07 Jul What’s Getting Your Attention? Four Steps To Refocusing!
One of my friends sent me the quote we used in today’s meme. While I’ve said the same thing in many different ways, I really connected to this particular version.
If you don’t like something, just take away its only power: your attention.
If I’m continually focused on what I don’t like, the only one who can change that is me. The same is true for anyone.
True freedom comes when we accept personal responsibility for what is getting our attention.
As long as we stay focused on what we don’t like, we are giving our power to that person, situation, or thing.
You might think, “But Barb, the reason it got my attention in the first place was because I didn’t like it.”
My response would be, “I know.” Those things get my attention too. So when that happens, what do we do?
Here is an example from my life involving my team member, Michelle.
1. Become aware of the story.
“Michelle keeps sending me this other guy’s blogs and telling me how much she loves them. This week’s blog was about not writing boring stuff. I wonder if she thinks my blogs are boring. I bet she does. That’s probably why she is sending them to me. Are my blogs boring? Maybe I should stop writing them. Maybe no one reads them.”
2. Acknowledge the feelings associated with the story.
“I feel shame that my blogs are boring. I feel hurt that no one likes them. I feel confused as to what I should do differently. I feel frustrated that I don’t write better. I also feel frustrated that my team member won’t just tell me if that’s how she feels.”
3. Assess the story. (Is there anything in the story that benefits you?) Whoa!!!!! That was A LOT of mind reading. Not much in that story benefited me. The only thing of value is the question I asked – are my blogs boring? It’s a question I should check in with regularly. How can I make my writing more applicable, engaging and inspiring? AND it was a really good blog that she shared.
4. Write a new story.
“I am really grateful that Michelle is always looking for ways to grow and improve not only herself but our whole team. I appreciate her sharing this blog. It’s really good. I totally get what he’s saying. I wonder how I can make my writing more engaging to really be able to drive home the message, so others share what I write with their team?”
The first story keeps me stuck and feeling bad. It’s all a mind-read too. And even if Michelle does feel that way, it’s good feedback. Being hurt or upset won’t make my blogs better. By writing a new story, I put my attention on what I can control and what I want to create. I take all the negative power away.
The really interesting part of this story is that all of that happened in about 12 seconds. At an earlier stage of life, I wouldn’t have gotten past steps 1 and 2 and those would have been on repeat.
Are you in the driver’s seat of your life, or are you allowing circumstances to drive you? Authentic, sustainable happiness comes from the inside and the way to be authentically happy is to accept responsibility for the stories you are telling yourself.
I use this method daily as my stories pop up. It takes practice, and it’s totally worth it.
I choose JOY!
If you’re feeling stuck, and you want help figuring out the steps to take for getting unstuck, let’s hop on a coaching call. Often, it’s a simple step that can free up huge amounts of energy. The call is free. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your call.