, as we find out more about whatever it is, it becomes less unknown – and so more known – which helps keep us in control and quietens the Little Monster in our Heads.
If you take a moment to look back at some of your successes – and failures (!) – whether large or small, you’ll quickly notice how easily you tripped yourself up. However, now you’re aware of this, it’s much easier to avoid doing so in the future.
And, one final thought before we go.
This process applies to EVERYTHING in life. Yes, EVERYTHING. As we’ve already hinted, it doesn’t matter whether it’s something we desire or want to avoid at all costs. Whether we’re consciously thinking about it or it’s just a vague thought at the back of our minds. The ONLY thing that ever matters is FOCUS and CONSISTENCY.
Put another way, whatever we keep thinking – or talking – about is like asking for it to happen. It really is that simple. And, remember that thinking about what you don’t want isn’t the same as thinking about what you do.
So, if you’re not achieving the results you desire, then it may be time to take a deep breath and a closer look at what you’ve been thinking – and talking – about recently…
As always, the choice is yours.
Photograph by unknown author
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