Language is one of those things you live and breathe without giving it a second thought. Yet, it plays such a big role in how you experience the world. Language comes to you through words, body language, and unspoken communication and your senses are bombarded with it through radio, television, social media newsfeeds, overheard conversations in public places, meetings, and events.
The language you hear and subconsciously absorb influences your opinions, your perception, and your actions. Just think about the effectiveness of word of mouth advertising, it’s one of the most powerful forms of product or service validation. How many times do you consult your friends or family for their recommendations? For example, ‘Do you know someone who does <insert service>?’, or ‘Where did you get your <insert product>, I’ve been looking for something like that?’ With these reviews in mind, you form a perception of a product or service, which influences your decision of what and where to purchase.
While seeking comments from people you trust is one thing, the words we tell yourself also influence your opinions and actions. For example, affirmations.
Affirmations are often used in personal development because they help to shift your mindset and outlook. An affirmation is a statement or phrase that you say often, usually to yourself, that begins to affect your beliefs and the way you see the world. It affirms your beliefs.
When you say something often enough you start to believe it, and the brain will subconsciously look for things that match or provide evidence of what you’re saying. What you may not realise though, is an affirmation can be positive and supportive or negative and destructive. And because you may not consciously listen to what’s coming out of your mouth – you’re not consciously aware of the things you start to believe as being true. For example, ‘I’m so tired’ or ‘I’m so sick of this’… If this is what you’re saying, well, you can imagine what your subconscious is looking for to prove this statement is true!
On the other hand, if your personal comments are more like ‘I can find a way to fix this’ or ‘I’m willing to change’, then your subconscious will have a completely different focus!
Are the affirmations you tell yourself helping you? Would you feel more supported if you changed the words you tell yourself?
Have a go and see if it makes a difference (tip: this isn’t an overnight change – you’ve possibly been telling yourself the same thing for YEARS – it will take practice to get of the old habit and make a new one!).
Take care, and have a great week.
Do you ever feel like you’re pulled in so many directions you get nothing done? You wish that only if you could get an uninterrupted block of time you might make some headway, but just when you get started - something else grabs your attention and away you go.
While it might be helpful to know you’re not alone in this experience (we've all been there!), just knowing that doesn’t change anything, right? This week I want to introduce you to a couple of strategies to help you change that because focus is all about where you put your energy.
Let’s start with what’s happening on the inside. Say you’re working towards an end goal: finishing a project, doing the housework, even picking your kids up from school. In any of these moments you can either choose to focus on the negative stuff that doesn’t support you, or you can choose to look at what will support you. We looked at this in the blog on filters. So, what’s the difference? Well, you may have heard the phrase: what you focus on grows. If you’re focusing on the pile of washing, the traffic jams, the long to-do list then I can imagine you’re not only feeling overwhelmed and disgruntled, but also not very motivated to keep going. And the more you get frustrated with the situation, the worse it becomes.
On the other hand, if you choose to look at the positives: your achievements, the small steps you’re taking to get something done, the reason you’re working through the washing pile (so you can have beautifully clean clothes!) – your whole world can seem brighter. Same task, different focus. The more you notice the great moments, the more they ‘grow’. Chances are these moments have always been there, but in all your busyness you may never have been awake to them.
On a hands-on action level, one thing that’s really helped me with focus is a simple phrase I picked up from an online mentor, Janet Beckers. I was forever feeling like I was busy, busy, busy but getting nowhere. In one of her blogs, Janet mentioned F.O.C.U.S. to mean Follow One Course Until Successful. When I heard this it was like someone had given me a gift. (Thank you, Janet!) I was so exhausted spreading my energy across so many projects. It had never occurred to me (where was my focus??) that it could be different if I only focused on one project at a time. Simple, but true. And what a game-changer.
What if you focused on only one project at a time? And once that was completed THEN you took on another project?
I applied this new view of F.O.C.U.S. in terms of working on one big project at a time, as well as segmenting my day. If I was writing blogs, that’s all I was doing. I limited my distractions until I got that job done. And the result? I was so much more productive! Lesson learned! Even now, I use F.O.C.U.S. to keep myself on track, focused, and being productive.
It all depends where you’re looking.
Have a go at shifting your focus, and see the difference it makes in your life!
Have a great week,
Life experience has taught me a lot about change - its messiness and my desire to circumnavigate it in a more efficient way. In this blog I share my experience so you too can survive change with a smile on your face!