If you’ve read my previous posts on mental rehearsal and visualisation I imagine that you heard many athletes say that they use it. Isn’t that strange? One day you’ve never heard of something and the next it’s everywhere.
Can you think of other times that’s happened? My most recent example is of a friend who is shortly going to work in Malawi. She’d never previously thought about the country, now she’s met several people who have worked there or they know someone who has. Also now that the country is in my awareness I’ve seen several articles about it in the travel press.
So if this applies to something small, then what if it applied more widely in life?
Some time ago I was working with a lady setting up a new business who was feeling overwhelmed. When we discussed her website, she kept saying “I don’t want …., and I don’t want…..” She was focusing on what she didn’t want and she kept noticing websites that she didn’t like.
We spent some time changing her thinking round so that she was focusing instead on what she wanted and in the intervening time she’s seen lots of examples of styles and colours of websites she likes whereas previously they had been invisible to her.
So why is this?
There are 2 reasons why this works:
- Our unconscious/subconscious mind is a powerful and wonderful thing which works best when it has clear instructions to follow. By focusing on what she wanted my client had given her mind an instruction to look out for that, so it did!
- The unconscious mind also does not process negatives. If I say to you ”don’t think of a yelow elephant” then a yellow elephant will have popped into your mind before you could stop it. To our mind, “don’t think of x” and “think of x” are the same. So focusing on what we don’t want is an instruction to our mind to be on the look-out for it.
I therefore invite you to consider what your mind is focusing on; are you thinking about what you don’t want, and do you see examples of that everywhere or are you thinking about what you want?
If your focus is currently on what you don’t want, then turn this to a positive by asking yourself “what do I want instead?” You may find that it appears.