Focus on What's There, Not What's Missing
Do you see a star full of lights?
Do you see the one burnt out light?
In life, most people will focus on the one little insignificant light that’s not working, and then miss out on all the other lights.
When you focus on what’s missing, you miss out on what’s there.
I think this star is a representation of all of us - shiny and beautiful, with that one little spot of darkness. However, if you focus on that one tiny spot, it grows and grows, until it’s hard to even see the lights anymore, or the beauty surrounding it.
While it’s important to acknowledge the spot sometimes, staring at it will not change anything. Action is required. In the star’s case, you’d change the bulb.
When it comes to any inner darkness you may have, there are 3 things you can do with your negative thoughts:
When it comes to thoughts, it’s no different. If you’re thinking a thought that isn’t serving you in that moment, change the thought. Just like television -- if you don’t like the program, change the channel. Hum a tune, sing a song, call a friend, or just tell yourself something different. You can’t focus on two things at once, so if the thought keeps coming back, you’re allowing it back in. Just continue changing the thought until you don’t need to change it anymore.
2 - Reframe the thought. It’s like in the picture, you can see the beautiful star or you can see the burnt out light. Even though you can’t change the picture you’re looking at, you can always change the way you’re looking at it.
Ask yourself, “Where’s the beauty in this picture?” As soon as you ask your mind to find the beauty, it will.
When dealing with unmet goals or expectations, ask yourself, “What’s the lesson I’m meant to learn, that will help me in the future?” When you ask a better question, you’ll get a better answer. I promise.
3 - Challenge the thought. This is actually my favorite because it has such a big impact on people who’ve never done it before. Don’t stop at those nasty little “what if” questions, like “What if she says no?” or “What if I fail?”
Instead, answer the question! And do it with some good ol’ fashion teenage attitude!!
*If you’ve ever been in a debate with a teenager, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Logic goes out the window, and they always walk away thinking they’ve won!
For example, if you have a thought like “Why bother trying? Whatever I do doesn’t work out”, challenge it like a teenager would. “Really?!? Seriously?!? NOTHING you’ve ever done has ever worked out?”
And then simply remind yourself of all the success you’ve created (having a success journal really helps) as though you’re committed to winning the argument.
In all my years of personal development, I’ve never met a negative thought that actually holds water when you challenge it aggressively. Give it a try and I promise they’ll all fall down.
I hope this helps you to shine like the star you are, and empowers you to carry on when a bulb goes out.
Photo Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons - http://www.flickr.com/photos/alicepopkorn/2113974300/
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